Ben & Jerry's ice cream (Photo via Flickr/Qfamily)

Capitol Hill residents and visitors can get free ice cream — with a side of children’s art — near Eastern Market tomorrow.

Stanton-EastBanc and Clark Construction are scheduled to dish out complimentary scoops of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from 5 to 6:30 p.m. near the Hine redevelopment project at 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE. The companies, which are working on the redevelopment, are celebrating new artwork students from 27 area schools made for a construction fence.

The artwork will be on display for the next 20 months.

The transformation of the former Hine Junior High School property at 700 Pennsylvania Ave. SE is expected to bring residential, retail and office space by the end of 2017. A Trader Joe’s is slated to be among the complex’s tenants.

Photo via Flickr/Qfamily


Morning Rundown

Library of Congress Main Reading Room

Maine Avenue Fish Market v. D.C. and The Wharf — Two tenants from Maine Avenue Fish Market claim that the D.C. government and developers of The Wharf mixed-use project “entered into a conspiracy” to force out their businesses. A 34-page complaint accuses the District and the developers of “harassment,” “governmental overreach” and “unjust attempts to out [the tenants] from their leased property.” [Washington City Paper]

NoMa Mural Artists Reflect on Work — Omar Pasha and other artists who helped create 14,000 square feet of murals in NoMa talked to WAMU about their work. “The mural brings together the community in terms of camaraderie, and a combined effort toward a single cause,” Pasha said. “I think that’s really important for kids, education-wise.” [WAMU]

Should D.C. Try to Bring Olympic Events to Capitol Hill Area? — Boston and the U.S. Olympic Committee this week pulled their bid to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to the city, giving the District another opportunity to secure the Games. Supporters of the District’s bid had discussed the possibility of constructing major Olympic venues in the Capitol Hill area. Hill Now is asking  readers to weigh in on whether D.C. should try to bring Olympic events to the Capitol Hill area. [Hill Now]

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A little drizzle didn’t deter two community groups from throwing a party to unveil 14,000 square feet of murals in NoMa last night.

The NoMa Business Improvement District and hip-hop nonprofit group Words Beats & Life welcomed about 75 people for the official debut of the “largest public art project” in the District. The celebration included free gelato and popcorn, face paint, music and break dancing.

Rain initially forced attendees under a large tent at Storey Park (1005 1st St. NE), where 55 artists designed the murals. But the party went on as rain lightened and organizers moved out of the shelter.

“After July Fourth, when I was literally soaked to the bone, I don’t even notice the rain anymore,” NoMa BID president Robin-Eve Jasper said with a chuckle.

Victoria Murray Baatin, legislative and community affairs director for the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, thanked artists and members of the community for their time and contributions. The artists used more than 200 gallons of primer and 500 cans of paint for the murals, beginning work in May.

“This mural really illustrates the value of talent and the importance of collaboration,” she said. “Public art is a catalyst for change often times and it can create a sense of community and liven the day-to-day activity of any given place. Certainly, this space achieves that.”

Artist Max Gibbons of Words Beats & Life painted a large black and blue calligraphy mandala in the center of the park. He said all of the poems that make up the mural came from the program’s students who are 10 to 22 years old.

“They put their hearts and souls into writing about their communities and their neighborhoods,” he said. “So I took what they wrote, put it in a design and physically put it in this location.”


NoMa mural (Photo via Flickr/NoMa Business Improvement District)

The “largest public art project” in the District is set to have its official unveiling in NoMa tomorrow with free food, music and dancing.

To celebrate the completion of 14,000 square feet of murals at Storey Park (1005 1st St. NE), the NoMa Business Improvement District and D.C. nonprofit group Words Beats & Life are slated to throw a party that starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday on the transformed lot. The festivities will include disc jockeys and break dancing performances, in addition to the free food.

Designed by 55 artists, the murals portray NoMa’s industrial history, residents and the Metropolitan Branch Trail, among other elements of the neighborhood, NoMa BID president Robin-Eve Jasper said.

After the unveiling, the NoMa BID will have a free screening of “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo” on the lot. The movie, which is part of the organization’s outdoor film series, is slated to begin at 8:45 p.m.

Photo via Flickr/NoMa Business Improvement District


A sound-sensitive art installation is coming to the L Street NE underpass, the NoMa Parks Foundation announced today.

The organization has selected “Lightweave” by Future Cities Lab as the second winner of its “Underpass Art Park” competition. Workers are slated to begin installing Lightweave later this year.

“The jury made its decision to select Lightweave based on excellence and innovation of its design but also its remarkable complementarity with the L Street Plaza, planned for the west side of the underpass,” the foundation’s chairman, Charles Wilkes, said in a statement.

The installation will curve along the walls on both sides of the underpass’s pedestrian walkway. The passing of cars and other noises that exceed 50 decibels will affect the color and movement of the lights.

“Lightweave translates these sound events into fluid wave patterns of light,” Future Cities Lab’s website says. “Similar to dropping a single pebble into an undisturbed pond, waves of light slowly oscillate through the Lightweave.”

The NoMa Parks Foundation will hold a community meeting introducing the design and construction teams on July 13 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Lobby Project (1200 1st St. NE).

The organization in April picked Thurlow Small Architecture and NIO architects to design the first underpass installation at M Street NE. Called “Rain,” the passageway under the train tracks will have “countless points of light raining down from its ceiling,” according to the foundation.

Images via Future Cities Lab


Small scraps of butcher paper and the aroma of aerosol filled a Barracks Row alley today, as a mural took shape on a building’s wall.

Local artist Gregg Deal spent today stenciling and painting a two-tone mural titled, “Your Money For Nothing,” on a wall behind The Fridge art gallery at 516 1/2 8th St. SE.

Deal’s work is in association with the gallery’s upcoming show, “Hipster Fascism,” which also will display some of his painted work.

The mural is part of the “Square Series,” a collection of Deal’s work that addresses modern political and social issues, such as cultural appropriation and police brutality.

Works in the series “were just originally print pieces, but my hope was to create murals of them,” Deal said. “They’re two-color pieces, they stand out and they’re stylized almost like propaganda pieces that touch on the political and social feelings that everybody is having nowadays. I think it’s important to make statements that raise questions and have a dialogue about what these things may mean.”

Hipster Fascism’s opening reception at The Fridge is June 20 from 6 to 11 p.m. The art will remain on display until July 12.

Deal does not currently have plans for the location of his next mural, but said he’s open to suggestions.


Storey Park lot(Updated at 5:20 p.m. Wednesday) A paved lot used for outdoor movies in NoMa will become the city’s “largest public art project” in the coming weeks, a local nonprofit organization has announced.

The one-acre surface at 1st and L streets NE will transform into a mural designed by more than 100 artists, according to Words Beats & Life, which uses hip-hop as a tool to improve the D.C. area. The lot is currently the home of NoMa’s free outdoor film series and is set to become the Storey Park residential, office and retail complex by 2017.

Naz Farchtchi, a Words Beats & Life representative, said she didn’t know yet what the painting will look like. But she said it will involve “a lot” of paint.

Words Beats & Life is looking for volunteers this weekend to help prepare the lot for the mural. The “GO B!G: NoMa Paint Party,” which includes free food, music and supplies, starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Interested locals can RSVP online.

Locals also can listen to live music and watch the artists at work for free June 6, as part of the “Storey Park Junction Paint Jam.” The painting will happen from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We want to make this a big community thing,” Farchtchi said.


Navy Yard mural

A construction site in Navy Yard is getting a little color, with the help of D.C. students and an artists collective.

Dozens of students, under the guidance of Albus Cavus Open Walls DC artists, are creating a mural inside a temporary covered walkway in The Yards, according to a spokesman for the development. The pathway runs between Foundry Lofts on Tingey Street SE and the Arris mixed-use building under construction on Water Street SE.

The students started painting the walkway’s walls with spots of blue, green and orange on a yellow background Sunday. Work on the mural is expected to conclude this upcoming Sunday. The mural will be almost 300 feet long when finished.

The final design of the mural is unclear, however. A representative of Albus Cavus Open Walls DC didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Students from Capitol Hill Day School, DC Scholars Public Charter School and DC Scholars Stanton Elementary are among the young artists participating in the project.

Albus Cavus Open Walls DC has five other murals, including public art behind 128 M St. NW and by the ad hoc skate park under the Southeast Freeway near 2nd Street SE.


Underpass installation rendering (Photo via NoMa Business Improvement District)

The M Street NE underpass in NoMa will get a little brighter with the help of some light designed to resemble rain, the NoMa Parks Foundation announced today.

The passageway under the train tracks will have “countless points of light raining down from its ceiling” as part of an art project for the space, according to the foundation. The installation, known as “Rain,” will get its shower effect from light-emitting diode (LED) lights inside hundreds of polycarbonate tubes.

The project still is in the design phase, but construction is expected to start this fall.

“This is the first of four exciting transformations planned for NoMa’s underpasses,” Charles Wilkes, chairman of the NoMa Parks Foundation, said in a statement. “The goal is to turn what is now dark and somewhat foreboding into beautiful and inviting spaces.”

Representatives of Thurlow Small Architecture and NIO architects, which will design the installation, will meet with locals April 27 to discuss the project.

The design team said it intends to create a relaxing space for NoMa residents.

“Our tunnel proposal for NoMa does what all good urban parks do: it offers a moment of openness, a space to breathe and a place where thoughts can drift away,” the team said in a statement.

Last year, the NoMa Parks Foundation started looking for designers to beautify the underpasses at K, L and M streets NE, as well as Florida Avenue NE. The group received almost 250 submissions. Wilkes and art experts narrowed the list to 10 finalists.

Photo via NoMa Business Improvement District

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Three murals will be completed in L’Enfant Plaza this week, following the $46 million makeover the complex received earlier this year.

Three international artists are painting murals in and around L’Enfant Plaza. This art is part of a larger project of 20 murals by Chevy Chase-based JBG Companies, which owns the complex in Southwest.

Munich-based artist Rafael Gerlach  (also known as SatOne) is painting an abstract orange, red, white and blue mural on a loading dock wall. He hopes to create contrasts between his mural and the “grays, beiges and blues of concrete,” his artist’s statement says.

James Reka, an Australian artist who lives in Berlin, is painting a wall along the the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Terrace next to Starbucks. Reka is known for painting surrealist, abstract creatures. And Polish artist Nawer is painting an interior wall in the L’Enfant Plaza dining area.

JBG Companies is funding the murals as part of a “place-making initiative” to foster the identity of neighborhoods. The project is curated by the National Harbor art gallery Art Whino.

The murals will be up for the “long term,” a JBG Companies representative said.

Photos courtesy of JBG Companies


NoMa is becoming a little more colorful, thanks to artists working on three new murals.

For the past couple weeks, artists have been painting murals on the sides of three buildings: 51 N St. NE, 1300 1st St. NE and 33 New York Ave. NE. The N Street Mural Project is a collaboration between the National Harbor gallery Art Whino and The JBG Companies. The project was created to improve and revitalize spaces before they are redeveloped, the gallery’s website says.

Art Whino selected the three artists — Momo, Kyle Hughes-Odgers and Rubin — based, in part, on their production of art with geometric designs. The artists needed to be creative with working with unconventional spaces, since the buildings have numerous angles instead of just flat surfaces.

Video shows Hughes-Odgers and his wife putting up one of the three works.

Viewers can walk to all three murals in a short time, as they’re all within about a block of each other.

The murals are expected to be finished by next Thursday, Nov. 6.


Grasshopper (Photo via Capitol Hill Arts Workshop)Local families still have the chance to name a small piece of the Hill.

The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop is collecting final votes for the name of the grasshopper sculpture hung on a signpost at 7th and G streets SE.

The 40-inch-long work made of PVC foam was created by artist Carolina Mayorga as part of the Capitol Hill Alphabet Animal Art Project, which placed a koala, an emu and more on streetlights and signposts in the area.

Locals submitted names for the grasshopper and then voted on the top three: CHAWmper, Mr. Hopper and Gauguin.

Votes are being accepted through Oct. 30 on CHAW’s Facebook and Twitter pages, at CHAW’s front desk at 545 7th St. SE and by emailing [email protected].

The winning name will be announced during the HILLoween festivities on Oct. 31. The sculpture will get its name at 6:30, after trick-or-treating begins at 5:30 p.m. The full HILLoween schedule is available here.

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