An alien invasion has arrived in DC — or rather, on the District’s Pabst Blue Ribbon cans. Local artist Tenbeete Solomon won the beer company’s “PBART” contest for 2019 with a space-themed illustration. As of this week, the design is now available on 24-ounce PBR cans nationwide and in the District.
The label depicts a can of PBR beamed up by a UFO. Solomon says she often includes intergalactic motifs in her work because she loves the endless possibilities of space. While earth is fraught with divisions of race and gender, she sees the cosmos as “neutral territory.” She says she chose an amorphous hand symbol because it channels that neutrality.
“It’s another way to relate to my audience. It doesn’t have to bring in gender or cultural background or race,” says Solomon.
In addition to the cosmic cans, Solomon is currently painting two murals at Songbyrd in Adams Morgan and another at Big Chief in Ivy City. You might recognize some of Solomon’s work under the artistic pseudonym Trap Bob. Through Girlaaa, the creative consulting agency she co-founded, Solomon and her team have conducted courses at the Hirshhorn Museum and worked on an Umbrella Art Show exhibit attended by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“People in the creative community are just kind of killing it and doing such amazing things,” Solomon says. “We’re all kind of bringing this eye to DC.”