We used an acorn with a cross section showing all the parts of the future oak being constructed within it to indicate that just because you don’t see growth on the surface, there’s still a lot going on behind the scenes.” — BroCoLoco
Created by the brotherly team BroCoLoco, the “WallNut” acorn H Street art appears on the side of the former Korame Home Products building at 620 H Street NE in the Atlas District. Commissioned for the 2013 H Street Festival, this acorn mural helps bring a little life to a mind-numbing stretch of blank beige wall – a wall that won’t exist for very much longer thanks to the sponsors of the mural, Insight Property Group.
Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Lexington, Ky., the Brothers Company Art Venture (aka BroCoLoco) is Aaron and Jared Scales’ design collaboration, which offers “storytelling services through art, architecture, branding, marketing & design.” Older brother Aaron is an architect who’s designed U.S. embassies and an award-winning Kentucky bus shelter. Jared is a sous chef on the side. The brothers have traveled to nearly 30 countries and use their travels as inspiration for global humanitarian endeavors. BroCoLoco donates funds to sponsor children through both Children International and ChildFund.
But let’s get back to the transected acorn. Just to the left of “WallNut” appear the phrases “Apollo Returning to H Street Soon” and “Mighty oaks hide in small seeds.” From 1913 to 1955, the Apollo Theatre, an ornate early Washington movie theater, stood here at 624 H Street NE. Like so many other once-cherished sites now demolished, the Apollo will live on in the massive new development taking its name. The $120 million Apollo H Street will include 321 residential units, 74,000 square feet of retail, more than 440 parking spaces and bicycle parking.
Say goodbye to longtime neighbors Murry’s Fine Foods, Korame Home Products, Good Danny’s Carry Out and H Street Storage. All will be closing this summer to make room for the mixed-use community, which will include a Whole Foods. The project, developed by acorn mural sponsors Insight Property Group, breaks ground in the fall. As for the “mighty oaks” phrase, yeah, we get it: Marketers have been co-opting the “great things come from small beginnings” idea for centuries, as in, great big new buildings come from the demolition of smaller older buildings.
BONUS: In addition to being artists, designers, photographers and self-proclaimed “creative extraordinaires,” the BroCoLoco brothers are also musicians. This video of “Hello Goodbye” should make it clear why we say hello to their murals and goodbye to their music.