The visual artist got the go-ahead from real estate developers to create public art projects in Washington, DC

Public art has the power to transform mundane public spaces into dynamic canvases that make art accessible. These installations meet people where they are and bring imaginative thought into everyday life.

Nekisha Durrett - I Love You Miss Celie baloon
Nekisha Durrett’s “I Love You Miss Celie” art installation (Photo: Nekisha Durrett)


Visual artist Nekisha Durrett uses public art to provoke thought and bring smiles around the country. On April 24, 2017, Nekisha and five other artists pitched themselves to real-estate developers for the chance to create public art installations at the inaugural ART TANK in Washington, D.C.



Organized as part of Cultural DC’sVision DC Summit, the first-of-its-kind event brought artists and real-estate developers together to negotiate the development of public art projects live on-stage.

Art Tank 2017 host and judges (Photo: CulturalDC & Ralph Alswang)


Each artist had three minutes to pitch themselves to a panel of real-estate developers including Ditto. DevelopmentFoulger-Pratt DevelopmentartspaceUrban AtlanticABDO Development, and Forest City Washington. These developers are building multimillion-dollar projects in and around the nation’s capital. Following each pitch, the real-estate developers engaged the artists in a Q&A session before deciding to make a bid to secure the artists’ services for their upcoming projects.

Nekisha Durrett


Nekisha Durrett uses a variety of mediums including construction mesh, adhesive vinyl, window film, die-cut acrylic, and traditional painting to create massive graphic drawings. At ART TANK, Durrett struck deals with two real-estate developers. After the event, Brandon Andrews sat down with her to discuss the business of public art and her thoughts on the event.

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