Mural: “Rising Phoenix” at Voodoo Brewery by Shane Pilster

Fifth Avenue, Downtown New Kensington. December 4, 2021. (Photo: Jenny Gaffron Woytek)

If you Google “New Kensington” and “Voodoo Brewery,” you can find a lot of photos of Shane Pilster’s “Rising Phoenix” mural. In fact, here are photos that I took last December, a week after Krampus brought me my camera.

You can also find a lot of information about New Kensington’s Voodoo Brewery / Voodoo at the Ritz and Old Town Overhaul with a quick Google search. Here’s such an article from the Trib.

So, for this blog post, I took a bunch of photos that showed the “Rising Phoenix” mural in the background as the community gathered for New Kensington’s Christmas Parade.

Fifth Avenue, Downtown New Kensington. December 4, 2021. (Photo: Jenny Gaffron Woytek)

I felt really defeated last spring over the setbacks that Jonathan and I had encountered in trying to rebuild our front porch. I wrote a snarky post on this very blog about how murals weren’t going to solve New Kensington’s problems. The murals weren’t solving any of MY problems. My sister Elizabeth is a hero because she read the post right after I published it. She told me that I was harsh. I took the blog post down about an hour after I published it. The post now resides for eternity in blog post hell. Or, maybe it resides in blog post purgatory because with my luck it’s cached somewhere.

But, now our porch is almost complete. I feel much more hopeful about my future here in New Kensington.

Fifth Avenue, Downtown New Kensington. December 4, 2021. (Photo: Jenny Gaffron Woytek)

These marchers arrived on a bus from Valley High School in New Kensington. I watched the bus arrive. It travelled past me and unloaded on the next block over from where I sat waiting the parade to begin. I saw kids sitting next to the windows, holding their trombones.

Fifth Avenue, Downtown New Kensington. December 4, 2021. (Photo: Jenny Gaffron Woytek)

I have a soft spot for the high school marching band. I marched in a high school band when I grew up in Somerset County. I played the clarinet.

I don’t remember getting to march past any cool brewery murals, though.

6 thoughts on “Mural: “Rising Phoenix” at Voodoo Brewery by Shane Pilster”

  1. That is a pretty cool mural. We drive out to Lower Burrell to visit Matt’s brother, his fiancé and son sometimes. Maybe we’ll have to take a detour and drive past there to see it next time.

    1. Thanks for reading the blog and commenting, Katie! Downtown New Kensington has a bunch of cool new stuff, including this brewery.

  2. Thanks for the love! That one kicked off an awesome relationship with Voodoo and Olde Towne Overhaul that kindled a whole mural initiative with them And Rivers of Steel in New Ken this year. Any time I travel and see murals in different areas they always make me look more into that area, stop to take photos, check out shops, engage with the community, and take note of the place. In short, that’s really what we want folks to do in New Ken. Hopefully it’s just the start of the town taking a strong step into the future. Appreciate the art write ups in town! It’s been a pleasure working with people in town and the amazing positive feedback we’ve received so far.

    1. I’m so happy about these! Maybe you see my husband Jonathan walking down the street when you bike downtown, Edward!

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