Making Murals in Washington and Tehran

Tehran and Washington are two global cities dealing with economic transition. Both also have a rich history of public art, including murals. There haven’t been many opportunities for artists from the two cities to discuss their role in transforming their respective urban landscapes, but Iran and the United States are now experiencing a thaw in relations since the negotiation of a deal on Iran’s nuclear program in July 2015. A visit to the United States by Iranian muralist Mehdi Ghadyanloo in fall 2016 and his creation of murals in Boston, Los Angeles, and several other cities are both an outgrowth of that thaw and an indicator of the potential for even greater people-to-people interaction.


Mehdi Ghadyanloo

Artist; Muralist

Tehran, Iran

For the past eight years, Mehdi Ghadyanloo has been involved in the Municipality of Tehran’s Beautification Scheme, a committee set up to help promote mural art in the city. Mehdi is known for applying a Surrealist aesthetic with Persian figures and Iranian architectural motifs.


Nancee Lyons

Writer; Project Coordinator at MuralsDC

Washington DC, USA

Nancee Lyons is a spokesperson for the DC Department of Public Works, where she works with local, national and international artists to paint original works of art on walls riddled with graffiti.


Mazi Mutafa

Executive Director of Words Beats & Life

Washington DC, USA

Mazi Mutafa is the executive director of Words Beats & Life, a 14-year-old hip-hop non-profit based that teaches, convenes and presents Hip-Hop in The District, throughout the country and around the world. He began this organization as an after school program dedicated to creating transformative learning experiences in non-traditional classroom, teaching the elements of Hip-Hop.


Cita Sadeli (CHELOVE)

Artist; Designer; Co-Founder of Protein Media

Washington DC, USA

Cita Sadeli, also known as CHELOVE, is a noted muralist who straddles the fine art, illustration, and interactive design worlds. The better part of her professional design career was spent as Co-Founder/Director of DC/Brooklyn based Protein Media: an art, design & interactive company.