At Worn Creative our jobs basically rule when we get to work with thoughtful local companies AND include incredible local artists in our work. We’re excited to share a new video series we’re producing for &pizza that tells the stories of customers pursuing their dreams in each new &pizza neighborhood.
The series starts with U Street, a hub of arts and culture dating back to Duke Ellington and the jazz greats of the 50s and 60s. Let us introduce you to a group of four artists who are living out their dreams on U Street.
U ST. Featuring Kristen McCoy & Erin Derge of Ginger Root Design, Kelly Towles, Tariq Tucker, and Willard Jenkins. Music by Wytold. Video by Worn Creative.
Read more about the artists featured in this video below.
Kelly Towles is an acclaimed street artist who grew up as a military brat and did graffiti in high school. Two years after college he got picked up by a gallery and today he supports himself and his family as a full-time artist. His whimsical paintings of imaginary characters are coveted by local brands who commission him to adorn their walls.
Erin Derge and Kristen Swenson came to D.C. from Minneapolis, Minnesota after meeting at sewing school. Erin worked as a seamstress sewing Big Birds on Sesame Street. Kristen moved to D.C. first in 2007 and as she tells it, “accidentally started [her] own tailoring business.” She asked Erin to help out for the summer when the customers became more than she could handle, and Erin never left. The pair now run their own tailoring and design shop on U Street dedicated to making eco-friendly clothing using recycled fabric. They help customers repurpose their old garments and turn them into fresh, fashionable pieces.
Tariq Tucker lives in a quintessential U Street jazz house. His father was the jazz drummer Pete Tucker, and this fact, in combination with his passion for the music, makes him a member of an exclusive jazz listening group that meets on U Street. Jazz is in his blood. “Bebop is why I’m a painter,” he explains.
The music compels him to paint abstract works that incorporate architecture and sound. There’s not a time that jazz isn’t playing in his historic row house studio and he shows his work across D.C.
Willard Jenkins has been a jazz journalist for 40 years. He’s interviewed every jazz great from Dizzy Gillespie to Ella Fitzgerald. He can tell you what it’s like to sit in a hotel room with Miles Davis and talk about love. His weekly radio show on WPFW inspires young musicians who continue to come together for the music at the historic venues on U Street like Bohemian Caverns where the great Duke Ellington played live shows. He’s living out his dream by documenting the great jazz musicians who lived theirs.