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A permanent rainbow over the Greenway

The bare cement monolith at the intersection of Hobart and Railroad streets on the Southside Greenway was especially unremarkable. People who walk the path every day said they had never noticed it. Even people in their cars going east on Daly Avenue would likely overlook the cement block that sets behind the waist-high traffic guardrail.

The artists, Donegal ES students, teachers, and community leaders gathered May 31 to cut a ribbon introducing the new artwork to the public.

Artists William Nieves and Jerome Fountain painted the cement structure, formerly a foundation of a walking bridge that carried steel workers over the Bethlehem Steel’s rail road tracks the bed of which is now the South Bethlehem Greenway walking path.

Nieves described himself as a “local homegrown artist” whose family owns a local grocery store, Nieves Spanish Grocery on East Fourth Street in South Bethlehem.

Fountain said he came to Bethlehem via New York City. He said the name of their joint creation is “Light the Way.”

He said Donegan ES fifth graders came up with the design which incorporates the old steel stacks of the closed steel mill and a rainbow plus the Southside school’s open sided five point star as a principal art motif.

The mural incorporated deeply set numerals, “1927” molded into the cement. That is presumably the date the foot bridge it supported was opened for traffic. Donegan students attending the dedication of the new mural included fifth graders Antonio Young, Dylan Mercado and third grader Noriah Wise. a Donegan art teacher, Tiffany Anderson; was credited with helping the students design their project.

Director of Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem Anna Smith attended as did Superintendent of the Bethlehem Area School District Dr. Jack Silva, who addressed the small crowd I brief remarks.

Bethlehem Mayor William Reynolds and State Rep. Steve Samuelson both offered remarks on the occasion.

Press photos by Douglas Graves The artists and supporters cut a ribbon to commemorate the new mural on the South Bethlehem Greenway at the end of Hobart Street.
The new mural on the Southside Greenway by artists William Nieves and Jerome Fountain.
Left: Drivers on Daly Avenue will see this new mural tucked between a guard rail and the shrubbery if they pay attention.
Above: Artist Jerome Fountain, director of the Community Action Development Corporation Anna Smith and artist William Nieves in front of the new mural on the Greenway in South Bethlehem.