Apr 172012
 

Words Beats Life Bum Rush the Boards Hip Hop Chess Festival

The world of chess can often be an exclusionary place for people of color and female players, but Mazi Mutafa, executive director of Words Beats & Life (WBL) wants to change that – one tournament at a time.

WBL, a national hip-hop arts education nonprofit, will present its seventh annual Bum Rush the Boards Chess Tournament on April 21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Columbia Heights Recreation Center in Northwest Washington, D.C.

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Mar 212011
 

It’s exciting to find a fresh new mural in DC, like this one we stumbled on while walking around the city last week. A friend says “the pieces were done for 368 music group artist Da Phuture for his single Stupid Dope Moves, as a custom paint job by Art Under Pressure. Also featured in the picture is “2″ by Cave and “Dali” by SLR.”

Phuture Dro Boiz Stupid Dope Moves Mural Washington DC Graffiti

It’s rare to find a mural that’s so bright, clean and spacious. Writers and crews often fit as much as possible onto available wall space, even spilling over like you see on the pavement at the bottom of “Moves”. Graffiti style in general tends to be wild and crazy. It’s cool to see the contrast of clean wall space and color that allows the styles in the lettering and character to really come through on the mural.

Below, the music video the mural was produced for. Note, lyrics NSFW:

 

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Jan 182011
 

A series of wheat-pasted posters appeared this week in DC’s historic U Street neighborhood to mark Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – under the banner of non-violence and “revolutionary spirit”.

MLK Posters @ Busboys + Poets on 14th + V St. NW DC

The posters read: “Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit … declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.”

The work appears in mid-town’s U Street Corridor, historically known for both turmoil and triumph. “The intersection of 14th Street and U Street was the epicenter of violence and destruction during the 1968 Washington, D.C. riots” (Wikipedia) – and the site of spontaneous celebration 40 years later on the election night of President Barack Obama.

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Jan 102011
 

“MR. OBAMA, WE NEED’E’ JOBS” – write OLHA + STEF in a message to President Obama on the DC Metro Orange line. In context, there’s a strangely hysterical irony here that both the left + right side of the political aisle can back: People need jobs!


Got a great photo of graffiti + advertising in Washington DC? Send us your pics!

We’re collecting photos of graffiti + advertising in Washington DC to catalog the influence of cultural arts in the media, marketing, community + politics of America’s Capital. Our second week features some great shots thanks to readers JS + HH.

Find + share more Reader Shots at: http://www.flickr.com/groups/mixedmediadistrict/

Jan 032011
 

We’re collecting photos of graffiti + advertising in Washington DC to catalog the influence of cultural arts in the media, marketing, community + politics of America’s Capital. Our first week features some great shots thanks to readers A.W. and Flickr user hch0007.

Got a shot for Reader Pics? Click here to submit your photos!


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Oct 052010
 

Riverfront Fest

Riverfront Fest hits the District this Saturday, October 9th — with a lineup featuring the No Kings Collective b-boy + break-dance battle, art by The Fridge + Art Whino, and event sponsorship by the ReadySetDC crew.

I’ve got 10 free tickets! First 5 people to LIKE, TWEET or COMMENT … go!

Dec 282009
 

Graffiti draws a remarkable counterpart to marketing and advertising. Memorable street campaigns take the same creativity, consistency, branding and visibility needed to make marketing work.

DC Graffiti

Street artists are marketers gone rogue (also a popular theme of the year) – developing and executing creative concepts, many with a specific and often populist tone. Like it or not, the closer you look, the more of a message there is to see in the details of graffiti.

Four Mile Run Bridge 2

Practice Wall 4

Four Mile Run Bridge

Practice Wall 2

Practice Wall 3

DC represented big in 2009, and themes in our graffiti and street art reflected important, meaningful local issues: problems of homelessness, DC’s non-state status, and few (but expanding) outlets for public art. Check out a full photo set of the year in DC graffiti on Flickr.

These are the freshest names and stand out styles in DC graffiti:

Names Up Everywhere:

JAKE

JAKE1

CHE

CHE1 CHE2 CHE+JAKE+Chinatown

MOE

MOE1 MOE2

REZIST

PEAR

PEAR1 PEAR2

AERA

AERA1 AERA2

DECOY

DECOY1 DECOY2

Click here to see a Flickr photo set of the year in DC graffiti.

Top Creative in DC Graffiti:

JAKE3

Fill: REZIST. (Next: JAKE). REZIST’s fill-ins are always crazy colorful – and legible. Same with JAKE, who tones down the new school funk and maintains a wild style.

REZIST


MOE

Bomb: CHE. (Next: MOE). A close call but easy to pick. MOE may have more tags up, but CHE is mighty close – with bigger fill-ins and better, riskier, more visible spots. MOE tagged Adams Morgan’s mural on DC’s non-state status – an ironic, shady move to deface a message the rest of DC’s graffiti seems to be all about. Watching CHE and MOE get up this year was like watching the good guy vs. the bad guy – and here, the good guy wins.

CHE


Che5

Spot: JAKE. (Next: CHE). JAKE is up in the undisputedly best spot in DC – in the middle of the Patomac River on Georgetown’s Key Bridge. To hit the spot, JAKE had to either get a boat, or haul gallons of paint and loads of supplies under the bridge span across its huge arcs, starting at several chainlink fences directly next to the US Park Police office. JAKE’s piece is one of the most visible in the District, in a place that’s the antithesis of graffiti – squeaky clean, picture perfect Georgetown. A huge hassle, if not nearly impossible to remove. It epitomizes graffiti in a clean, simple, colorful piece that carries impressive implications in logistics and location.

JAKE5

 

51*

Stencil: RVLTN. (Next: 51). Stencil images hit the streets of DC to illuminate two big issues in DC: homelessness and political representation. Amidst the toughest economic time in decades, DC slashed funding to social services that help the homeless. Next, the 51 stencil hit corners and street boxes with a simple, clear, concise message: make DC the 51st state – no matter how our vote tips the political scales.

ParkMyHome

PEEPSPoster: DECOY (Next: DIABETIK). DECOY covered more DC walls than any other poster artist this year with a distinct style that’s easy to spot. DECOY was part of an awesome cartoon poster campaign in early December at 14th/T (already removed!) along with the next pick: Peeps. All year, poster Peeps popped up all over the place in DC.

DECOY5

Sticker: Crook. This sticker is iconic of everything about graffiti and Washington DC: free speech, politics, corruption and dissent. The sticker’s amazing wit calls attention to the fundamental issues in both graffiti and politics – and common to us all: open access, free speech, expression, opportunity, and equality.

CROOK

A full photo set of the year in DC’s graffiti is posted on Flickr.

Something missing? Leave a comment and links to pics of your favorite DC graffiti!

Jun 122009
 

Artomatic opening night, the mixed media crew filmed visitors sharing stories and secrets with PostSecret creator Frank Warren. Simple and salacious, our secrets weave a sexy story of scandal, spirit, and surprising everyday experiences.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF8DaUv8si4]
PostSecret was created for Artomatic in 2004 and has become an international sensation, attracting nearly 500,000 secrets from around the world.

Frank Warren signs your copy of A Lifetime of Secrets Saturday, June 13th, 7-9pm at the 7th floor Artomatic store. Come see never-before-seen post cards and grab a limited edition ‘PostSecrets from Artomatic’ post card to send your secret!

PostSecret Confessions on Life, Death & God hits shelves October 6th.

Video by:

Eric Shutt, Richard Murby + Mila Adamova.

Special thanks to Frank Warren + PostSecret!