On the Road: Annapolis, MD
During a recent trip to Washington, D.C., on a gorgeous, snow-covered day, I ventured out to nearby Annapolis, in Maryland. At just 25 miles from the nation's capitol, it is close enough to do a day-trip after you have had your fill of the amazing museums and political spirit of the Hill. But be aware, it will take about an hour-and-a-half (or longer) by public transportation (45 minutes if you have a car).
Once in Annapolis, the primary spots to hunt for murals are the Design District and the Downtown area along West Street. It is a 25-minute walk between the two locations, and I would highly recommend hoofing it as opposed to hopping in an Uber, as there are some beautiful houses and other sights in between. (If you drove yourself, forget what I just said and stop as you like along the way.)
The Design District should be your first stop, where you can meander through the easily accessible walls on offer. In September of 2015, the local organization Urban Walls Brazil, founded by São Paulo-born Annapolis resident Roberta Pardo, brought several Brazilian artists to the area around Edgewood Avenue where they created some terrific walls. The artists who painted here for the project include: Gen Duarte, Vermelho Steam, Ciro Schunemann, Rodrigo Branco , Ju Violeta and Arlin .
In addition to the murals from this initial project, there are a few other beauties you are sure to stumble upon in the neighborhood, including works by Pol Corona, Mart Aire, and Cita Sadeli (CHELOVE).
Urban Walls Brazil was created to facilitate an artistic and cultural exchange between the United States and Brazil. Aside from Annapolis, the program has made its way to New York City and Washington, D.C.
In 2017, we had the pleasure of seeing a lot of work on our NYC streets by Mag Magrela, in conjunction with Urban Walls Brazil and Annex B, before continuing on to D.C. to paint a wall at The Fridge DC. Here are some of her pieces from the project:
Let's get back to Annapolis. After soaking up the incredible works found in the Design District, make your way to West Street and head into town, stopping to admire the beautiful architecture along the way. Your next stop should be the open field behind the Westin Hotel, located at the corner of Taylor and West. This long wall is Annapolis' very first street art mural and is also part of Urban Walls Brazil, painted in early 2015. Brazilian artists Binho Ribiero, Rodrigo Branco, Vermelho Steam, Tikka Meszaros and Gen Duarte joined forces with Annapolis locals Jesse James, Charles Lawrence and Jeff Huntington, to paint this colorful and playful wall.
After spending some time taking in all the details of this huge collaborative wall, continue along West Street and turn left onto Madison, where you can see a black-and-white Kobra-esque styled wall by Jeff Huntington together with the kids of Jóvenes Artistas, featuring some former presidents.
And, if you're into kitschy art, the downtown area has it in spades with the Annapolis Chicken Project.
In 2012, legislation was passed allowing Annapolis residents the ability to have up to 6 chickens in their backyard for fresh eggs. Gavin Buckley and Jody Danek, owners of several farm-to-table restaurants in Annapolis, came up with this idea as a public art campaign, and it is definitely fun to see the different creations made by local artists. In all, there are 20 chickens to be spotted. If you find yourself posing with one of these plucky pieces, post it to Instagram and tag it #cluck4art.
If you are in Washington, D.C. and are looking for a quick getaway, consider a short trip to Annapolis. With it's vibrant street art scene from Brazilians and locals alike, as well as its chicken art and farm-to-table restaurant scene, combined with a rich history, there is definitely something for everyone.
So, what are you waiting for? Annapolis is clucking. I mean, calling.