Pilato’s “Painting for Change” Set for Monday

Michael Pilato’s “Inspiration” mural on Heister Street has received a lot of attention over the past year, but starting on Monday, that attention will be directed at an incredible event aimed to bring hope and healing to the Penn State community.

The “Painting for Change” event is hosted by The Council for Hope and Healing (CHH), a non-profit group recently formed to use interactive art to create awareness and educate society about sexual abuse and the need for prevention. Pilato has held an annual 48-hour 9/11 vigil at the mural since 2002, but this year, CHH has planned an afternoon of speakers and enlightenment to kick-off the vigil.

Starting on Monday, September 10, at 12:15 p.m, the public is invited to gather at the mural for a great lineup of guest speakers. The event will be hosted by former student body President T.J. Bard, so you know we’re in for a “smanging” time already.

Mayor Elizabeth Goreham will be the first speaker, followed by a tour of the mural by the artist Michael Pilato himself. The mural is incredibly comprehensive, and contains such a wide variety of figures important to Penn State and State College history. Each aspect of the mural has a story of its own, and Pilato’s presentation should enlighten even the most distinguished Penn State historian.

Some questions he plans to answer include:

  • Do you know the REAL reason Joe Paterno’s halo was removed from the Inspiration Mural?
  • Have you ever noticed the eye of the humpback whale on the Inspiration Mural?
  • Have you ever seen the man with the green wings on the Inspiration Mural?
  • Have you ever wondered what Chief Waupelani looks like?
  • Do you know the meaning behind the rips in all the flags on the Inspiration Mural?
  • Do you know the significance of the woman who replaced Jerry Sandusky on the Inspiration Mural?
  • Have you ever noticed the fishing line that Penn State’s 2nd-most famous Joe is casting on the Inspiration Mural?
  • Have you ever wondered who is the couple that is kissing on the Inspiration Mural?
  • Did you know that Bald Eagle is much more than just a state park and a town?
  • Have you ever wondered why there is a man with a big bowl of spaghetti on the Inspiration Mural?

Following Pilato’s presentation, Amy Rumbel from Centre County Women’s Resource Center, Ryan McCombie from the Penn State Board of Trustees, and John Corr, who worked at Ground Zero on 9/11, will speak to attendees.

Pilato also plans to talk about some of his future initiatives, including an amphitheater structure that incorporates artwork into its design as part of the World Mural Project.

Pilato will remain at the mural for 48 hours as part of the annual vigil, but with a lineup of speakers presentations like this one, it will be worth showing up early on Monday.

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About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

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