This mural is done in honor of Pulitzer Award winning, African–American playwright August Wilson. Born Frederick August Kittel in 1945, he took the pen name August Wilson when he was twenty and began his writing career. Initially he worked at being a poet, but in 1979 his career as a successful playwrite began.
August Wilson’s Plays
- 1979 Jitney
- 1982 Ma Rainey̵s Black Bottom
- 1983 Fences, which earned his first Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award
- 1984 Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
- 1986 The Piano Lesson, earned the second Pulitzer Prize
- 1990 Two Trains Running
- 1995 Seven Guitars
- 2001 King Hedley II
- 2003 Gem of the Ocean
- 2005 Radio Golf
Mr Wilson’s ten plays are a series, known as The Pittsburgh Cycle. Each of these plays is set in a different decade of the twentieth century, where he depicts life as an African–American here. Nine of his plays are set in the Hill District, where this mural now stands in his honor.
Along the bottom of the mural are ten scenes. Each created to represent one of the plays. These images are the portion of the mural done by young artists as a summer work program. They learn art and painting from established artists and spend their summer doing something that beautifies their neighborhood and educates us all.
We found so much symbolism crammed into every corner on this mural. Some of the people passing by did not know who August Wilson was, and as we discussed his accomplishments and pointed out some of the images in the mural, they seemed as fascinated as we were. That shows promise that the mural will do it’s job in educating more Pittsburghers about this talented writer.