MuralsDC will kick off its 2012 graffiti prevention program with a guided bicycle tour on July 12, designed to highlight the murals created since the program’s inception in 2007. The tour will leave at 8 pm from BicycleSPACE at 1019 7th Street, NW. A second tour is planned for the end of the month to focus on the remainder of the murals.
“Washington, DC is fast becoming known for its bikable streets and its public art,” said DC Department of Public Works (DPW) director William O. Howland Jr. “This tour allows us to merge the two while showcasing the program’s ability to transform buildings and areas previously blighted by illegal graffiti.”
The cyclists will tour murals in the Petworth, Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights areas. The second tour will concentrate largely on the murals in northeast and southeast Washington, DC.
“We’ve enjoyed our collaboration with this program that highlights the great public art in Washington, DC,” said Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH). “The Murals Program transforms the city into an outdoor museum waiting to be explored.”
MuralsDC coordinated the tour with BicycleSPACE, a bike sales and repair shop which also serves as a social gathering spot offering weekly bike tours, yoga classes, film screenings and more.
“We’re excited to help highlight some of the murals throughout the city,” said the shop’s general manager Jordan Mittelman. “These hidden treasures are a great way to open peoples’ eyes to what’s out there in terms of public art and what better way to see them than by bike?”
Words, Beats and Life executive director Mazi Mutafa, who serves as the MuralsDC art consultant, will serve as the “voice” of the tour, providing information about the history and meaning of the murals along the route.
MuralsDC has served as an effective graffiti deterrent program for six years. A collaboration between DPW, DCCAH, and Words, Beats and Life, the program positively engages District youth by teaching proper art techniques and respect for public property. To date, the program has installed 34 works of public art throughout the city. The program will install murals in Wards 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 throughout this summer.