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November 23, 2020

Use Public Transportation to Explore Outdoor Artwork in Washington, DC

by Korrea Johnston

The District of Columbia is not only our nation’s capital, but it’s also a home for many creatives. In addition to the staple Smithsonian museums, the city offers plenty of FREE must-see sites that are outdoors and easily accessible using public transportation. In all eight wards, you can find a variety of street art, sculptures, and murals beaming vibrant colors and celebrating a range of cultures, music, iconic figures, historic moments, inspirational messages, and more.

In fact, the DC Department of Public Works (DPW) created the MuralsDC initiative to help clean and beautify our nation’s capital. Since its pilot in 2007, MuralsDC has painted 133 murals across every ward of the city – that’s more murals than any other entity in the District.

goDCgo has highlighted a few of our favorite (and most selfie-worthy) local outdoor art escapes that you can get to by foot, bike, bus, or Metro. Make your way to discover these must-see DC murals and more! While you’re exploring the art outdoors, it’s important to maintain a safe social distance from others and wear a face mask or covering at all times. Also, be sure to add your cell phone to the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) by enabling DC COVID Alert Notice, also known as DC CAN, a new mobile exposure notification system for the District of Columbia. Learn more at coronavirus.dc.gov/dccan.

 

Adams Morgan

How to get there:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • Columbia & Ontario Road NW
    • Adams Mill & Columbia Road NW
    • Columbia Road & Belmont Street NW
    • 18th Street & Wyoming Avenue NW
    • California Street & Florida Avenue NW
  • DC Circulator
    • Woodley Park – Adams Morgan – McPherson Square route
  • Dockless Vehicles – Rent a dockless bike or scooter and park in the corral located at Kalorama & 17th Street NW. Or, you can park your ride upright along the sidewalk curb, leaving at least 5 feet of space on the sidewalk.
  • Metrorail – Take the Red Line to Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan station.
  • Metrobus
    • Mt. Pleasant Line – 42, 43
    • Connecticut Avenue Line – L1, L2
    • U Street-Garfield Line – 90, 92
    • East Capitol Street-Cardozo Line – 96

 

Columbia Heights

How to get there:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • 11th & Girard Street NW
    • 14th & Girard Street NW
    • 14th & Harvard Street NW
    • 14th & Irving Street NW
  • DC Circulator
    • Woodley Park – Adams Morgan – McPherson Square route
  • Dockless Vehicles – Rent a dockless bike or scooter and park your ride upright along the sidewalk curb, leaving at least 5 feet of space on the sidewalk.
  • Metrorail – Take the Green/Yellow Line to Columbia Heights station.
  • Metrobus
    • 14th Street Line – 52, 54
    • 14th Street MetroExtra – 59
    • 16th Street-Tenleytown Line – D32
    • Brookland-Potomac Park Line – H1
    • Crosstown Line – H2, H3, H4
    • Pard Road-Brookland Line – H8
    • 16th Street-Potomac Park Line – S1
    • 16th Street Line – S2, S4
    • 16th Street MetroExtra – S9

 

Downtown

  • Black Lives Matter by Anonymous, 2020
    • 800 and 900 blocks of 16th Street NW
    • Donated by Mayor Muriel Bowser and created by an anonymous group of eight local artists, DC’s Black Lives Matter mural project came together in less than 24 hours. At 40-feet high and the length of three and a half football fields, DC’s Black Lives Matter mural can literally be seen from space.
    • After the mural was completed on Friday, June 5, 2020, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) changed the signage on part of the street, officially renaming it “Black Lives Matter Plaza.” The mural “heard around the world” made international headlines and was almost immediately replicated in cities across the country. To date, more than 50 municipalities around the world have painted similar murals.

Black-Lives-Matter-Full-Shot

How to get there:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • 17th & K Street NW
    • 17th & K Street NW / Farragut Square (temporarily inactive)
    • 15th & L Street NW
    • 15th & K Street NW (temporarily inactive)
    • Vermont & I Street NW (temporarily inactive)
    • 17th & G Street NW
    • New York Avenue & 15th Street NW
  • DC Circulator
    • Georgetown – Union Station route
    • Woodley Park – Adams Morgan – McPherson Square route
  • Dockless Vehicles – Rent a dockless bike or scooter and park your ride upright along the sidewalk curb, leaving at least 5 feet of space on the sidewalk.
  • Metrorail – Take the Blue/Orange/Silver Line to McPherson Square or Farragut West station. Or, you can ride the Red Line and get off at Farragut North.
  • Metrobus
    • Pennsylvania Avenue Line – 32, 33, 36
    • Mt. Pleasant Line – 42, 43
    • Rhode Island Avenue Line – G8
    • 16th Street Line – S2, S4
    • Benning Road-H Street Line – X2
 

NoMa

  • POW! WOW! – For 10 days every October, a curated group of global artists travel to the District to paint larger-than-life murals at POW! WOW! DC — an annual international mural festival celebrating art and creativity. Take a self-guided wall tour to see the new murals from their recent 5-year anniversary, in addition to some previous works.
  • Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) – Spanning 8 miles, the MBT runs from Union Station in DC to Silver Spring, Maryland providing a link between many of Northeast DC’s neighborhoods including Brookland, Eckington, Edgewood, and NoMa. Below are just a few of our favorites you can find along the way.
  •  

How to get there:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • 1st & K Street NE
    • 1st & M Street NE
    • 3rd & M Street NE
    • Eckington Place & Q Street NE
  • Dockless Vehicles – Rent a dockless bike or scooter and park in the corral located at 3rd & K Street NE. Or, you can park your ride upright along the sidewalk curb, leaving at least 5 feet of space on the sidewalk.
  • Metrorail – Take the Red Line to NoMa-Gallaudet Metro station.
  • Metrobus
    • U Street-Garfield Line – 90, 92
    • Benning Road Line – X3

 

Shaw

  • DC Alley Museum by Multiple Artists (Aniekan Udofia, Cita Sadeli aka “Miss Chelove,” Lisa Marie Thalhammer, and others)
    • 50 Blagden Alley NWLisaMarie_LOVE_Mural
    • Started in 2015, this series of colorful murals is painted on garage doors and the sides of buildings — the ideal spot for selfies and Instagram-worthy photos.
  • Elizabeth Taylor by G. Byron Peck and Ivo Koytchev, 2013
    • Dacha Beer Garden, 1600 7th Street NW
    • Rising 3 stories, this was rated the best mural in DC by Washington City Paper readers in 2014.
      Liz Taylor
  • Marvin Gaye by Aniekan Udofia, 2014Marvin Gaye
    • 711 S Street NW
    • While there is no official title for this mural, Aneikan Udofia told DCist, “I do like the idea of it being ‘reborn.’ So I would call it ‘The soulful return of Marvin Gaye.’” This idea came about because Udofia’s previous mural depicting Marvin Gaye was covered by construction. With this new mural, Udofia said, “I added more soul to it.”

How to get there:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • 7th & R Street NW / Shaw Library
    • 7th & S Street NW
    • 7th & T Street NW
    • 8th & O Street NW
  • Metrorail – Take the Green/Yellow Line to Shaw-Howard U station.
  • Metrobus
    • Georgia Avenue-7th Street Line – 70
    • Georgia Avenue MetroExtra – 79
    • U Street-Garfield Line – 90, 92
    • East Capitol Street-Cardozo Line – 96
    • P Street-Ledroit Park Line – G2
    • Rhode Island Avenue Line – G8
    • Rhode Island Avenue MetroExtra – G9
    • Benning Road Line – X3

 

Union Market

  • R Mural Project by Creative Theory Agency, 2020Resilience_Mural_edit
    • 1329 6th Street NE
    • This massive mural and art installation by the black-owned, DC-based Creative Theory Agency, was designed to uplift the community through art and storytelling while offering resources to help those most affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
    • “I think I wanted the wall to be an escape from all that’s going on around us that may be negative. I want you to come to this wall and just for a minute feel like you’re in a different place, not only a different place, but a happy place.” – Gary Williams Jr., Chief Creative Officer
  • Latin American Female Identity by Mariela Ajras, 2019
    • Neal Place NE & 4th Street NE
  • Untitled (Zebra) by Peter Krško, 2013
    • 5th Street NE behind Union Market
  • Heart Wall by Mr. Brainwash, 2016Heart Wall
    • 1309 5th Street NE
    • Mr. Brainwash, a Los Angeles-based graffiti artist, created this mural for International Women’s Day in 2015. It has become one of the most Instagrammable photo-ops you can find in the city.

How to get there:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • Union Market
    • 3rd & M Street NE
  • Dockless Vehicles – Rent a dockless bike or scooter and park in the corral located at 3rd & K Street NE. Or, you can park your ride upright along the sidewalk curb, leaving at least 5 feet of space on the sidewalk.
  • Metrobus
    • North Capitol Street Line – 80
    • U Street-Garfield Line – 90, 92

 

U Street Corridor

Once referred to as “Black Broadway,” the legendary U Street Corridor was an important African American cultural and nightlife hub from the 1920’s to 1940’s. In addition to the nightlife and culture, it’s also one of the most art-filled corridors in the District. Take the 12-block self-guided walking tour featuring 10 original murals. goDCgo has highlighted just a few fan faves below.

  • The Torch by Aniekan Udofia with Mia Duval, 2017
    • Ben’s Chili Bowl, 1213 U Street NWThe Torch
    • Not only is Ben’s Chili Bowl a DC food staple, it also features an outdoor wall mural of iconic African American figures both past and present. In this rendition of the mural, Harriet Tubman is holding the torch to light the way for Former President Barack Obama and Former First Lady Michelle Obama, musician Prince, boxer Muhammed Ali, go-go legend Chuck Brown, and more.
  • Lee’s Legacy by Kaliq Krosby, 2017Lees_Legacy
    • 1026 U Street NW (Back alley wall)
    • This mural features William and Winifred Lee, who opened their flower shop in 1945, serving as one of the oldest African American owned establishments in DC. Lee’s Flower and Card Shop is still owned and operated by the Lee family today.
  • U Street by Michael Crossett & Skyler Kelly, 2017
    • 2017 11th Street NW (South facing parking lot wall)
  • All My Hopes & Dreams by Cita Sadeli (aka Miss Chelove), 2019
    • Cloak & Dagger Nightclub, 1359 U Street NW

How to get there:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • 10th & U Street NW
    • 12th & U Street NW
    • 13th & U Street NW
    • 14th & V Street NW
    • 14th & R Street NW
  • DC Circulator
    • Woodley Park – Adams Morgan – McPherson Square route
  • Dockless Vehicles – Rent a dockless bike or scooter and park your ride upright along the sidewalk curb, leaving at least 5 feet of space on the sidewalk.
  • Metrorail – Take the Green/Yellow Line to U Street-Cardoza station.
  • Metrobus
    • 14th Street Line – 52, 54
    • 14th Street MetroExtra – 59
    • Takoma-Petworth Line – 63
    • Fort-Totten Petworth Line – 64
    • U Street-Garfield Line – 90, 92
    • East Capitol Street-Cardozo Line – 96
    • Benning Road Line – X3

In addition to all of the above sustainable transportation options, you can also use goDCgo’s interactive map to personally plan your trip from point A to point B. We hope you enjoy these murals. Take lots of pictures and most importantly, commute with care! 



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