In an effort to combat unsightly graffiti and improve the appearance of the best neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., a local organization coordinated the installation of a colorful new mural in Shaw last week. Area residents have long been treated to the regular sight of beautiful and historic architecture throughout the city, but now they can enjoy viewing large works of art in some of the most unlikely places.
Since 2007, MuralDC has seen the creation of 37 pieces of public art in the District, including the latest, which was added to a wall adjacent to a liquor store parking lot at 3rd Street and Florida Avenue NW, according to the Washington City Paper. Local artist Aniekan Udofia designed the mural, which is titled “Reloaded” and depicts a woman holding a large pencil similar to the way one would cradle a machine gun.
Udofia said the work’s message is that of the power of wordsmithing, The Washington Times reported.
“A lot of times in action movies you reload guns, but I’m using that as a metaphor,” he told the news source. “The pencil used as a weapon – the pen is mightier than the sword. Reloaded is the idea of the pencil being held as the weapon of choice.”
Both Udofia, who currently lives in Adams Morgan, and MuralDC are responsible for the critically-acclaimed mural that was added to the wall at Ben’s Chili Bowl, the District’s famed eatery at 1213 U St., NW in the Shaw neighborhood. The piece, which features the likenesses of President Barack Obama, Bill Cosby, Donnie Simpson and Chuck Brown, was added last summer.
For now, work is just beginning. MuralDC told the Washington City Paper that it has plans to collaborate with the Smithsonian Latino Center to install a unique piece at the Latin American Montessori Bilingual charter school on Missouri Avenue NW. In addition, a depiction of the 1963 March on Washington is expected to be added to Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE in the coming months.