Our mission is to transform individual lives and whole communities through the training in and presentation of the core elements of hip-hop culture. One of the most important things that we do as an organization is give youth access to the Master Level artists whose work we commission and present. It is critical to our mission that the Master Level artists who we work with have a connection to the community based youth development and apprentice-based work. This mural is called “Crossroad”. The three artists whose works have each been contributed to this project each took their own stab at the idea of community and this particular community. It took into account the multiple communities who all converge at this property. This mural is intended to reflect the many people and activities that happen in this space.
Moving from left to right:
This portion of the mural depicts a scene in a local carry out, a kind of crossroads of residents all looking for the same thing. It depicts folks in the neighborhood at various points in their life, and of different levels of financial stability. The artist wanted to depict a scene that looked at the community as it “is” not as we would have it be. It says this is where community happens at this crossroad.
The center of the mural was inspired by the idea that in ancient Egyptian civilizations, the heart was believed to be the seat of the mind and the soul. The artists rendering reflects the need for a balance between the mind and soul of this community. That is to say between it present and it’s future, its reality and its aspirations. This central image creates balance between the far left and far right images, connected to each in its outward moving wings and bursts. This image is to be a symbol of the role of the elders and the youth of the community, the past, present and future. They meet on a crossroad of time.
The lightest side of the mural is dedicated to the people who pass through the community. The train riders, bike riders and MBT users. The piece depicts various modes of transportation that are in some cases modern and in others cases ancient. It is not intended to be literal, but more metaphorical. Many people who use or pass through this space literally see each other but don’t necessarily see each other as connected. What connects them together is not knowledge of each other, but a shared path of transportation. Their shared sense of anonymity is a kind of community and connectedness in itself. The people who ride the train and use the bike path are part of this community, and meet at the crossroads.
Coby Kennedy’s work in art and design spans continents and mediums, but the DC native and Duke Ellington School of the Arts alum is best known for his work in car design. After graduating from Brooklyn’s prestigious Pratt Institute with a BA in Industrial Design, Kennedy went on to design concept automobiles for major international car companies including Honda, Citroen, and Alfa Romeo. Kennedy has also designed products, clothing, and murals, and his work has been exhibited in many galleries and reviewed by the New York Times. Kennedy has previously worked with Murals DC as a lead artist.
Maxx Moses is a graffiti artist born in the Bronx and raised in Yonkers, NY with a unique style that merges gritty street alphabets and elements from a fine art background. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Business and a minor in Fine Art from Brockport University, Maxx Moses went on to paint murals and exhibit his works in major cities in the United States and abroad, including Dubai, Amsterdam, Paris, Osaka, New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Maxx Moses also teaches a course on Graffiti as an Art Form at the Art Academy of San Diego, in which students learn the history, tradition, and techniques of graffiti through readings and hands-on practice.
Cita Sadeli, also known as Chelove, is the founder and director of Protein Media, an art and interactive company in Washington, DC. A practicing fine and street artist in the early 90’s DC graffiti scene, Sadeli further developed her art and design skills at the Corcoran School of Art. Since graduating, Sadeli’s skill set has since expanded into entrepreneurship, design, animation and interactive media. In addition to serving as a director at Protein Media, she continues to create digital and traditional illustration and fine art for commission, commercial projects and exhibition. Sadeli has worked with Murals DC for the past 3 years as a lead artist. For more on Cita’s mural: http://www.wblinc.org/cita-sadeli_redline