What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you hear D.C.? Home, fried chicken and mumbo sauce. Favorite parts of the city? The Hirshhorn. I love everyone over there. I can’t draw or paint, so that was my first interaction with art outside of those traditional mediums. How would your perfect day in D.C. go? Where would it take you? I’d start off with brunch at Maketto, go to the Botanic Garden, obviously with my daughter and fiancé. From there, we’d go to [boutique and café concept] Somewhere and spend money we shouldn’t be spending. In transit, we’d pass like seven No Kings murals, and those bring me to light. Last, we’d catch a show at the Kennedy Center, and then a nightcap with Rock Creek Social Club. When your friends come to D.C., where do you take them? If they’re into art, I’d double down and take them by the Hirshhorn. And any of Erik Bruner-Yang’s restaurants: Maketto, Brothers and Sisters, any of them. What aspect of D.C. is underrated? It’s the scene. It’s the culture and people. The diversity of minds and creators. The creators are underrated. Overrated? We’re not all into politics. I try not to talk about it at all. Best career advice you’ve gotten? Don’t stand in the corner and limit yourself. If you want to change your career seven times, do it. If you’re being honest with your passion and operating from inward to outward, there’s no limit. What kind of work would you do for free? Everything. Everything I do. I’d create for free. It’s the most incredible thing that you can do – just facilitate existence. Favorite aspect of your job? To be able to gain insight to push my own perspective and live vicariously [through] those experiences without having to go through them. Least favorite? I take it all. Life is like a Jenga game: you can’t adjust anything without it affecting other things. Which living person do you most look up to? My parents: definitely my mom and her ability to be resilient and figure it out, and my dad, who came to this country from Guyana in South America. What is your most treasured possession? I think my mind, honestly. I feel very, very into the fact that I can think and use my brain.
No Kings Collective’s Brandon Hill illustrated this month’s cover, giving a unique perspective to how he sees D.C. How would you approach a creative project like that? How would your art reflect your feelings for the city?
[I’d try to] highlight some of the unknown in D.C. I’d try to walk it with a linear timeline: the experience of D.C., what it used to be and what it is now. As I approach the now, I would focus on the subsets that people don’t know: the arts scene, the music scene. The concept would be to display those correlated lines between what people know of D.C. and the D.C. that natives really love. It wouldn’t be limited to video. I would collaborate on a number of different mediums.
Who are some women doing cool things that have caught your attention or even inspire you?
I have to start with my personal story. My mom, sister, fiancé and daughter – they’re all my rocks – including my grandma and soon to be mother-in-law. To be able to do so much and operate in a world that isn’t as nice as it needs to be – it taught me resilience. The sheer amount of tenacity my mom brought is something I try to replicate. Seeing [my fiancé] going through pregnancy and giving birth and seamlessly switching roles to make sure we’re good [is amazing].
What about the women in the city, your artistic contemporaries?
There’s the whole GIRLAAA crew. They’re pushing forward women experiences, which we all can take part in. It’s hard to create an experience that’s catered toward a subset but is still a place for everyone. Tahrook [artist Maryann Taruc] – her paintings are incredible. There’s also my homegirls at Hen House. Their shit is fire. They’re so interesting. There are a lot, man. I’m blessed I get to interact with quite a few of them. It’s an extension of how I grew up. Women are f—king dope, bro.
What changes has the city gone through, whether it be a new restaurant group, cultural institution or museum, that are exciting to you?
I think the energy in general. There’s people trying to push the culture forward, and I don’t mean that in an empty way. It’s a culture of food, a culture of fashion and art. I think the inspiring part is soon we’ll be known for our culture and creators. I love the camaraderie in the city. I feel like I can do anything from the amount of support.
For more information about Edwards and his artistic endeavors, visit www.district-dodger.com. Follow him on Instagram @districtdodger.