Grant helps fund sidewalk stamps

Tribune Chronicle

The first two of four planned sidewalk stamps are on display in downtown Youngstown.

The sidewalk stamps are part of Words Made Visible, a yearlong project involving Lit Youngstown that pairs literary arts like poetry and stories with visual art media like posters, decorative broadsides and sidewalk stamps. YSU art students made sculpture, painting and film that responded to the literary art.

Rich Mills, owner of the Commerce Building, approved the stamps along a stretch of sidewalk that was slated for repair.

One stamp features an excerpt from a poem celebrating the immigrant workers who built Youngstown written by Jeanne Bryner, a retired nurse who lives in Newton Falls. The other is from “Why the Window Washer Reads Poetry,” written by Laura Grace Weldon of Litchfield.

“Oh my gosh, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine a portion of my writing stamped in pavement,” Weldon said.

The project received matching funding from the Ohio Arts Council. Michael Staaf of Steel Valley Signs designed and manufactured the reusable stamps.

Additional sidewalk stamps will feature excerpts by Jeffrey Murphy, a Youngstown writer and student at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and David Lee Garrison, a retired English professor at Wright State University in Dayton.