DC Murals Paint The City’s Past

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,312
    DC’s unique neighborhoods show off their history and pride with vibrant murals. Scattered all over the historic city, residents enjoy a colorful blast to the past.

    E. Richer: From the National Gallery of Art to the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.

    C.

    , has an abundance of famous artwork. But beyond museum walls, the capital is also home to many public murals which reflect the diversity and history of the city. Rik Freeman: D.

    C. is really interesting city in that it's not a large city, but it has all of these little neighborhoods. Each one has their own flavor and their own character. The murals here reflect that. E. Richer: One of D.

    C.

    's most iconic murals is Byron Peck's portrait of Duke Ellington in the U Street jazz district. Ashley Richardson: I think that the Duke Ellington mural basically sums up the pioneer that he was in music. Amy Chin: It definitely adds character and tells the story about that location. Rik Freeman: And when I look at an image of Duke Ellington, I'm not just seeing Duke Ellington; I'm seeing the era that he comes from, I'm seeing what was going on at that time, and I'm asking questions if I don't know. E. Richer: In addition to D.

    C.

    's more traditional murals, other forms of street art are also gaining acceptance, though many agree they're still aligned between art and illegal graffiti. Rik Freeman: There is graffiti that I think is very artful. What I have a problem with is the people would just want to come along and tag. Amy Chin: It was done tastefully, then yeah, it's art, but it was just random scribbles, then I don't know how that can be considered art. That's just vandalism. E. Richer: To combat illegal graffiti, a group called MuralsDC provides artists with resources to paint murals in sponsored sites. The goal is to engage youth and revitalize communities with public art that reflects the unique culture and history of each neighborhood. Constance Roy: So we need the murals in somebody's tough neighborhood to let the young people know where they come from. Rik Freeman: That to me is the whole theme from this is to learn from your past, from your neighborhood, your community, your city, your region and on and on and on. E. Richer: From Washington D.

    C.

    , this is E. Richer.