Saturday, January 23, 2010

Art or Eyesore?

I am reposting this blog from Congress Heights on the Rise: Nov 7, 2009

The Advoc8te took a stroll up Mellon Street today to the corner of MLK Avenue and I saw that the Mellon Street Corner store has added a new mural on their wall facing Mellon Street,  next to the tattoo shop mural of Dr. King and President Obama.

I am not sure if this new mural is art, an advertisement or both but I am pretty sure whatever it is I hate it - I really hate it. I think that that in order to encourage business development on the Congress Heights corridor the corridor needs to look more inviting for business - both for  potenital customers and businesses alike. The visual standards need to be raised along with business services and options.  Personally, I really like murals - when done tastefully they can really have a positive impact on a community and add a certain flair and character. My own personal opinion (and we all know what they say about opinons) is that the murals on Mellon Street  perhaps aren't the best fit for where we are trying to go as a community.

In terms of the Mellon Street Corner store mural while I totally appreciate the stores desire to want to advertise their business,  highlighting only the stereotypical things you would expect to find in a low income neighborhood with few services and options (check cashing, money wiring services and last but not least - the lottery) underestimates the needs of their consumers and in the long run places limitations on the potential for their business to expand. In regards to the Obama/King mural overall I like the intent of the mural - I just think it could have been executed a bit... differently (to be honest I thought the depiction of Obama looked more like Malcom X). I am super curious to know if DC goverment has rules or regulations regarding the installation of wall murals on commercial property. Do they have to go before the community for approval or input prior to being installed?

I am interested in hearing some other opinions of the murals on the corner of Mellon Street and MLK. Art or Eyesore? Both? Neither? What do you think?

 Either way I would have preferred to see these type of public artistic/advertising installations be presented to the community for commentsbefore being installed.

On the far right wall is the Obama/King mural that went up after Obama won the presidential election.  Lord knows I love Obama and Dr. King and I really do appreciate the sentiment behind the installation of this mural but again I just don't like it.  My preference would have been for the iconic Obama "Change"  or "Progress" poster or perhaps one of his speeches - after community input of course. This is yet another example of how I feel if ANC 8C was a productive ANC, partnerships could be developed with local businesses and local artists to work with the community to include wall art and other types of artistic expressions in the community - in a beneficial and aesthetic pleasing manner.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tribute Mural at MLK