Black artist Arthur Haywood IV's out-of-this-world mural theme speaks to inspiration and aspiration of Black youth and women. Haywood was inspired to create this mural by his love of science fiction and its limitless, imaginative themes where anything is possible. He especially wanted young Black girls and women to be inspired to follow their dreams, so he designed and modeled the mural’s astronaut on a friend of his. Haywood hopes his artwork reminds you to dream big, whether your dream is literally to become an astronaut, or whether your dream receives a lift from the mural’s message to shoot for the stars.
Haywood’s home base is in the Philadelphia area, where he has created murals for Philly Mural Arts, a national and international leader in city-wide mural arts programs. He also created a series of murals in Paris. Through his work, he strives to celebrate the achievements and aspirations of diverse people.
The mural is located on the side of Capital Joe coffee shop, with sightlines to the majestic PA Capitol Complex. The artist’s father is a long-time state senator who has spent many hours dividing time between his Harrisburg office and his home district near Philadelphia. Tying the mural site to the Capitol dome illustrates a father-son connection that is yet another inspirational and aspirational note to this mural’s story, especially for BIPOC visitors.