Soon-to-be demolished warehouse used as canvas for fleeting works of art

Thursday, July 13, 2017

A group of graffiti artists gathered to paint the exterior of Ginn's Warehouse before its demolition this month. Photo courtesy of Hyattsville Community Development Corporation

BY KRISSI HUMBARD — Graffiti artists know their art might not be around for long; it’s part of the art style.

Last weekend, 44 artists gathered at the soon-to-be-demolished Ginn’s Warehouse near the West Hyattsville Metro Station for the Inaugural Double Down Kings All-City Invitational. The event was a two-day, whole building, large-scale installation of graffiti works.

Cory Stowers, a founding member of Double Down Kings (DDK) and founder of ART BLOC, came up with the idea. Most of the participating artists were members of DDK. “We had several graffiti writers from NYC, Baltimore, and Virginia in the mix, and one traveling graffiti writer from Europe joined in as well, but a majority of the artists are local,” Stowers said.

Stowers said the graffiti writers have been using this space to paint, primarily inside, for the past 10 years.

“These artists are doing terrific work and it’s often unrecognized and so, this is one way to help build community and create a temporary gallery that my community can enjoy,” Stuart Eisenberg, executive director of the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (CDC), told DCW50.

The event came about as Stowers worked with the CDC on the mural painted at the West Hyattsville Metro Station. “I mentioned to Stuart that it would be cool if we could approach the property owner and ask if we could paint the building prior to it being demolished,” Stowers said.

Gilbane Development Company, which is managing the Riverfront at West Hyattsville development, signed off on the event. The warehouse — and the artwork — will be demolished after the development’s groundbreaking July 18.

 

A group of graffiti artists gathered to paint the exterior of Ginn’s Warehouse before its demolition this month. The site is the future home of the Riverfront at West Hyattsville development. Photo courtesy of Hyattsville Community Development Corporation