Inspiring MVT Murals Transform Plywood from Despair to Hope

Friday July 3, 2020

With several Mount Vernon Triangle businesses sustaining significant damage in late May and early June, many of our property and business owners leveraged the healing power of art to transform negative symbols of blight into beautiful displays of inspiration and positivity.

Just days before its scheduled grand opening, a window at Thai restaurant Baan Siam was smashed by opportunists taking advantage of the protests that were happening across downtown. Not to be deterred by this temporary setback, the father of Baan Siam co-owner Tom Healy turned the temporary protective plywood into the beautiful artwork shown below that will be prominently featured in the restaurant’s dining room. What’s more, thanks to District government assistance the remainder of the property was protected from further damage and able to open on schedule—much to the delight of Baan Siam’s many new and returning customers!

More recently, local artist Nova West brightened the plywood of Shouk – Mount Vernon Triangle’s popular Israeli plant-based restaurant – with a powerfully inspiring artwork that conveys a critically important and uplifting message in support of the black trans community. MVT CID partnered with the non-profit Radical Empathy and its Radical Plywood initiative to commission this work, which will be de-installed once the replacement windows are installed and eventually auctioned to benefit organizations working toward black trans liberation. The mural will be up for just a handful of days, so be sure to swing by Shouk at 655 K Street NW to see Nova’s beautiful work while it’s still there!