Posted tagged ‘public art’

New Mural at 649 Kenyon Street Finished

October 10, 2016
Muralist Remi Rough painting mural at 649 Kenyon Street, NW

Muralist Remi Rough painting mural at 649 Kenyon Street, NW

I posted earlier about two new murals that were in progress in the Park View area. One is near the Georgia Avenue Metro station (post forthcoming) and the other is at 649 Kenyon Street, located just east of Georgia Avenue. Both murals were part of Art Whino’s District Walls project, which curated 10 world renowned abstract muralists who painted murals throughout Washington, DC.

The artist chosen for 649 Kenyon Street was London-based artist Remi Rough. In very quick order, he painted the new mural on the side of the property. Thanks to the homeowner who had the foresight to plan ahead, we have the great time-lapse video below documenting the creation of the new mural.

Enjoy watching the video!

New Murals Headed for Neighborhood as Part of District Walls

September 26, 2016
New Park View mural on Georgia Avenue between Lamont and Kenyon.

New Park View mural on Georgia Avenue between Lamont and Kenyon.

The Georgia Avenue corridor is about to get more colorful in the coming days. I’m sure many have already noticed the new Park View mural on the west side of Georgia midway between Lamont and Kenyon (see inset), but there are two more that I am aware of that will be in progress starting today — one on the side of 829 Rock Creek Church Road (west of Georgia) and one on the side of 649 Kenyon Street (just east of Georgia Avenue).

The new murals on Kenyon and Rock Creek Church Road are part of Art Whino’s District Walls project. Art Whino will be curating 10 world renowned abstract muralists who will be painting murals through Washington, DC.  Numerous local artists will assist these muralists, allowing for an exchange of artistic knowledge.  DISTRICT WALLS is supported in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Muralist began painting the week of September 19th and will finish their murals by September 30th.

Below is a photo of the mural on Rock Creek Church Road in progress.

img_1560(Mural in progress at 829 Rock Creek Church Road, by Waone of Interesni Kazki)

… and below is the design created by artist Remi Rough for the side of Kenyon Place.

remirough-mural(Design by Remi Rough for 649 Kenyon Street)

Metro Mural Tells History of Georgia Avenue

August 5, 2016
Commuters depicted in the mural at the Georgia Avenue Metro station.

Commuters depicted in the mural at the Georgia Avenue Metro station.

With Metro’s current focus on repairing and upgrading the Metrorail system — and the disruption it is causing for daily commuters — it might be easy to overlook some of the things Metro has done well. One example that I appreciate every day is the mural at the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Station titled Homage to a Community.

The following description of the mural is from WMATA’s Web site,

Homage to a Community, by Florida artists Andrew Reid and Carlos Alves, is located at Georgia Avenue-Petworth station on the Green Line in the District of Columbia. The artwork consists of two components. The 130-foot-long stylized painted mural by Andrew Reid illustrates the rich history of the Georgia Avenue-Petworth community. The bold design of the contoured mural is a flowing chronology of defining events in the George Avenue-Petworth community in the context of local and world histories. The high energy of the handmade clay and cracked tiles of the accompanying frieze by Carlos Alves captures the spirit and promise of the Georgia Avenue-Petworth community.

In 2015, the Georgia Avenue station served about 6,300 daily riders. That’s a lot of people walking past the mural every day — yet I suspect  few pay much attention to the mural and possibly fewer still take time to appreciate some of the imagery and how it relates to the community. In looking at the images, the mural largely shows a history of Georgia Avenue south of the Metro station and reads from right to left.

Among the images are references to Native Americans; Abraham Lincoln, the civil war, & the emancipation proclamation; Schuetzen Park; Howard University; Griffith Stadium and the Senators & Grays; the Bakeries of lower Georgia Avenue, such as Corby and Bond Bread; Duke Ellington and U Street; World War II; Civil Rights; and modern commuters.

Below are a few images from the mural:

IMG_1295(Native Americans are depicted at the beginning of the mural as one enters the station from the west side. One of D.C.’s oldest continuous streets is Rock Creek Church Road, which likely started at a trail blazed by Native Americans.)

IMG_1294(Abraham Lincoln is prominently included in the mural. Lincoln summered at the nearby Soldiers’ Home and would  travel on Rock Creek Church Road and Georgia Avenue on his daily commute to the White House.)

IMG_1291(Germans drinking and shooting game refer to the old Schuetzen Park, located near Georgia Avenue and Irving Street.)

IMG_1292(Baseball at Griffith Stadium — located where Howard University Hospital now sits — is represented by this section of the mural.)

IMG_1287(The once active bakeries of southern Georgia Avenue are shown above. The section also includes a streetcar.)

IMG_1293(Duke Ellington and the vibrant U Street community are depicted above.)

New Park View Mural Greets Georgia Avenue Visitors

April 4, 2016

A new mural was recently painted on the south side of the old Murray’s grocery store which is simple and to the point — directly stating “Park View.” I was able to learn that the mural was painted by local Park View artist Anthony Dihle and his company, Victory Dance Creative. If you haven’t heard of Victory Dance Creative before, I’m confident that you’ve seen their work — especially the posters for their DC Neighborhood Project which are available at Walls of Books.

Murray's mural(New mural at 3400 Georgia Avenue at the intersection with Morton Street.)

Is There Room in Smaller Parks for Functional Public Sculpture?

April 17, 2015

Over the years, I’ve given a lot of thought to D.C.’s parks, playgrounds, and green spaces. Perhaps this is partially due to how little accessible green space we currently have in Park View. As vast amounts of land just aren’t going to become available anytime soon, its easier to think about how current parkland could be improved to increase their value to the community without decreasing their usefulness.

The Park View Recreation Center is an obvious site where — though it is greatly improved — there is still room for additional improvement. Fortunately, the small field house is currently being renovated which should add much needed space for community meetings, birthday parties, or any other community event without impacting the Rec Center’s programs.

With regards to our smaller park areas, amenities should be in scale with their sites, add beauty to the community, and enhance or encourage activities that already exist. For an example, just over a year ago I suggested that the small park area at Kenyon and Georgia Avenue would be an ideal place for Washington’s original von Steuben memorial (either the original or a replica). The site is part of what was once Schuetzen Park, the original site of the memorial. It is also a small site well suited to a small public sculpture.

The Fountain of Three Graces in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

The Fountain of Three Graces in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

In the same spirit, a small work of art would also be well suited to the small triangle park at Rock Creek Church Road and Park Place (aka Reserve 321-A). Having observed people use this park for years, I’ve seen two primary activities there — young adults playing catch and dog owners playing with their companions or just taking them for a walk. Keeping this in mind, a sculpture on the site would need to be small, out of the way, and ideally useful. One idea could be a small fountain.

In thinking about fountain types, I think the Fountain of Three Graces in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, offers a good example of the characteristics that such a fountain in our area could embrace. Its relatively simple, it has no front or back being instead in the round, the water catch basins are at ground level, and it includes lighting to illuminate the fountain at night. Why I’m particularly drawn to the fountain idea, and one with ground level catch basins, goes back to all the dog owners I see using the park. If it is possible to install such an amenity, it would be nice if the fountain could double as a place where dogs could get a drink of water, especially in the hot summer weather.

Many of our smaller parks serve a variety of needs, but at most have infrastructure limited to sidewalks and street lights. This seems like a missed opportunity, and one that should be fully developed with community input. Whether a fountain here, or a sculpture there, or something entirely different, D.C. needs a master plan for parks and public spaces beyond what is strictly maintained by the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Design and placement aside, the image below shows how such a fountain could look:

Park Place Fountain(Overall concept of what a fountain could look like in our smaller parks.)

 

Admiring the Restored “A People Without Murals is a Demuralized People” Mural

April 7, 2015

If you’ve ever been on Adams Mill Road just north of Columbia Road and looked at the side of the Kogibow Bakery, you’ll have noticed the large mural on the side of the building titled “Un pueblo sin murales es un pueblo desmuralizado” (“A people without murals are a demuralized people.”). It was originally designed and executed in the mid-1970s by brothers Caco and Renato Salazar.  When the 2011 earthquake occurred, the owner of Kogibow Bakery had to repair structural damage externally which resulted in damage to the mural. You can see the extent of the damage before efforts began in April 2014 to restore the mural in an article from the CityPaper that provides more details about the project. There is also a WAMU feature from 2012 that is worth listening to, which also provides some history about the mural.

A People Without Murals is a Demuralized People

The photo above shows the mural as it looks today, after restoration. The plaque below accompanies the mural.

People without murals

Las Bicicletas — Bicycle Inspired Sculpture in Washington Until April 5th

March 30, 2015

LAS BICICLETAS(Las Bicicletas at the Moynihan Plaza)

Last week while on the way to the Wilson Building, I had the opportunity to see the traveling sculpture exhibit Las Bicicletas by Mexican artist Gilberto Aceves Navarro. The installation is at the Moynihan Plaza by the Reagan Building until April 5th, meaning that you have until this Sunday if you want to see it in person.

The following news release from the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center provides more information:

March 5 – April 5
Moynihan Plaza

LAS BICICLETAS is an urban art exhibit created by Mexican artist Gilberto Aceves Navarro. It comprises 250 bicycle sculptures in black, white, red and orange; colors that were used by the Mayan culture to symbolize the four cardinal points. Our mission is to promote through art the use of bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation, to develop better living conditions for all people in friendlier cities. Our objective is that bicycles are universally recognized as vehicles of happiness and health.

In 2014 LAS BICICLETAS started an international tour in the streets of New York City. In 2015, the tour will continue in Washington, D.C. where the exhibit will be displayed at the Moynihan Plaza of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. As a tribute to celebrate Gilberto Aceves Navarro’s 83rd birthday, 83 sculptures will be exhibited for the public to enjoy during the month of March, 2015. This exhibit intends to offer, both visitors and residents of the city, a space for inspiration and the enjoyment of public art, as well at to render homage to the bicycle.

In addition to the exhibit, LAS BICICLETAS is an art collection composed by 250 original designs, each piece on three different scales. Each of these sculptures has its respective certificate of authenticity properly signed by the artist.

The Artist 

Gilberto Aceves Navarro (born in México City, 1931) is one of the most celebrated representatives of abstract expressionism in Mexico. He assisted David Alfaro Siqueiros as a young artist and today his name is synonymous of the best Mexican contemporary art. The most recognized awards and acknowledgements that the artist has received are The National University Prize (National Autonomous University of Mexico) in 1989, The National Prize for Arts and Sciences in 2003 and The Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts and Sciences in 2011. He has been invited on numerous occasions to show his art in Germany, Japan, Colombia and the United States.

LAS BICICLETAS


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