of 100 Adorned Dinosaurs Makes DinoMite Debut in Pittsburgh
T. rex and Other Painted Replicas to Transform Streets,
PA — A Tyrannosaurus rex of a dramatically
different color made its "DinoMite" debut today.
Hand-painted by artist Patricia Bellan-Gillen, the 250-pound
T. rex is the first of 100 decorated fiberglass dinosaur
replicas that will add a splash of prehistoric panache to
Pittsburgh's parks, plazas and public streets. The rest of
the dinosaurs will paint the town in May 2003 when DinoMite
Dayssm - a once-in-a-lifetime event - premieres as the world's
most colorful outdoor dino art gallery.
seven-feet tall, the T. rex was officially hatched
today outside Carnegie Museum of Natural History, which is
launching DinoMite Days with major funding from the Laurel
Foundation of Pittsburgh. Adults and children at the prehistoric
preview were delighted when the T. rex, a scientifically
accurate replica with artistic license, emerged from an oversized
crate that kept his colorful personality under wraps. Bellan-Gillen,
the first artist selected to paint a DinoMite Days original,
unveiled her creation, whose theme is "Connections."
The green T. rex is decorated with animal images, such
as monkeys, butterflies and crabs, and a human handprint,
all connected by leafy branches and vines that cover the T.
rex from top to bottom. The T. rex is located near
Dippy the Dinosaur and will remain outside the museum through
terrific T. rex combines artistic expression and natural
history to cast dinosaurs in a whole new light," said
Susie Perelman, co-chairperson of DinoMite Days. "Today
starts the official countdown to DinoMite Days, a visually
stunning outdoor exhibit that will entice people of all ages
to discover the beauty of dinosaurs, science and art."
rising interest in the event, Perelman announced that DinoMite
Days is searching for more artists who are ready for their
first brush with a dinosaur. The application deadline for
artists has been extended to October 15, 2002.
wishing to lend their talents to DinoMite Days can access
online application forms and guidelines at www.dinomitedays.org.
The forms are also available at local art galleries, cultural
organizations and coffee shops throughout Pittsburgh.
jury comprised of representatives from Pittsburgh art organizations
reviews and selects the artists, who are given four to six
weeks to complete their dinosaurs.
a nationally acclaimed artist from Burgettstown, Pa., painting
the T. rex was a challenging and fun project.
was my inspiration for this design. I wanted to convey the
connections that all living things have through nature,"
said Bellan-Gillen. "The design also plays tribute to
the museum itself - to its commitment to the natural sciences
students from Burgettstown Area Elementary School painted
self-portraits that Bellan-Gillen incorporated into an urn
that is attached to the T. rex. There was a family
connection in the project - her husband, Vince Gillen - teaches
the pint-sized Picassos.
raised in western Pennsylvania, Bellan-Gillen received the
prestigious Dorothy L. Stubnitz Professor of Art award in
2001 for her dedication and achievements as a professor of
art at Carnegie Mellon University. Her paintings and prints
have been featured in more than 23 solo exhibitions throughout
the United States. Bellan-Gillen spent six weeks working in
her Burgettstown barn-turned-studio to give her T. rex
a personality of its own.
Foundation of Pittsburgh, a private philanthropic organization,
is providing major funding for the free public art exhibit.
believe that DinoMite Days will draw new visitors to the region,
exposing them to a community rich with history and culture,"
said Donna Panazzi, vice president of Laurel Foundation. "From
the world-class dinosaur exhibit here at Carnegie Museum of
Natural History to Pittsburgh's picturesque parks and floral
gardens, the City is brimming with vitality. We're thrilled
to partner with the Museum on DinoMite Days, and to help raise
funds for Carnegie Museum of Natural History and for other
nonprofit organizations, through the sponsorship-and later,
the auction-of the dinosaurs."
can choose from three different types of dinosaurs - a Tyrannosaurus
rex, a Torosaurus or a Stegasaurus. All
are designed and manufactured by Research Casting International
of Ontario, Canada with fiberglass produced by PPG Industries.
will feature a plaque with the names of the sponsor and artist.
select a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to receive half
of the proceeds once the dinosaur is auctioned in October
2003. The remaining proceeds will be used for renovation and
expansion of Carnegie Museum of Natural History's dinosaur
Art Commission is working with the museum to help select public
sites across the Pittsburgh region for the DinoMite Days dinosaurs.
The locations will be announced in late 2002 and a "DinoMap"
will be prepared for the exhibit.
DeWalt, PhD, then-director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, said,
"This T. rex connects art, natural history and
science in a fun and creative way that brings our mission
to life. We expect DinoMite Days to make a strong connection
with tourists and local residents alike."
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
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