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The decline of murals in Washington, D.C.

See how people are responding to the lack of care being done to murals in the District

Dacha’s mural of Elizabeth Taylor is a well-loved public art piece in Washington, D.C.
Photo via Ted Eytan

As Washington, D.C.’s landscape and building designs change, so too does the public art. In a recent article, Washington City Paper reported on how murals have been disappearing or in need of repairs in the District.

The Washington City Paper article goes in-depth on which murals have been worse for wear and what developers have tried to integrate murals into their designs.

Below, see some of the highlights of the article, which can be read more in-depth here:

  1. Mural designer Cory L. Stowers said, “For many of the murals, they only have a lifespan of 10 years, especially considering the transition that D.C. is in.”
  2. Stowers further added, “I think the level of connectivity that people have when it’s a mural—it’s a connection that greatly outweighs the connection they have with graffiti. It’s a bigger loss [when it’s gone].”
  3. Dr. Perry Frank, creator of the D.C. Murals: Spectacle and Story website, said, “Let us not make it a fight between development and art and make it worse than it really is.”
  4. D.C. artist and muralist G. Byron Peck said, “It hurts more to walk by a mural being destroyed by backhoes and sledgehammers. For me it’s a rather painful process to witness it. It’s rather depressing. But then you say, ‘well I’ll just make more murals.’”
  5. Nancee Lyons, MuralsDC coordinator, stated, “It’s ironic. People agree to have murals, but it’s harder and harder to find a place to put them.”

Mural Decay [Washington City Paper]