This summer, I was one of nearly 200 cyclists who toured D.C. one night in search of the city's most colorful murals in parking lots and back alleys.
The tour was co-sponsored by MuralsDC, a citywide project that trains young artists to paint mural masterpieces over tired, tawdry graffiti.
"It makes art so personal and accessible at once," says Laura Lyons, 20, a summer volunteer.
Successful murals reflect a particular community's history and culture and consequently instill pride in residents, says Lyons, and the paintings allow everyone to experience something beautiful — without going to a museum or gallery.
Teresa Tomassoni is the 2011 recipient of the NPR/Washington Post Stone & Holt Weeks Fellowship.