Patricia Bellan-Gillen: "Nature was my inspiration for
this design. I wanted to convey the connections that all living
things have through nature. The design also plays tribute to
the museum itself—to its commitment to the natural sciences
Fourth-grade 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.
Laurel 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 auction
of the dinosaurs."