Alfred Smith, a Professor of Art at Howard University, designed the mural entitled Community Rhythms to pay homage to Romare Bearden, one of the most influential African-American painters of the twentieth century, as well as to the African-American, Asian-Pacific, and Hispanic communities of the city’s neighborhoods. Smith worked with his students at Howard to execute the 4 X 160 foot mural, which is meant to liken the cityscape architecture to the bass or the rhythm section of a jazz ensemble. The mural was installed at the U Street Cordoza Metro Stop in 1995.
In regards to the intention of the mural, Smith stated the following: “The value of this mural is in the process. What Bearden envisioned was the sharing that musicians have. Unlike dancers, visual artists have always worked by themselves. Here, students have followed the call-and-response patterns of jazz—one artist does something and another responds.”
Inside the U St./Cardozo Metro. (Enter this stop to see!)