creating platforms for conversation and education

Hemi­spheric Conver­sa­tions: Urban Art Project (HCUAP, pronounced, “hiccup”) is an educa­tion and art program orga­nized by Caitlin Bruce, Oreen Cohen, and Shane Pilster in collab­o­ra­tion with the Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh. This project seeks to create plat­forms for conver­sa­tion and educa­tion about urban art produc­tion (graf­fiti, street art, and muralism, among other genres), and to explore aesthetic and histor­ical connec­tions between cities. These topics raise larger ques­tions about citi­zens’ power in shaping their envi­ron­ments; about the desired image of the city we would like to see; and about ques­tions of just devel­op­ment and commu­nity history and iden­tity. We use a combi­na­tion of public debates, symposia, youth art work­shops, short resi­den­cies, collab­o­ra­tive art produc­tion, and public-facing research to acti­vate such dialogues. Our first two years focused on the inter­cul­tural exchange between the post-indus­trial cities of Pitts­burgh, Chicago, and León Guana­juato Mexico.


All events are free and open to the public.

Our Partners

We thank our spon­sors and part­ners for their support:

HCUAP receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Penn­syl­vania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Common­wealth of Penn­syl­vania and the National Endow­ment for the Arts, a federal agency. HCUAP is also supported by: the Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh; Center for Latin Amer­ican Studies, Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh; Year of Diver­sity, Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh; Amer­ican Studies Asso­ci­a­tion; Rivers of Steel; Depart­ment of Commu­ni­ca­tion, Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh; Collecting Knowl­edge Pitts­burgh; Human­i­ties Center, Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh; Gender, Sexu­ality, and Women’s Studies Program, Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh; Cultural Studies Program, Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh; History of Art and Archi­tec­ture Depart­ment, Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh; and Assemble.


Caitlin Frances Bruce, PhD.

Shane Pilster

Oreen Cohen

Staff/Research Assistants

Erica Hughes

Artists/Scholars (Fall 2017)

Joe Austin

Miguel Aguilar

Fernando “SPOK” Quiroga

Ron Baraff

Chris McGinnis

Paulette Vincent Ruz

Øscar Medina
Mike Mook
Detective Alfonso Sloan

Shane Pilster
Steve Root
Jason Mendez

Artists/Scholars (Spring 2017)

Jessica N. Pabón
Karina KIF
Stef G

Jessica Duvall

Jerome Charles
​Danny Devine
Nick Sardo


Artists Brightening Once-Gloomy South Side Passage With Mural

May 1, 2017

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Fox Way is a South Side alley that once was littered with trash and unprint­able graf­fiti.

But recently, Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh assis­tant professor Caitlin Bruce and South Side resi­dent Steve Root took the lead in bright­ening the once gloomy passage. A bordering wall is covered with a magnif­i­cent mural…

Carrie Furnace canvas

May 27, 2017

Nature can surge from impos­sible condi­tions,” Jose Weslly Manrique said standing amid a partially cleared field around Carrie Furnace in Rankin. He was one of three graf­fiti artists from Leon, Mexico, who joined five other graf­fiti artists from Pitts­burgh and Chicago to paint the Hemi­sphere Conver­sa­tions Carrie Furnace Mural on a concrete retaining wall, now the site of a curated “gallery” of legal graf­fiti…