Meet the Man Behind Some of DC’s Coolest Murals – Joel Bergner


Ed. Note: First, let me thank all the folks who wrote to let me know of the new mural going up on U Street just east of 14th Street. I love getting tips for new restaurants and development but it brings me a special joy when folks write in with murals and doors and gardens and signs… it makes me realize that I’m not crazy.

I was lucky enough to run into the artist, Joel Bergner, 30, while he was painting his most recent piece. Joel is originally from Chicago but has lived in DC for the past two and a half years (near Howard University). He says he was never a gallery artist but simply taught himself. He started going bigger and bigger leading to murals. In addition to being able to go bigger with murals, Joel also likes the community aspect of painting murals. A recent one (see photo below) on 15th Street, NW just south of Park Road was painted with the help of local youth.


He is able to paint these murals with the assistance of grants from the DC Commission of the Arts. You may recognize his style. In addition to the one above, he has also painted the great one on the corner of Morgan’s Seafood on Georgia Ave. He also has pieces in NE, DC as well as up in Silver Spring. I’d just like to take this opportunity to publicly thank him for all his work. I think he has greatly contributed to making this city a much nicer place to live.


Sadly, I wasn’t able to ask him all the questions I would have liked to but maybe he’ll read this and answer a couple more that I wish I asked – how long does it take to paint them, how does he pick the designs and how does he select the buildings/locations? Now if only we could get him to Bacon Funeral HomeAfter the jump a photo of his current project on U Street. I’ll be sure to update when it’s completed.


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