CITY BEAU­TI­FUL

AS DC BUSI­NESSES EM­BRACE THE ART COM­MU­NITY, IT EM­BRACES THEM RIGHT BACK.

Capitol File - - FULL FRONTAL - BY MARISSA MITROVICH

The Wash­ing­ton art com­mu­nity is work­ing hand-in-hand with fash­ion re­tail­ers, real es­tate de­vel­op­ers, and the tech in­dus­try to make the city come alive with vi­brant mu­rals and in­stal­la­tions.

The ca­su­al­wear king Steven Alan com­mis­sioned Vir­ginia-based artist Lynda Bostrom to paint a mu­ral of cherry blos­soms across its store­front this past spring. Google hired lo­cal artist Aniekan Ud­ofia to paint a mu­ral in their of­fice hon­or­ing the Na­tional Mu­seum of African Amer­i­can His­tory & Cul­ture.

And it’s not just mu­rals. The new Line Ho­tel en­listed ar­chi­tect-turned­cul­tural cu­ra­tor Svet­lana Legetic to source more than 3,000 pieces from lo­cal artists for its guest rooms and cor­ri­dors. The new West­light con­dos, de­vel­oped by EastBanc and

JBG, will in­clude a light in­stal­la­tion by renowned Ger­man in­dus­trial de­signer Ingo Mau­rer.

Th­ese col­lab­o­ra­tions are one part edgy mar­ket­ing strat­egy and one part com­mu­nity en­gage­ment. The beloved Shaw-based artist Mag­gie O’Neill, who tapped more than 20 lo­cal artists to de­sign Teddy & the Bully Bar when it opened a few years ago, has based her en­tire creative firm, Swatch­room, around the idea of col­lab­o­ra­tion in the arts. Artists un­der­stand, she says, that “th­ese part­ner­ships pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for them to do what they love while also es­tab­lish­ing a strong art econ­omy in DC.”

ơƞƫƞ ƚƛƨƯƞ ƚƧƝ ƛƞƥƨư: Mag­gie O’Neill tapped 20-plus artists to work on Teddy & the Bully Bar. ơƞƫƞ ƚƧƝ ƚƛƨƯƞ: Svet­lana Legetic cu­rated the rooms at The Line Ho­tel. Artists are leav­ing their mark all over DC, as in this light in­stal­la­tion by Ingo Mau­rer at West­light. ƚƛƨƯƞ ƚƧƝ ƭƨƩ: A mu­ral at Steven Alan. ƥƞƟƭ: A mu­ral by Aniekan Ud­ofia for Google.

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