“This used to be an alley filled with artists, weirdos, and punks,” artist Bill Warrell says of Blagden Alley.
Today, the transformation of the historic Shaw alley looks a lot like what’s happening to the rest of the city: Bougie restaurants, towering condos, and chic coffee shops occupy what was once an artist’s haven. But thanks to Warrell and several other D.C.-area artists, the alley’s historic legacy is being preserved in the form of the D.C. Alley Museum. Through a grant from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and support from the Blagden Alley Neighbors, a series of murals by Warrell, Lisa Marie Thalhammer, Rozeal Brown, Kelly Towles, Aniekan Udofia, and Cita Sadeli Chelove populate the walls of Blagden Alley.
The Alley Museum officially opens today with six murals, but more will go up in the coming years, Warrell says. Here is a sampling of what you’ll see at the D.C. Alley Museum:
Untitled by Cita Sadeli Chelove, 2015
Untitled by Rozeal Brown, 2015
“Meditation” by Lisa Marie Thalhammer, 2015
“A System of Politics And Art” by Bill Warrell, 2015
“Sun Ra and Erykah Badu” by Aniekan Udofia, 2015
Photos courtesy Bill Warrell/D.C. Alley Museum