News & Politics  |  Real Estate

Check Out the New Mural Coming to Crystal City

It will cover the facade of Synetic Theater, right next door to Amazon.

Renderings courtesy of the Crystal City BID.

Over the summer, the Crystal City BID and Amazon’s landlord JBG Smith held a contest to find a muralist to makeover the facade of Synetic Theater. By September, they’d narrowed the 24 submissions down to five finalists. On Monday, they announced artist Jay Shogo as the winner.

Shogo’s design features curving lines meant to express the flow of time across the past, present, and future, and the connections between people and their communities. It will wrap around the theater’s exterior at 1800 South Bell Street, next to one of the office buildings Amazon is using to house its earliest HQ2 employees.

Though there were two local artist-teams among the finalists, Shogo is not one of them. He grew up in Tokyo, and has since created murals in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Barbados, Australia, and Korea. One of his preferred mediums is Sharpie permanent marker, but a Crystal City BID spokeswoman says he’ll use the standard spray paint for his mural at Synetic. Shogo is slated to start painting this month, with the mural expected to finish by mid-November.

Artist Jay Shogo.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.