‘Beacon of hope’: New mural brightens community garden in Southeast DC

The art helps to shine a light on the Southeast D.C. garden as it serves

The art helps to shine a light on the Southeast D.C. garden as it serves as a source of food during a time of need amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Local artists Mark Garrett and Dietrich Williams pose with a mural at the Hopkins Community Park in Southeast D.C.

Courtesy Ayanah George Photography

A child helps to paint a mural at the Hopkins Community Park in Southeast D.C.

Courtesy Ayanah George Photography

Artists pose in front of a new mural at the Hopkins Community Park in Southeast D.C.

Courtesy Ayanah George Photography

A child helps to paint a mural at the Hopkins Community Park in Southeast D.C.

Ayanah George Photography/Ayanah George Photography

Residents pose while helping to paint a mural at the Hopkins Community Park in Southeast D.C.

Courtesy Ayanah George Photography

A new art display is brightening up a community park in Southeast D.C. that helps provide food to local families and brings the neighborhood together.

Destinee Johnson, a program associate with the 11th Street Bridge Park, said the Hopkins Community Park at the D.C. Housing Authority’s Hopkins Apartments serves as a place to gather.

“A big part of our project is community engagement,” Johnson said. “Folks that live at Hopkins can plant different things in the garden, raise it, pick it, harvest it.”

The park is one of six urban farms and gardens managed and supported by the 11th Street Bridge Park, a project of Building Bridges Across the River. See the other urban farm locations here.

The residents are fully involved in the work of the garden. Herbs, flowers and produce are all grown there. “It’s 100% maintained by residents as well as our farm team,” Johnson said.

Among the garden is a new art display done by residents, along with local artists Mark Garrett and Dietrich Williams.

Garrett said the bright-colored mural features “a superimposed image of the garden’s text over the building itself.” It’s made with water-based acrylic paint and has an anti-graffiti coating.

Residents worked over a week to paint the mural and create signs for their crops in the garden. The Hopkins farm has been up and running for about three years.

Williams said the art helps to shine a light on the garden as it serves as a source of food during a time of need amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The garden itself stands as a beacon of hope and light on so many different levels,” Williams said.

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