Abandoned Church Becomes Brilliant Urban Art Installation

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A languishing, yellowed church in Washington D.C. underwent a dramatic transformation in every shade of the rainbow, with street artist HENSE using it like a massive urban canvas. The church is in a downtrodden area with the potential to become the city’s next arts district, and this project represents the hope for a more colorful future.

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Dramatic and abstract, the project turns the former Friendship Baptist Church at 700 Delaware Avenue into an oversized mural just across the street from an abandoned lot set to become the site of a new art museum. Atlanta-based Alex ‘HENSE’ Brewer was commissioned to cover the church with paint.

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The project not only brightens the neighborhood and gives it a sense of a new identity, it also draws attention to a structure that has been abandoned and overlooked for many years. Like many other abandoned building art projects, 700 Delaware Ave forces people to acknowledge urban blight in the hopes of encouraging action.

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“Taking an existing building like the church and painting the entire thing re-contextualizes it and makes it a sculptural object,” HENSE told Design Boom. “We really wanted to turn the church into a three-dimensional piece of artwork. With projects like this one, we really try to use the existing architecture as inspiration for the direction of the painting.”

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See more photos at Design Boom.