One More Mural Up in Obama Staircase Project

One More Mural Up in Obama Staircase Project

By Orli Trumbull, Reece Williams (Freshmen)

Full of vibrant and bold colors, the mural outside stairwell A has finally been completed. The eye-catching blocks of paint are now adorned with the face of August Wilson and the letter “A” in a checkerboard-like fashion. This style of art draws inspiration from Andy Warhol—another artist with roots in Pittsburgh. Ms. Demark, a ceramics teacher at Obama Academy, was involved in the early stages of planning the mural. She says that while August Wilson is directly depicted in the art, it is still “paying homage to Andy Warhol and his art, and being born here in Pittsburgh, attending Schenley, and attending Carnegie Mellon University.”

Stairwells A, B, and C are all designed after proposed names for what we now know as Obama Academy. During the transition from Peabody to Obama, the community was given a survey with possible school names including Barack Obama, Andy Warhol, and Roberto Clemente. Although Andy Warhol and Roberto Clemente were not chosen, they are still represented in murals around the school.

So why these names? Andy Warhol was a Pittsburgh born artist who gained fame for his pigmented pop art and Roberto Clemente was a star right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both embraced Pittsburgh as their home, had inspiring careers here, and have had a significant impact on Pittsburgh’s culture and institutions. 

Mr. Ehman and Mr. Chapman, with the help of art teachers and student artists, have helmed this project, and aim to cover every stairway doorway with a mural over the next few years.

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