The Christian Science Monitor Weekly

June 17, 2019

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42 THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR WEEKLY | JUNE 17, 2019 I N PICTURES PITTSBURGH J ust as I walked up to photograph the joyful, colorful quirkiness of Randy- land, a door opened and a man with platinum hair, his clothes covered in paint splatters from top to bottom, beckoned me and several other visitors inside. We entered a workshop overfl owing with on- going projects and open cans of paint in every color. We were in the presence of the mastermind of Randyland : outsider artist Randy Gilson. He proceeded to share his latest creations with an infectious enthusi- asm and energy. I couldn't help but smile. He talked about his diffi cult upbringing without embarrassment – bullied at school, faced with homelessness, and told he was stupid and worthless . But he found his way through art – and love. "Do not walk in anyone's shadow," he says. "Find your own purpose. Your struggles are your greatest teachers." Mr. Gilson's purpose has turned out to be this gift to the community: a free public art museum designed to bring happiness by turning waste into wonders. STORY AND PHOTOS BY MELANIE STETSON FREEMAN STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER 1 WAY FINDING: A handmade sign- post at Randyland gives directions and points toward local attractions. 2 ALL SMILES: Artist Randy Gilson takes a photo with visitors. His museum is one of the most photographed plac- es on Instagram. 1 2

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