Open Walls provides outlet for legal street art

By Lanie Rivera

Are you looking for an outlet for your intrinsic artistic yearnings?

Contact Open Walls, an initiative that allows District residents to leave their mark on the city by painting a mural on a public wall space (legally, of course). Open Walls is sponsored by Albus Cavus, an international artist organization that improves public spaces while promoting neighborhood engagement through art.

On the project’s website, they list many benefits to their cause, including the enhancement of local culture, improvement of education, promotion of open expression and creativity, economic benefit for property owners and most importantly, the “improvement of public health.”

An article on the Elevation D.C. website recently observed that one of these murals commissioned by Open Walls in 2009, located along the Red Line’s tracks at the Rhode Island metro stop, has been crowded by illegal graffiti.

But the mural represents a legal, beneficial and artistic contribution to the area, changing typical assumptions about street artwork.

“… it stands in loud defiance of both the surrounding gray cityscape and stereotypes about graffiti,” wrote Elevation D.C.

Current Open Wall spaces in the District include Garfield Park, Edgewood, Sherman Wall, Perry Center, Ivy City and the Raritan River Art Walk, according to the project’s website.

To participate, follow the steps listed here. Paint the city.

*Video courtesy of Liane Kay. It tells the story behind the mural on the 700 foot wall on Rhode Island Avenue, Washington, D.C.