Graffiti Artist Transforms Derelict Church Into Large Scale Mural [Pics]

Graffiti Artist Transforms Derelict Church Into Large Scale Mural [Pics]

Artist HENSE brings color to an up-and-coming D.C. area by boldly and brightly painting a historic building.

Daniela Walker
  • 7 february 2013

700 Delaware is the latest public art work by graf writer turned contemporary artist Alex Brewer aka HENSE. The title is the address, 700 Delaware Avenue in Ward 6, a rough and tumble waterfront neighborhood in Washington D.C.. There, stands a historic run-down church that was given new life last year when the owner commissioned HENSE to create a mural on its facade.

The building stands across the street from a planned museum and hotel complex that will house the Rubells’ collection. For HENSE, the project was about bringing vibrancy to the neighborhood. He told the SouthWester:

The bigger picture of all of this is for this neighborhood to become a hub for art in D.C. and to show people you can take something and re-purpose it in a positive way.


Not content with simply creating a mural, HENSE wanted to make the church into a 3D sculpture, drastically changing its visual presence in the area using bright colors and whimsical shapes. The project took a small team several weeks of layering on paint to achieve the effect HENSE desired:  ‘I want it to be very impactful, bold and viewed from afar.’

For the most part, the artist’s work has garnered a positive reaction from the community. But, during the process there were some nay-sayers who came by to tell him that he was desecrating the church:

Although once it was explained that it was a work in progress and had positive thought behind the gestures, colors and marks, they generally understood. The nature of creating public art is that you are dealing with many different feelings and opinions on art and that can be very subjective. The nature of creating public art is that you are dealing with many different feelings and opinions on art and that can be very subjective.

See more pictures of 700 Delaware to form your own opinion:



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