ON THE WEST LAWN THROUGH NOVEMBER 2020
Scroll down for information, mural photographs, and more.
The National Building Museum, in partnership with the P.A.I.N.T.S. Institute and the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID), is pleased to present Murals That Matter: Activism Through Public Art. Located on the Museum’s West Lawn (5th Street NW, between F and G streets), the exhibition features D.C. street art created earlier this summer in response to social justice protests in the nation’s capital and elsewhere. The murals speak to the impact that art can have on the built environment as well as the nation’s urgent need for dialogue and reflection.
Gallery Place Murals in Exhibition Order
1. Shawn Perkins (Detroit, Michigan), @sptheplug • Black Lives Matter (In Name and Word)
2. The Denver Smith Foundation (Upper Marlboro, Maryland), @denversmithfoundation • We Run With Ahmaud
3. Keiona Clark (Washington, D.C.), @keionaclarkart • Support the Movement
4.1. The Denver Smith Foundation + Nicole Joseph (Washington, D.C.) • Sunflower
4.2. Good Letters Design (Washington, D.C.), @goodlettersdesign • She Matters
4.3. The Denver Smith Foundation • Black Women #SayHerName
5. Dez Zambrano (Los Angeles, California), @dezcustomz • Peace Dove
6. Dez Zambrano • Black Lives Matter
7. Levi Robinson (Newark, New Jersey), @levirobinsonart + Dez Zambrano • Black Lives Matter
8. Luther Wright (Washington, D.C.), @lwart • Black Lives Matter
9. Sonia Jones (Washington, D.C.), @soniajonestheartist • Panther Party
10. Jay Durrah (Washington, D.C.), @jay_durrah • Am I Next?
11. Shani Shih (Washington, D.C.), @shanishih • One Under the Sun
12. Shani Shih • All Power to the People
13. Senia Cade (Queens, New York), @sc._art • Just Getting Started
14. Miguel Davis Jr. (Washington, D.C.), @sivadart_ • Let Us Breathe
15. Kimeko Robinson (Washington, D.C.), @tkokocreole • Black Lives Matter/God Is Love
16. Sonia Jones • Little Black Girl
17. Moses Rivera (Washington, D.C.), @mosart_artwear / Black Lives Matter
18. Moses Rivera • Black Lives Matter 2
2020 March on Washington Guest Mural
19. Keith Smith (Chicago, Illinois), @afrokilla • The Light of the World
The Big Six
1. Shawn Perkins (Detroit, Michigan), @sptheplug • John Lewis
2. Demont Pinder (Queens, New York), @demontpinder • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
3. Dez Zambrano (Los Angeles, California), @dezcustomz • Whitney Moore Young Jr.
4. Levi Robinson (Newark, New Jersey), @levirobinsonart • A. Philip Randolph & Dorothy Height
5. Mohammed Gafar (Saudi Arabia), @kreativecustomkicks • James Farmer Jr.
6. Jamaal Lamaaj (Washington, D.C.), @jlamaaj • Roy Wilkins
Dez Zambrano (@dezcustomz)
Kimeko Robinson (@tkokocreole)
Jay Durrah (@jay_durrah)
Shani Shih (@shanishih)
Moses Rivera (@mosart_artwear)
Luther Wright (@lwart)
Meghan Malik / Denver Smith Foundation (@denversmithfoundation)
Miguel Davis Jr. (@sivadart_)
Senia Cade (@sc._art)
Madelyn Adams / Good Letters Design (@goodlettersdesign)
Shawn Perkins (@sptheplug)
Keiona Clark (@keionaclarkart)
Levi Robinson (@levirobinsonart)
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Learn how street art can transform public space, serve as form of protest and activism, and contribute to the civic discourse on important topics. John Chisolm, Executive Director, P.A.I.N.T.S. Institute; Gerren Price, Director of Public Space Operations, DowntownDC Business Improvement District; Levi Robinson, visual artist; and Tim Wright, founder of Attucks Adams, a D.C.-based history tour organization, discuss how public art contributes to the character of neighborhoods and was essential in supporting social justice protests in Washington, D.C., following the murder of George Floyd. The program is moderated by National Building Museum’s Caitlin Bristol, Project Manager for Exhibitions.
To coincide with 2020 March on Washington events, Murals That Matter opened on Friday, August 28, 2020. The exhibition comprises both existing and newly created artwork that will be on display through late November.
- Gallery Place Murals: In June 2020, amid an unprecedented global pandemic, protesters took to the streets of Washington, D.C., in response to the murder of George Floyd—and Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others who came before. To capture the historic moment, the DowntownDC BID worked with the P.A.I.N.T.S. Institute to commission dozens of murals for boarded-up storefronts. (The organization’s acronym stands for “Providing Artists with Inspiration in Non-Traditional Settings.”) The public experience of these plywood barriers, now reframed through vibrant art, shifted from “stay away” to “come look.” The Gallery Place neighborhood was transformed with artworks that expressed love, unity, and hope; that spoke to racial injustice and societal inequities; and that proclaimed support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Murals That Matter displays 18 of those murals.
- The Big Six: In a celebration of the life and legacy of the late Rep. John Lewis, a towering figure of the Civil Rights movement, six artists have created murals commemorating the members of the “Big Six” who organized the original March on Washington in 1963: John Lewis, Chairman, Student Non-Violence Coordinating Committee; Whitney Young, National Director, Urban League; A. Philip Randolph, President, Negro American Labor Council; Martin Luther King Jr., President, Southern Christian Leadership Conference; James Farmer, Director, Congress of Racial Equality; Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. These murals, painted live on August 28 and 29, are now part of the exhibition.
Top photo: Gallery Place Mural in progress. Image courtesy DowntownDC BID.
MURALS THAT MATTER GALLERY
Gallery Place 1–18 & Big Six mural images courtesy Aaron Hernandez (IG: @errand_boy) © P.A.I.N.T.S. Institute / 19: Museum Staff
Murals That Matter: Activism Through Public Art is made possible with support from HumanitiesDC and the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.