Yes, Downtown Silver Spring is undergoing a $10 million revitalization, which will bring new dining, retail, and green spaces to the 20-year-old development. But it’s also getting some new art, too.
Specifically, a series of outdoor murals curated by No Kings Collective, the DC-based design and events group led by Peter Chang and Brandon Hill.
The project will feature murals by No Kings Collective, the German artist 1010, Berlin-based DC artist James Bullough, and another yet to be named. You’ll be able to find the four works at the corner of Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive, and Bullough’s is already finished (it’s the image of a woman floating through an abstract design seen above).
“We wanted to choose artists that could have transformative effects,” says Chang of assembling the roster of muralists. “Something that was heavy hitting that would really make an impact as far as the arts go and add to the culture of Downtown Silver Spring. That whole area is going to be changing and evolving, and this [will] be a cultural addition to that.”
And partaking in the town’s redevelopment is especially sentimental for Chang, who’s from Silver Spring. “My dad used to work for the post office right down the street, so I was always in the area,” he says. “It’s pretty special for me.”
So what can we expect from the No Kings Collective mural? Chang says they’ll aim for the signature color-packed layout they’re known for, but this one will feature a dolphin. (Why a dolphin? Well, Hill used to work at an aquarium. “He’s got a particular affinity for marine wildlife,” says Chang.)
To celebrate the new art, Downtown Silver Spring will hold a series of events. November 7, No Kings Collective will host a yet-to-be-finalized panel of local muralists who will talk about creating public art. After the panel, guests will have a chance to take a workshop and create art of their own, says Chang.
And November 16 marks Silver Spring’s first Secret Walls event, a street-art battle started in London that’s since been hosted all over the world. Here’s how it works: Two artists are each given black paint, which they must use to create a piece of art on a temporary wall. They only have 90 minutes, and no other tools besides a brush. The artists are still TBD, says Chang, but he anticipates they’ll both be local creatives.
All four of the murals are expected to be finished by November 16, when Downtown Silver Spring will host its annual Re-Imagining the Holidays event.