Wilmington Renaissance Corporation and Creative District Wilmington will dedicate the first 7th Street Arts Bridge mural, “Be the Light, Spread Love” by Smashed Label tonight, Aug. 5, at 5:30 p.m. Mayor Dennis Williams, Council President Theo Gregory, Councilwoman Hanifa Shabazz, and spoken word artist Asia Blu will be among the guests speaking at the event. Following the dedication will be an evening of entertainment and a celebration of the arts at The iNSPIRE Lot at 215–219 W. Seventh St. between Orange and Tatnall streets.
“It is a pleasure to honor Smashed Label artists Corei and Crae Washington for their time and dedication to the production of the first 7SAB mural,” says Carrie W. Gray, managing director of Wilmington Renaissance Corporation. “’Be the Light, Spread Love’ has created a sense of connectivity between strangers, in a time when communities need it the most, reinforcing our belief that art builds community.”
The 7th Street Arts Bridge is the first phase of public art projects within Wilmington’s Creative District. 7SAB is a transformative and unifying project in an area in need of renewal that will connect artists, entrepreneurs and residents to downtown Wilmington. 7SAB will transform this strategic corridor by creating structural, visual, event-driven and spiritual connections between people and places.
“We are honored to have been chosen for this project. We could feel the outpouring of support from the community while we worked on the mural,” said Smashed Label artists Corei and Crae Washington. “We hope it will be inspiring to the children and the city for many years to come. It proves that art can build bridges and smash labels.” The Washington brothers founded Smashed Label in 2011. Using graphic design, painting, murals and screen-printing in various projects and collaborations, their work promotes individuality by questioning stereotypes and smashing social labels.
Smashed Label has exhibited and participated in Wilmington Fringe Festival, “Wilmington Trap Stars: A Street Art Exhibition” at the DCCA and Wilmington Jazz Fest, as well as several exhibitions organized by Atypical Society. Smashed Label’s work can be seen in multiple locations throughout Wilmington, including Theatre N, Harvest Christian Academy and the 600 block of North Union Street, a mural project organized by the community group West Side Grows Together and University of Delaware students.
Wilmington’s Creative District is a part of a national wave of creative placemaking initiatives that seek to transform urban areas. The Creative District encompasses the area bounded by Fourth, Ninth, Market and Washington streets and, with the engagement of public and private partners, will continue the momentum of LOMA and Market Street. The Creative District is focused on creative production and consumption. It’s a place where creative entrepreneurs—artists, musicians, designers, tech innovators, makers and manufacturers—and neighborhood residents thrive, and where locally designed goods and original works are made and consumed. This revitalization will engage the community—current and future residents, as well as civic and business leaders—in a wide range of initiatives and programs that include affordable housing, greening and streetscape projects, real estate development, programming and community engagement activities, public art and public performance projects, and centers for creative entrepreneurship.
The iNSPIRE Lot Series, is held 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. in conjunction with Wilmington’s First Friday Art Loop. Enjoy live music by Gable Music Ventures, assorted food trucks, hands-on art activities and a whole lot of fun.