I finished this painting a few months ago, but didn’t post it. I have three finished paintings I haven’t posted- I think I got discouraged about blogging. I realized, though, I need to blog so I can remember all the thoughts I had while making the work.

I made this painting in thinking through the barriers of what is keeping my area from a major renewal. While I have a lot of hope in the work being done on the development of the comprehensive plan, there are a lot of barriers and it’s not a sure thing that the Mon Valley is going to benefit from the economic boom happening in Pittsburgh.

One of the barriers is that our community has low resources to pay for policing. We have only one full time police staff, the Captain, and then everyone else is part time. I think they make only $15.00 and hour. It’s a cycle where our daily lives and economic opportunities are restricted by violent crime, but then because the community doesn’t grow in wealth and numbers we can’t afford to change our underpolicing.

I made the car so that the difficulty of the community constituted parts of the car, the the car was literally split into quarters by the broken down parts of the area. I included a street sign from a dangerous corner of the neighborhood and there is my first attempt at Japanese knotweed hanging off the front. I recently finished another painting of Japanese knotweed, and I hope to make it a major image inside of the show in May 2021.

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