June 27, 2017
June 27, 2017
By Marissa Mitrovich | June 26, 2017 | Culture
As DC businesses embrace the art community, it embraces them right back.
A mural by Aniekan Udofia for Google.
The Washington art community is working hand-in-hand with fashion retailers, real estate developers, and the tech industry to make the city come alive with vibrant murals and installations.
The casualwear king Steven Alan commissioned Virginia-based artist Lynda Bostrom to paint a mural of cherry blossoms across its storefront this past spring. Google hired local artist Aniekan Udofia to paint a mural in their office honoring the National Museum of African American History & Culture.
And it’s not just murals. The new Line Hotel enlisted architect-turned-cultural curator Svetlana Legetic to source more than 3,000 pieces from local artists for its guest rooms and corridors. The new Westlight condos, developed by EastBanc and JBG, will include a light installation by renowned German industrial designer Ingo Maurer.
These collaborations are one part edgy marketing strategy and one part community engagement. The beloved Shaw-based artist Maggie O’Neill, who tapped more than 20 local artists to design Teddy & the Bully Bar when it opened a few years ago, has based her entire creative firm, Swatchroom, around the idea of collaboration in the arts. Artists understand, she says, that “these partnerships provide an opportunity for them to do what they love while also establishing a strong art economy in DC.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATIE SCHMID (STEVEN ALAN); ADRIAN GAUT (THE LINE HOTEL); COURTESY OF GOOGLE (GOOGLE MURAL)