As the 20-year-old graffiti artist stood in broad daylight Saturday morning and aimed his spray paint at a concrete retaining wall behind the Rhode Island Avenue Shopping Center, the pleasant greeting of a passerby startled him.
He nervously put down the paint can and looked over his shoulder. For the past couple of weeks, he had been tagging his alias, AERA, throughout the area at night, with no one around to catch him in the act or disrupt his creative flow.
“Okay,” the artist said he thought to himself as he resumed his work, “this is a little weird.”
But on this day, spray-painting graffiti on public property, an act that would have been against the law any other time, was all good. It was part of a “mural jam,” a city-sponsored project that drew dozens of graffiti artists to contribute their flair to a nearly 1,000-foot-long wall turned canvas in Northeast’s Edgewood community.
“D.C. mural jam aims to create positive venue for graffiti art,” The Washington Post, August 20, 2009