Reviving the Red Line
For weeks now, we’ve been hiding out in an edit studio trying to piece together the two-part documentary series that will encompass all the underlying issues of Red Line D.C. With a rough cut of part one already under our belt, the bulk of our attention has been focused on building part two, a story that will address the Metro-Branch Trail’s development; how changes in access to the Red line have in turn affected aesthetics and the value of wall space. This process has been slow, but steady. And sadly, because of our tunnel vision video-making, the online presence of #redlinedc has dwindled. For this, we sincerely apologize.
Hopefully, our absence has only made your heart fonder of the film’s potential. But in case it hasn’t, here’s some bonus footage to rekindle your interest. In this video excerpt, Prof. Zachary Schrag, author of The Great Society Subway, reminds us why Washington metro matters are so important to understanding the District.
While you patiently await our film’s final cuts, we’ll do our best to post more video clips like this one to hold you over. So until then, bear with us folks, documentary work in progress …
PHOTOS: OG’s and New Additions
Last week was all about meet-and-greets for Red Line D.C. On the other side of the MBT fences, we were invited into one of the little-known properties lining the red line; this one by Rhode Island Ave metro station. The man waiting for us, opening his doors for an upcoming interview, was Arondo Holmes, owner of Hondo Coffee. Mr. Holmes’ coffee roasting warehouse, directly on the MBT, is one of the properties with a legal mural. His business has been in Edgewood for about 3 years, but he lived and work in the neighborhood 20 years back. He will, no doubt, have some great insights to offer our project. And now, that we’ve done the introduction, we can hardly wait for the interview …
Another newcomer to our project, but OG of the red line, is graffiti writer, CERT, who we interviewed along with writers Some, Fame and Grave. If the name CERT isn’t familiar to you, his work probably is: CERT’s responsible for the oft-photographed and frequently referenced “Sean Taylor” piece at Brookland Ave. metro station as well as, a ton of other productions along the Line. You can even watch commuters call to mind the “Sean Taylor” mural for us when interviewed on the metro. Among the graffiti community, CERT is seen by many as a local legend and, like Mr. Holmes, his personal history with the red line spans about two decades.
We’re happy to have these knowledgeable new additions to Red Line D.C. But until you catch them all on video, check out the slide show of last week’s adventures.
Come for the Grub, Stay for the Graffiti
Our last pre-fall hoorah has arrived! To wrap up a summer of art across the city, WBL will be hosting an exhibit and BBQ Tuesday night at 1300 H Street, NE. Besides graffiti talk and good grub, expect to find gallery pieces by lead artists and apprentice artists who have contributed to the latest crop of public art projects throughout the District. And keep a lookout for our project, as well. We’ll be bugging you to supply questions for future Red Line D.C. interviews and showing footage of MuralsDC leaving its mark on the red line. Click here, to find out more info. on tonight’s event. If you can’t make it or just can’t wait till then, enjoy a sneak peek below:
More video snippets can be seen here on our Vimeo page. Subscribe to our channel or keep checking back for new Red Line D.C. remixes and teasers.
Word on the Street: Good vs. Bad Graffiti
As promised, here’s an excerpted interview filmed on-the-fly at a recent mural-painting site in the Edgewood neighborhood of Northeast D.C., right across from the Rhode Island Ave. metro station. Taking a break from his early evening bike ride, local resident Michael Henderson stopped to admire the newest public artwork on the Metro-Branch Trail. Here, he shares his thoughts on art, expression and what the two can do for our quality of life. Take a listen and let us know if you agree/disagree.
Last Writes of Summer: Art, Events, Etc.
My, how the summer flew by! Without realizing, we went from the legal graffiti of Long Island, NYC to the writing on medina walls in Morocco and, now back to the streets of D.C. during the peak of mural season. The weeks of public art on-display and in discussion have been productive for Red Line D.C. The ‘Art of Vandalism’ panel held at the end of July gave us the chance to collect some small donations and, more importantly, to raise awareness about the project. We had the same opportunity to spread the word last night during another MuralsDC event hosted by WBL. Back again at the U st. corridor location of Bus Boys & Poets, this time with the work of Jamila Okubo, an upcoming artist and soon-to-be college freshman who was showing in her first solo exhibit. The night’s main event was a screening of the documentary Chocolate City Burning which followed the story of local graffiti crew, DotCom. Afterwards, the filmmaker Nicholas Smith took questions. Saaret Yoseph, the director and producer of Red Line D.C. spoke briefly about her project as well. You can be sure there was also a donation bucket in-tow and a trailer on-hand. Just sayin’ …
Of course, the nighttime events haven’t been the only thing keeping us busy. Last week Red Line D.C. wrapped an interview with local artist/writer Tim Conlon and we’ve gotten a chance to squeeze in a couple man-on-the-street interviews with graffiti writers–and readers, as well. Mural-crashing has been the main cause of this. As WBL is in full-force painting murals across the city, Red Line D.C. has captured some of the action. We documented a production in Northeast D.C., directly across from the Rhode Island Ave. metro station. This latest addition to the Metro Branch Trail was led by Austin-based artist/writer Drew Liverman. As he and his apprentices put the finishing touches on their grand-scale aerosol art, many pedestrians and bikers accessing the trail offered kudos. Stay tuned for a snippet of what one local resident had to say, plus other flicks and video from this graffiti-filled summer. It’s definitely been a blur, so far. Here’s a look at the haze of public art and events in photos: