Category Design

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Painted City: A Documentary About D.C.’s Murals

Shortly after writing this mural graveyard post, I sat down with the creators of for lunch. American cultural historian Perry Frank–with the help of photographer Lou Panarale–has been documenting murals for 15 years by photographing works all over the city and interviewing their creators. “Every mural has a story,” Perry told me. In turns out some of the stories have unexpected twists.


Ring the “Abolition Bell”

  I’ve lived within Sunday-morning earshot of All Souls Unitarian Church for years without ever knowing that I was not hearing an ordinary church bell. For starters, Paul Revere’s son, Joseph Revere, cast the bell in 1822.  (Paul Revere also made bells–fitting, considering his historical claim to fame). Church mythology has it that D.C. used the […]


Peepin’ in Windows

Nothing inspires creativity quite like a package of Peeps in the springtime. These three seasonal window displays showcase the marshmallow bunnies and chicks in fatigues, fancy hats, as cherry blossoms, and more.


Street Heart

For Valentine’s Day several years ago, my mom sent me this print featuring images of unexpected hearts found in nature, design, and other sidewalk encounters. Last week, I spotted one of these street hearts while walking in my neighborhood. Who knew some rope and a sewer cover could be so lovely?


Coffee Shop Curator: Dolcezza Dupont & Ross Ruot

Curious District is starting a new regular feature this week focusing on DC’s most accessible art galleries–its coffee shops. Coffee Shop Curator will highlight an artist whose work is on display at a local cafe. Up first is Dolcezza, a fantastic space with even better gelato.


Where Do Murals Go When They Die?

Murals that have deteriorated or been the casualties of real estate development are in danger of being the city’s forgotten art. An online resource started in 2010, however, may give these public artworks a final resting place.


The DC Flag in Local Art and Design (Part 2!)

The image of the DC flag is on our street signs, city service vehicles, and license plates. It is also on our flasks, bar soaps, wedding cake toppers, acrylic paintings, and of course, skin. Many designers and artists have embraced the three stars and two bars as a source of pride, demonstration, and design love. I first rounded up a collection of flag-inspired items in this post, but why stop there?


Literary Nostalgia

In the days leading up to kindergarten, I had one book read to me so many times that I memorized it and then tried to convince my family that I could read. This charade was apparently in response to my anxiety about starting school.

Horrible Adorables

Taking the Death out of Taxidermy

Dead animal decor isn’t your thing? Me neither. I didn’t have the same cringe response though when I saw Horrible Adorables and other taxidermy immitators at Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair on Saturday.


The Local Roots of One of the First Lady Photographers

Frances Benjamin Johnston traveled the country capturing public and private gardens, more than 1,000 of which were recently digitized on the Library of Congress’ web site. Curiosity about whether she had photographed any DC gardens led me to peruse the online images, where I discovered that she not only took lots of local photos, but was a local herself.