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Storybank by Kipp Kobayashi

Artwork Location: East Atrium

Look up to see the river flowing through the East Atrium, soaring upwards at the main entrance to the facility. The river is a suspended sculpture made from blue, green, clear, and aqua glass bottles. They are a reminder of the important history of glass and bottle manufacturing in the Pittsburgh region.

Responding to the journey experienced by people at UPMC Mercy Pavilion, Kobayashi invited community members to donate bottles, messages, and mementos to be included in the sculpture. He held several collecting sessions at UPMC Mercy, UPMC staff offices, and the Heinz History Center. People contributed bottles and their wishes, hopes, and dreams for the future.

Storybank was created with a collection of 538 bottles sourced from the community. Every bottle donated is included in the final installation.

Read the messages and view the artifacts in the bottles here (PDF)

"The sculpture ascends toward the entrance like floating lanterns, holding the wishes and hopes of people who’ve donated these messages in bottles from the community. Similar to a wishing tree,  the memories and stories come from us, but over time they take on a life of their own and become something new. The suspended sculpture creates an opportunity for that type of imagery.” – Kipp Kobayoshi

Multicolored bottles hanging from the ceiling.

Storybank, 2023 by Kipp Kobayashi

The sculpture welcomes everyone who enters the East Atrium

Storybank is visible from multiple locations.

Patients and staff have the opportunity to see the sculpture at eye level from the second-floor clinics.

Contributions from patients, staff, providers, and community members gathered during a Storybank collection at UPMC Mercy’s cafeteria.

The artist carefully selected the placement of each bottle.

A touch display of four bottles made in the Pittsburgh region is positioned near the midpoint of the corridor. It offers visitors the opportunity to touch and closely examine the details of the antique bottles found in the sculpture.