Inside the Beltway


Washington is home to some of the nation's most dynamic street art


collage of street art shared on instagram

Don't let DC's buttoned-up reputation fool you: this city has a colorful side. In March, the Huffington Post named Washington one of the 15 best cities in the world for street art—and for good reason. DC's seeing a "huge mural boom," says Cory Oberndorfer, CAS/MFA '08, a studio artist who crafted a larger-than-life orange Push-Up in DC's NoMa neighborhood as part of a 10-day paint fest called POW! WOW! 

"In a public space you can reach people who don't take the time to visit a museum or gallery but still have the ability to appreciate art," Oberndorfer says. "Work you see on the street is allowed to play for an immediate read, while traditional studio art usually asks for more time and investigation." We scoured the streets and picked 30 of our favorite sidewalk masterpieces. Check out #dcstreetart and follow us on Instagram (@au_americanmag) for more eye-popping stencil graffiti, poster and sticker art, and murals.