In 1988, local DC artist G. Byron Peck led a project funded by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and Mayor Marion Barry's Summer Youth Employment Program that installed a mural on the walls of both sides of the 6th Street Southeast Freeway underpass. After more than three decades, the artwork is in desperate need of restoration due to faded and peeling paint, water stains, vines and graffiti.
Restoration work has begun on the 33 year-old mural. Volunteers are using scrapers, rollers and brushes to bring this Mondrian-inspired artwork back to life. Larry Janezich has all of the details in the Capitol Hill Corner.
ANC 6B Chair Brian Ready tried for several years to have this mural restored by the city without success and has decided to take on this project himself. Facing a monumental task, Brian reached out to Guerrilla Gardeners of Washington DC, a group known to perform people-powered beautification. Our response was an immediate and enthusiastic (socially-distanced) embrace and pledge of assistance.
With Brian in the lead, GGDC is providing support in the form of funding, organization, volunteer recruitment and acquisition of materials and supplies.
This plaque tells the story of the beautification effort of a previous generation of DC's youth. We share Brian's belief that this artwork should be restored and not painted over as some suggest. DC's young people - now adults - created this mural in 1988 and their contribution should be preserved, not erased. We are rallying the community behind Brian to pay homage to this mural and its artists.
We'd like to hear the stories of those whose work we are preserving and restoring. If you worked on this project or know someone who did, please let us know.