For Immediate Release
202-872-2680 (media hotline)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oct. 15, 2020 – The Buzzard Point community, a growing neighborhood in Southwest (SW) DC, and Pepco are pleased to share inspiring public artwork by celebrated local artists Kaliq Crosby and Rose Jaffe. Crosby and Jaffe are painting a mural at the safety structure surrounding Pepco's Buzzard Point substation. When finished later this month, the mural will expand along the S Street, SW and First Street, SW portions of the safety structure. Both portions of the structure were erected in 2018 at the facility, which has a critical role in providing safe and reliable electric service to customers in the District of Columbia.
"Our mural tells a story of Southwest D.C. and Buzzard Point," said Crosby and Jaffe. "We focused on the historical architecture and shop fronts, vibrant natural environment, strong community, and important figures that help define the history of the area. These people include Chuck Brown, Frederick Douglass, Marvin Gaye and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Water imagery connects the various images by winding through the mural and bringing together each element of the artwork. Our goal is for viewers to enjoy the vibrancy and color of the art piece, as well as learn more about the history of the area."
"We are pleased to provide this unique opportunity for aspiring artists to showcase their talents, while also sharing the importance of highlighting the robust history of the District of Columbia and its neighborhoods," said Donna Cooper, Pepco region president. "The mural project, on our Buzzard Point substation's safety structure, creates an important connection between the rich history of the community and our commitment to providing safe, reliable, affordable and clean energy service for our valued customers in the District."
Continuing with that process, Pepco worked with Buzzard Point community members and began the commission process in early 2020 with the goal of creating a vibrant and welcoming presence for Buzzard Point residents and visitors and contributing to future dynamic neighborhood. Before beginning the commission process, stakeholders engaged neighbors and civic leaders in community conversations to include their feedback on themes for mural designs. Community goals included activating the safety structure with iconic large scale public art, creating a vibrant gateway element for the area that serves as a thoroughfare into the residential community of Buzzard Point, and promoting walkability in the neighborhood with an engaging space.
Crosby and Jaffe began work on this mural in September and will hold a community paint day on Oct. 17 to educate and directly involve the community in this exciting mural project. Health and safety precautions will be in place and can be viewed at the following registration link. The final mural is expected to be completed October. Buzzard point community members, stakeholders, Pepco and the artists plan to hold a naming ceremony and unveiling later this year, pending local health guidance.
Located at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, the Buzzard Point community is on the verge of a transformation that builds on its very positive history, coupled with ongoing mixed-use neighborhood development anchored by the professional sports venue Audi Field, the home of Major League Soccer team D.C. United and complementary development that is in progress. There are currently more than 1,000 existing residential units in the neighborhood, which add to the residential communities within close proximity to Buzzard Point.
To complement this development, Pepco energized its new two-level Waterfront substation in 2017, which provides essential power to the Buzzard Point, Southwest Waterfront, and Capitol Riverfront areas of the District. The substation design incorporated extensive community input and includes multiple features that help activate the surrounding community including a sculpture by Flash Point, a mural by artist Katherine Mann, amenities such as benches and bike racks, a 223kW roof-mounted, and grid tied solar PV system, which offsets a portion of Pepco's electricity consumption at the substation with clean energy and further demonstrates Pepco's commitment to sustainability.
For photos of the mural, see here.