100% FUNDED! THANK YOU TO ALL BACKERS!
With only 2 days left in the campaign, we'll suggest a modest stretch goal.
If we reach $12,500:
We will be able to repaint the front of the Randyland building where there is a lot of paint peeling off, flaking off, and just really needs a refresh. So let's not just restore the map, but also the front facade of the building as well! (pictured below)
What is Randyland?
If you’re ever strolling down Arch Avenue on the Northside, you’ll be hard pressed to miss my whimsical home with a 40 ft high mural of brilliantly colored castles and landscapes with ladybugs, butterflies, dinosaurs and more. It’s Randyland, and it all started about 35 years ago when I moved into the neighborhood.
How it Began
I really fell in love with the architecture of the Northside even though it was a rough neighborhood. There were a lot of empty lots littered with garbage. It seemed like people were not getting along and no one helping to clean up any of the weeds or litter. That’s when I started thinking that I need to do something myself.
I dipped into my savings from my job as a waiter and started cleaning up the neighborhood, starting with the litter and planting mini gardens. With one thousand dollars, I bought whiskey barrels and put them in front of all the empty houses with shrubbery and flowers, the neighborhood started to look better, the neighbors began to pitch in and help with every initiative, and people began taking pride in their neighborhood again. Much of the work was done on a shoestring budget which taught me how to get creative and recycle unwanted materials. Over the course of those 30 years, I've gone on to contribute to projects all over the Mexican War Streets, installing about 800 streetscapes, 50 vegetable garden plots and 8 parks.
The Birth of Randyland
In 1995, I purchased this dilapidated, abandoned building with a credit card and began turning it into my expression of art. I knew I could apply the same ideas to my home as I had done with the neighborhood. I recycled paint, wood and things I found in the alley ways. Over time, the building turned into a giant outdoors art gallery, open everyday and free to the public. It was later dubbed by a friend, "Randyland" and now receives tens of thousands of visitors every year.
Although Randyland was built up over time with a minimal budget, I've probably put about $100,000 into these efforts over the span of those 35 years and the maintenance of the property is becoming more and more expensive.
What is the Kickstarter Campaign For?
This year, I'd like to focus on refreshing and restoring the map of the Northside on the Jacksonia Street face of the Randyland yellow building.
This is one of the main attractions of the building and it has become outdated and has been worn down and beaten by the weather. Many of the labels have faded or peeled off. Much of the paint has worn off and many other pieces and markers have been lost.
1. Completely reimagine the map to make it more colorful, expansive and durable to withstand time and weather.
2. Expand the map to include many of the nearby neighborhoods like Manchester, Fineview, Deutschtown and Observatory Hill.
3. Create the streets out of metal and engrave them with their street names
4. Create more intricate pieces and markers to represent the great attractions of the Northside like the National Aviary, Hazlatt Theater, Childrens Museum and Gus & Yaya's.
5. Add new buildings along the North Shore like Stage AE and the Del Monte building.
6. Restore the marquee to the right of the map to feature the Northside's cultural events
As you can see, it's a big project that will require more funds than one waiter to handle!
With the funds collected, I plan on completely starting from scratch and rebuilding a better, even more colorful map! If we hit our goal, about 1/3 of our $10,000 will be lost to campaign overhead, that is our Kickstarter fees, credit card processing and fulfillment of our backer rewards. The remaining $6,500 will go towards the map itself - creating stainless steel streets engraved with their street names, high quality outdoor paints and tools (rollers, brushes, pans, cloths, etc) and all the materials need to create high-quality models of Northside landmarks.
What are the Rewards?
We're going to give our donors some really great Randyland items! First, every donor will be thanked on the Randyland "Wall of Nice!" - a page on our website that commemorates your generosity.
Next, we'll be debuting brand new Randyland t-shirts for all of our donors pledging $25 or more!
What are the "Thinkerers" featured on the T-Shirts and Prints?
Thinkerers are a series of more that 200 original pieces of art created by Artist, Randy Gilson. Colorful and unique faces were hand-painted on reclaimed slate tiles to bring back to life the energy of a material as old as the Earth itself. The original "Thinkerer" pieces are not yet for sale but plans are forthcoming to make them available for purchase. Learn more about the Thinkerers here: http://vimeo.com/75250817
The Thinkerers are featured on some of the rewards offered to our sponsors, including T-Shirts and Print Posters.
What happens if we exceed our goal?
There's so much to do at Randyland! If we're fortunate enough to exceed our goal then every extra dollar that we collect will go directly into Randyland and it's public art projects. Money will go to paint, painting tools, pots, dirt, flowers, vegetables and structures that improve the Randyland experience for every one of our guests. We'll buy new materials for more art projects, host arts and crafts events for children and fund more public gardening projects.
On specific project we have in mind is to refresh the murals painted on the front (Arch Street) side of the building which has experienced significant wear as much of it's paint flaking off.
Thank you so much for visiting our Kickstarter campaign! We hope you feel compelled to sponsor our project to support our work and get some great Randyland swag in return! Your donation means so much to me as it will help me to continue my passion for making the city of Pittsburgh a happier, more colorful place!
Peace and love!
Risks and challenges
There's no risk here baby! I've been 100% committed to Randyland for 20 years and once I receive the funds we'll be off to the races! There s nothing that will stop me from completing this map!
We already have our T-shirt printers ready to go and plans for the Thinkerer prints so it's just a matter of knowing how many we'll need.
I hope you'll all stop by Randyland and say hi and see what magic is happening today!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)