On View: April 17 – July 25, 2021
Culture House presents a monumental mural in the Avant Garden featuring selections from the Viral Art Project. The monumental mural is on view outside in Culture House’s Avant Garden from April 17th through July 25, 2021.
What is the responsibility of artists and designers in times of crisis? In the first days of the Coronavirus Pandemic, hundreds of designers and artists from around the world made posters for the Virial Art Project, a call to action for artists, designers, and fellow creatives to create PSA posters, sought to spread awareness about what we all must do to survive, get supplies to our healthcare workers, and advocate for our neighbors hurt by the economy’s seemingly imminent collapse.
This monumental mosaic offers a vibrant space for each of us to reflect on our shared experience over the past dark year—a year that we spent physically apart. The rainbow of posters in this mural offers a range of calls to action. Some promote social distancing by entreating the reader to stay home. Others are calls for Personal Protective Equipment for healthcare workers. Some posters celebrate individuals, including doctors treating covid-19 patients, or six-foot-tall celebrities whose height tells us precisely how far we need to stand apart from one another. And, still, others highlight broader issues related to the pandemic, including mail-in voting and pay for essential workers.
An all-volunteer effort, the Viral Art Project is part of the long history of creative people mobilizing to save their world and country by presenting a vision for a better future. You might recognize iconic images calling for Americans to support ambitious building projects and environmental conservation during the Great Depression, to keep secrets or recycle scrap during World War II, or support environmentalism and nuclear disarmament in the 1960s and 1970s. In the spirit of this kind of messaging, this collaboration developed to provide advice, inspiration, and a light to help all get through. Created during the first moments of the covid-19 pandemic, posters in the Viral Art Project comprise a living archive of that time.
From March-May 2020, designers were invited to make a poster and submit it to be included in Viral Art Project’s online gallery and social media. Fundamentally, it was a chance to join with other designers to mobilize our communities in the Coronavirus crisis. The Viral Art Project received over 500 design submissions from around the world. Some creators are well-known graphic designers. Others are working artists. Still, others are students or even young children. Regardless, all designers had full creative control over their submissions, the ability to design around an issue they cared about, and an opportunity to promote their site or portfolio. Selected posters were and remain freely available for anyone to print and distribute under a Creative Commons license. View all of the selected posters at viralartproject.com.
The Viral Art Project was just one of several public art projects focused on helping all of us make it through the Coronavirus crisis together and to come out stronger. This project, and projects like it, shows how together we can.
Aaron Draplin Dazzle Supply Jason Irla Matthew Gillespie
Abby Conrad Deroy Peraza Jennifer Thompson Michael Aguilar
Adam Goldberg Devin Trier Jerome Bizien Misha Levine (Age 7)
Adriana Cordero Diego Pinilla John Mata Molly Carl
Alex Rosales Duygu Aksoy Jonathan Cooper Nadine Flowers
Alexia D. Gardner Elis Povey Joseph Gabry Olivia Kantyka
Amy Fang Emily Pearl Justin Kemerling Orlando Willems-Rosas
Andrew McGuire Eric Gordon Kaitlin Morris Pamel Trow
Anthony Le Eric Junker Kali Jennings Rajiv Fernandez
Ashley Jaye Williams Eric O’Tool Kat McCord Renny Hoffman
Austin Breed Eric Venegas Kat McDonald Richard Rodriguez
Bareket Kezwer Erik Chrisman Kayla Kaniel Rina Alfonso Osawa
Ben Ostrower Frank Hicks Kelli Buchholz Roni Lagin
Brian Robinson Genna Gurvich Kelner + Ostrower Samuel Anderson
Caleb Nugent Gina Meredith Kelsey Abbate Sara Paglia
Camilo Caffi Giorgi Tabliashivili Kelsey Robinson Scott Gericke
Carlos Agudelo Hailey Merrill Ki Ha Stefano Lucchetti
Carrie Cantwell Halie Branson Laura B. Pelner Taylor Valentine
Chelsea Goldwell Halle Robbins Liam + Jord Thackway McCord
Chris Aguirre Harry Richards Logan Emser Thomas Gardner
Chris Maze Ida Woldemichael Luco Peraza (Age 8) Troy Farmer
Christin Rincon Ifi Flores Lynn Tu Tyler Evans
Clara Miller Isabel Sierra Gomez Margaret To Vlad Zabavskiy
David Hadley Jacob Rosenberg Mark Goldwell Zoe Ellyse Del Rosario
David Jon Walker Jacob Voigt Mark Kelner
David van Alphen Jason Heuer Matt Brunton
About Culture House: Culture House is a 501(c)3 founded on the principle that art is a catalyst for change in the community, and is dedicated to providing inspiration and motivation for those who encounter its power. Culture House provides a functional art space for all to enjoy and learn more about the arts and culture through exhibitions, events, live performances, and hands-on experiences. Located at 700 Delaware Avenue SW, Culture House (formerly known as BlindWhino) is an artistic landmark, with the exterior fully painted by renowned muralist HENSE, and serves as a pillar for creativity in our nation’s capital.
About Viral Art Project: The Viral Art Project was co-created by DC-based Ben Ostrower, founder and creative director of Wide Eye, artist Mark Kelner, and curator Zachary Paul Levine. The Viral Art Project formally partnered with the Artist + Activist Relief Fund to drive donations. The fund, created by The Soze Foundation, TaskForce and Invisible Hand, supports artists + activists whose work has been impacted by COVID-19.
Avant Garden a @ Culture House, 700 Delaware Ave. SW. Fore information, visit www.culturehousedc.org/avant-garden-viral-art-project.