Art project hits the wall, so to speak


First Posted: 8/17/2013

All anyone in town this weekend had to do was look up.

Pittston’s new tomato mural entitled “Ultomato” was finished Wednesday, just in time for the opening of the Pittston Tomato Festival on Thursday.

The mural, atop the Tropical Dreams building, was painted by Dwight Kirkland, part of the team behind the city’s magnificent Heritage Mural.

Pictured are numerous tomatoes that appear to have been thrown at the wall.

Kirkland of Black Leaf Studio in Mifflintown spent the better part of a week working on the piece and used about 30 gallons of primarily green and red paint.

“It’s a whimsical run on giving someone an ultimatum,” said Michael Lombardo of Pittston’s Redevelopment Authority. “Our ultimatum in Pittston will be an ‘ultomato,’ which is that art is going to be a major part of the revitalization effort downtown.”

Kirkland had planned to use a digital projector to display his design then trace it and paint it. But he decided that drawing the tomatoes freehand was much easier.

“That’s a big wall and it was just me working up there,” he said.

Black Leaf Studio specializes in award-winning original murals and illustrations, and is featured in galleries, distinguished homes and in all types of corporate advertising and marketing in the United States and abroad, according to the artist’s website.

Kirkland and his wife, also an artist, will return to Pittston for the final Second Friday Art Walk on Sept. 13 to display and sell some of their artwork.

The new mural was paid for by funds from the state Local Share Assessment that come from casino proceeds and the city’s Facade Enhancement Program. The cost is about $10,000, Lombardo said.

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