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How this once-homeless man's colorful art project transformed his neighborhood


How this once-homeless man's colorful art project transformed his neighborhood

WATCH | After a stroll in the "Mexican War Streets" neighborhood in Pittsburgh, artist Randy Gilson fell in love with the Victorian architecture. But the area was marred by drugs and trash, so his solution was to secure enough money to buy a building and transform it using recycling the trash he saw.

Randyland is a twenty-year-old project that has been transforming throughout the decades using trash or "scattered stuff" that is repurposed by Randy. A self-described "little guy" who was homeless twice and on welfare until the age of 26, Randy's destiny changed on a fateful afternoon in the mid-90's when he ventured through the Northside Pittsburgh neighborhood.  Ever since then, the work of public art has been open for free and visitors from all around the world come to check out what Randy has created from disposable items.  

Some of the colors at Randyland. 

A peak inside the open lawn area of Randyland. 

Whenever your heart is singing that usually means that it will help the mind be happy.
Randy Gilson

Besides the colorful paint splattered all over his t-shirt and jeans, Randy is bursting with motivational words of wisdom. Throughout my visit to Randyland, he was constantly engaging with visitors, taking photos with them, explaining where each item came from. 

randy explaining.jpg

Randy frequently serves as a tour guide. Here he is explaining his vision and the overall theme of Randyland.

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