Brookfield Murals Add Public Art to Bethesda
Project included abstract displays in Montgomery County and D.C.
Artists Remi Rough, left, and Nawer in front of one of the murals they created at 4600 East West Highway in Bethesda.
The latest round of public art for Brookfield Properties includes four murals in Bethesda.
Brookfield Properties celebrated on Monday with the artists, Remi Rough, who lives in London, and Nawer, who lives in Krakow, Poland. The artists completed the project in about seven days.
Of the four murals in Bethesda, three are in places where the public can see them—a street-level breezeway at 4600 East West Highway; an alley at 4650 East West Highway; and the Metro-level lobby at 7475 Wisconsin Ave. A fourth is in a private Brookfield space.
Three adjacent walls at 4600 East West Highway have a mix of shapes and angles, with mostly solid light and dark colors. In the alley at 4650 East West Highway, thin and thick black lines dress up white walls. The lobby at 7475 Wisconsin Ave. has a bold blue diagonal block dominating about half of a curved wall.
Jackie Duke, the senior vice president of operations for Brookfield Properties in the D.C. region, said she admired a series of murals she saw in Richmond, where her children go to school, and wanted to try a smaller version locally.
The Richmond Mural Project is made up of 102 murals by various artists, said Shane Pomajambo, the founder and executive director, who runs a gallery in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
Brookfield commissioned Pomajambo for a Bethesda and D.C. mural project. Pomajambo picked Rough and Nawer, two artists he had worked with before and knew well. Both make abstract art.
Brookfield dabbled in public art last year in conjunction with the Bethesda Urban Partnership. It commissioned Washington, D.C.-based artist Juan Pineda to paint a mural more than 150 feet across the overhang at the Bethesda Metro station, as well as on columns and a bench, with shapes of vivid colors.
Pomajambo said Monday that murals are gaining favor in the D.C. area, making a statement. “It’s like a beacon to the rest of the world that art is embraced,” he said.