Rust Belt America is “Fences”

Although the critically-acclaimed new film “Fences” is set in the 1950s, it may be the most timely movie of star-director Denzel Washington’s career. Rust Belt America is Fences.

The film, adapted from the late August Wilson’s award-winning play of the same name, illuminates the inner lives of working class Americans living in communities like Braddock, PA throughout the Rust Belt. The same kind of citizens whose economic grievances have been largely credited with swinging this year’s presidential election — the only difference is these protagonists are black. The themes are universal. But, depending on which side of the Fence your on,  the circumstances breeding the conditions are extremely different.

Life in Pittsburgh’s Hill District filled August Wilson’s plays with stories of the every day man experiences that transcended Braddock, Pennsylvania and Wilson’s home town. In taking the award-winning playwright’s work and turning it into film, two-time Oscar-winning actor, producer and director Denzel Washington is bringing Wilson’s genius back where it began.

“Fences,”which Washington directed and stared in is a Pittsburgh story and he wanted it to be filmed Pittsburgh. He’s acknowledged that the stories he’s herd from life long residents helps to feed the authenticity of the film. Generation after generation of authentic Black American rust belt culture. Just like the authenticity of Black rust belt culture that is woven into the very fabric of Braddock. Wilson, who died in 2005 at 60, won a Tony Award and two Pulitzer Prizes, among other honors, for his work. 

Not long after the release of this timeless, master piece of a film on Christmas Day and around the same time as the opening of this organizations funding apparatus, Visual Landscape Gallery Boutique, Silver Eye Photography will present a solo exhibition by Braddock Inclusion project partner, renowned photographer and media artist, LaToya Ruby Frazier, at the August Wilson Center’s main galleries in the Spring of 2017. Latoya will exhibit a large selection of new works, which offer an incisive exploration of the legacy of racism and economic decline in America’s Rust Belt, as embodied by her hometown of Braddock, PA.

For this extraordinary exhibition Latoya will be creating a new series of collaborative portraits inspired by August Wilson’s Fences and The Piano Lesson. In addition she will be creating a new exsclusive series of work to presented at the opening and then featured at Visual Landscape Galley Boutique also in the Spring of 2017. Please share and stay tuned for more updates.

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