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    A Tour of Public Art in Downtown West Chester

    Public Art brings character, perspective, and beauty to any community. West Chester boasts an impressive number of multi-media pieces throughout our town. Visit DowntownWestChester.com to learn more about public art and self-guided tours of West Chester.

     

    STONE RELIEFS
    10 North High Street (Created by Harry Rosin)
    A four-panel sculpture looms some 80-feet above the sidewalk. Within the panels, fifteen carved figures are set in poses, each representing a point in the history of European settlements. Nearly three years of planning, controversy, and compromise took place before the sculptures were finally erected in 1966. Next time you walk the first block of North High, look up and admire the view.

     

    “Pippin was known for his bold, colorful, and candid paintings that comment on race, religion, war, and history.”

     

    THE RED BENCH
    Everhart Park, Near Minor & Everhart Streets
    Life imitates art with “The Red Bench,” painted to honor local artist Horace Pippin and his last painting entitled “Man on a Bench.” The bench has been maintained in Everhart Park in honor of Pippin’s important artistic and social contributions to our community. Pippin was known for his bold, colorful, and candid paintings that comment on race, religion, war, and history. He became one of the first African-American artists to receive national acclaim.

    The Red Bench

    FRIENDS
    Marshall Square Park (Created by Marty Long)
    Carved from a 125-year-old red oak and standing at 18 feet high, this imaginative sculpture offers 360-degree views and was brought to life using only chainsaws, sanders, and grinders. The friends you’ll find in the sculpture include a care-taking gnome, a fox, a hummingbird, and many more. Two owls sit perched atop the sculpture taking in the views of Marshall Square Park.

     

    “…this statue stands as an inspiration to the West Chester Community of Douglass’ legacy of social justice, bravery, and perseverance.”

     

    FREDRICK DOUGLASS MEMORIAL
    Outside Phillips Memorial Hall, West Chester University, (Created by Richard Blake) Frederick Douglass, the former slave, distinguished orator, journalist, author, and statesman is memorialized with this lifesize statue on the campus of West Chester University. Erected in 2013, this statue stands as an inspiration to the West Chester Community of Douglass’ legacy of social justice, bravery, and perseverance. He carries a broken rope to represent his freedom from the bondage of slavery and the promise of a better future. Benches circle the statue offering an opportunity to sit and reflect.

     

    OLD GLORY
    Corner of High & Market Streets (Created by Harry Lewis Raul)
    Erected in 1915 to honor the brave soldiers and sailors from Chester County who enlisted in the Civil War, this historic statue stands at 19 feet high and is perfectly framed by the Courthouse behind it. Made of bronze, artist Harry Lewis Raul created the final design at a cost of $20,000 in the early 1900s.

    Old Glory

    THE LAMP POST BANNER PROJECT BY THE WEST CHESTER PUBLIC ARTS COMMISSION
    Throughout downtown (By various artists)
    The banner project was first created in 2018 to celebrate the borough’s designation as a “Great American Main Street” and to publicly honor local artists and historical figures. See the current banners on High Street, East Gay Street, and West Market Street.

     

    THE WEST CHESTER FLAG
    On display in the lobby of Borough Hall (Designed by Julie Allen, Commissioned by WC PAC)
    West Chester’s new flag design was laid out with the six original streets—Chestnut, Gay, Market, Church, High, and Walnut—then tilted the grid on its true axis. The flag reflects the Borough’s central place as a crossroads town and represents the streets where people shop, work, dine, parade, and play.

    The West Chester Flag

    PAINTED PLANTERS
    Downtown (By Artists at Chester County Art Association)
    Some twenty years ago, a number of artists, many of them students, were commissioned to paint a Brandywine Valley scene on planters now gracing downtown sidewalks. Each one was adopted by a nearby business to share a bit of whimsy with visitors.

    Painted Planters

    Thank you to the West Chester Business Improvement District of your support of our community’s arts community and for sponsoring this feature!