For Immediate Release

Sophie Nassif 412.456.3472
sophie.nassif@ketchum.com

 

August 13, 2002

Dinosaurs Will Make Pittsburgh a DinoMite Destination
Adorned Fiberglass Dinos to "Saur" on Streets and Other Locations

PITTSBURGH, PA — No city has ever "triceratopped" this. Pittsburgh will become Dinoburgh next May when at least 100 decorated fiberglass dinosaurs turn streets, plazas and other locations into Jurassic parks for prehistoric public art.

The "extinctive" outdoor exhibit, dubbed DinoMite DaysSM, was officially announced today by Carnegie Museum of Natural History at a news conference where the first members of Pittsburgh's future "dinosty," a Tyrannosaurus rex and Torosaurus, were unveiled. A yet-to-be revealed Stegosaurus will complete Pittsburgh's dinosaur family. Carnegie Museum of Natural History is coordinating DinoMite DaysSM with major funding from the Laurel Foundation of Pittsburgh.

DinoMite DaysSM will meld individual artistry with dinosaur replicas that are as scientifically accurate as possible. Made of fiberglass produced by PPG Industries Inc., the approximately 200-pound dinosaurs will be designed and manufactured by Research Casting International of Beamsville, Ontario, Canada and adorned or decorated by regional artists. The three types of dinosaurs will be featured in the spring/summer exhibit, which is free to the public and expected to generate "dinotourism" for the region, officials said today.

"This unique exhibit will be a DinoMite attraction for anyone who loves natural history, dinosaurs or art," said Bill DeWalt, PhD, then-director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History. "People will enjoy a 'dinoramic' view of Pittsburgh that enhances the awareness of our museum's leading role in research, education and the discovery, preservation and display of dinosaur fossils and skeletons."

Tinsy Lipchak, executive director of cultural tourism for the Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau, said: "DinoMite Days will be a fun way to explore the world of dinosaurs and discover the region's vitality in science, education and the arts. Whether you drive in for the dinosaurs, shuttle to the Stegosaurus, or take the 'T' to the T.rex, you'll find that Pittsburgh invites residents and visitors alike to experience a world of knowledge and culture."

Dinosaur Dimensions
Each T.rex will be 7 feet tall and 10 feet long; the Torosaurus will measure 4 feet 7 inches high by 10 feet; and the Stegosaurus will be 5 feet .75 inches by 9 feet 5 inches. Research Casting International created the Diplodocus statute that stands outside Carnegie Museum of Natural History, as well as dinosaur replicas for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

First Artist Meets T.rex
At the news conference today, the first artist, Patricia Bellan-Gillen of Burgettstown, got an up close and personal look at the T.rex that she will paint at her studio. The inaugural T.rex will be displayed at Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

"I have worked with T.rex motifs in the past and I am looking forward to my first brush with a three-dimensional dinosaur," said Bellan-Gillen. "This exhibit will put the world's timeless fascination with dinosaurs in a new and colorful light, and give artists a platform to show the fun side of their nature."

Call for DinoMite Artists
Susie Perelman, co-chairperson of DinoMite DaysSM, announced today that artists are needed to give each dinosaur a colorful, one-of-a-kind look.

"DinoMite DaysSM is an incredible opportunity for artists to showcase their talent and challenge themselves artistically," said Perelman. "A public art display of this magnitude is as rare as the dinosaurs themselves, and we expect thousands of young and old alike to make 'tracks' to our region to see these vibrant prehistoric creatures."

Artists wishing to participate in DinoMite DaysSM can access application forms and guidelines at www.dinomitedays.org. Additional forms can be found at local art galleries, cultural organizations and coffee shops throughout Pittsburgh. The application deadline is September 15, 2002.

An art jury comprised of representatives from Pittsburgh art organizations will review and select the artists, who will have four to six weeks to complete their dinosaurs. Each will receive a $2,500 honorarium.

Seeking "Sponsaurs"
In addition to raising awareness of Carnegie Museum of Natural History's dinosaur collection, one of the goals of DinoMite DaysSM is to raise funds for regional nonprofit organizations.

Donna Panazzi, vice president of the Laurel Foundation, said, "This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity for businesses and individuals to come together to support the many organizations that have a tremendous impact on our region. We believe DinoMite DaysSM will unite our region like never before."

Organizers said today that they're seeking sponsaurs to fund the dinosaurs. The dinosaurs will then be sold to the highest bidder at a fund-raising gala auction on October 18, 2003.

"Through the generous support of the Laurel Foundation and sponsaurs, the exhibit and auction will raise funds for nonprofit organizations that ensure that knowledge, art and science never become extinct," said Ted Hermann, director of marketing for Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

The sponsaur of each dinosaur will select a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to receive half of the proceeds from the auctioned dinosaur. The other half of the proceeds will benefit programming related to the renovation and expansion of Carnegie Museum of Natural History's dinosaur exhibitions.

Each dinosaur will feature a plaque with the names of the sponsaur and artist.

Dino Locations
The Pittsburgh Art Commission, which has approved the public art project, will work with the museum and the city of Pittsburgh to select public sites across metropolitan Pittsburgh for the DinoMite DaysSM dinosaurs. The locations will be announced in late 2002 and a "DinoMap" will be prepared for the exhibit, which will open in late May and conclude in late September 2003.

DeWalt concluded, "One of the world's favorite movies about dinosaurs is called 'The Land That Time Forgot.' We think people are going to have a tough time forgetting Pittsburgh as a result of this DinoMite public art exhibit."

About Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Founded in 1895, Carnegie Museum of Natural History ranks among the six largest natural history museums in the United States, with more than 20 million specimens, objects and artifacts. The museum is the world's third-largest repository of dinosaur fossils and contains one of the world's greatest collections of publicly displayed dinosaur skeletons, as well as one of the foremost collections of gems and minerals. The museum is a distinguished research institution and a dynamic, family-friendly destination.


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