The Long Lasting History

The Birth of Randyland

Randyland’s origins can be traced back to Randy Gilson, a former homeless activist who arrived in Pittsburgh’s North Side in 1982. There, he immersed himself in guerrilla gardening, transforming vacant lots into vibrant gardens that added a touch of beauty to the community. In 1995, he took a bold step by purchasing a property for just $10,000 on a credit card, a property that would soon evolve into the iconic Randyland. Randy’s creative spirit was evident as he upcycled discarded items like mannequins, plastic dinosaurs, and pink flamingos to decorate his home and the surrounding fences with joyful murals, giving birth to an extraordinary place that blended art and community.

Growth and Partnerships

Randyland’s influence extended far beyond its colorful walls, playing a pivotal role in the cultural revival of Pittsburgh’s North Side. It stood alongside other cultural landmarks like the City of Asylum and the Mattress Factory, collectively reshaping the city’s artistic landscape. Randyland’s popularity soared, gaining international attention through viral listicles and becoming a must-visit destination for avid Instagram photographers. However, personal challenges arose in 2016 when Randy’s partner, Mac McDermott, was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. The outpouring of support from Randyland’s fans led to a heartwarming vacation for the couple and a significant decision for Randy to retire from his restaurant job, marking a new chapter in the museum’s journey.

Challenges and Legacy

In 2019, Randyland faced a somber moment as Mac McDermott passed away. His role, initially downplayed, was recognized posthumously as he was named co-founder, acknowledging his invaluable contributions. The same year, Randyland received the prestigious Mayor’s Award for Public Art, solidifying its impact on Pittsburgh’s cultural scene. However, 2020 brought unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many art museums to close. Randyland, being an outdoor attraction, continued to welcome visitors while adapting to the new normal with a transformed courtyard. Despite the hurdles, Randyland remains a free and cherished tourist attraction, a testament to art, resilience, and the enduring spirit of community, drawing visitors from all corners of the world.

The Way of Operation


At Randyland, the mission is to create a vibrant hub of creativity, art, and community that inspires and uplifts the spirits of all who visit. Dedication to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment where the power of art transcends boundaries and connects people from diverse backgrounds. Through a commitment to upcycling, sustainability, and the transformative potential of found object art, Randyland aims to instill a sense of wonder and appreciation for the beauty that can be found in the everyday. Striving to be a catalyst for positive change in Pittsburgh and beyond, celebrating the resilience of the human spirit and the ability of individuals to create beauty, even in the face of adversity.


The vision for Randyland includes continued evolution as a global symbol of creativity, community, and inspiration. Expanding its reach by inviting artists, innovators, and visitors from around the world to experience the magic of Randyland. Envisioning a future where Randyland serves as a dynamic platform for the exploration of new artistic expressions, a space where artists and creators collaborate to push the boundaries of imagination. As a beacon of hope and unity, Randyland fosters connections that transcend borders and backgrounds, inspiring individuals to become stewards of positive change in their communities. In the years to come, Randyland stands as a testament to the enduring power of art to bring joy, healing, and transformation to the world.

What Makes up Randyland?

Randyland, nestled in Pittsburgh’s North Side, is a kaleidoscope of creativity and community that thrives on artistic ingenuity and found object artistry. Comprising a vibrant collection of recycled and repurposed materials, this extraordinary space is a testament to the power of imagination and the beauty that can be found in the everyday.

One of Randyland’s defining features is its eclectic outdoor decor, adorned with an assortment of eye-catching items, including mannequins, plastic dinosaurs, pink flamingos, and more. These whimsical decorations are carefully arranged to create a visually captivating and colorful environment that beckons visitors to explore and discover the unexpected.

The fences that envelop Randyland are transformed into captivating murals, featuring joyful depictions of neighbors dancing and smiling. These murals not only contribute to the overall aesthetic but also convey a sense of community and togetherness, reflecting the founder Randy Gilson’s dedication to fostering connections among people.

Randyland’s courtyard, which underwent transformation to accommodate its growing popularity, serves as a vibrant backdrop for photographs, making it a favorite destination for selfie enthusiasts. The entire space is a living testament to the concept of upcycling, sustainability, and the boundless possibilities of found object art. Together, these elements create an enchanting and welcoming atmosphere, making Randyland a must-visit destination where art and community intertwine to inspire and uplift the spirits of all who enter.