Glenn Kaino’s Bridge reads as an assembly of bones or a golden-slatted rope footbridge, though closer inspection reveals that the 200 “slats” are in the form of a familiar arm, not quite recognizable out of context. The slats are made from a contemporary cast of athlete Tommie Smith’s limb: when receiving his gold medal for the 200-meter Olympic Race in Mexico City, Smith raised his fist in the iconic Black Power gesture of civil and human rights solidarity. Siting this sculpture within Washington, DC – the epicenter for political change and justice – this installation makes a poignant statement.
The Bridge is one of 25 public artworks, part of 5x5, a Project of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. 5×5 is an ambitious District-wide program of contemporary, temporary public art dedicated to exploring new perspectives in DC through the lens of five curators. In fact, it is the largest, temporary public art project in the District. The project will began in early September and ends December, 2014.
To achieve the 5×5 objectives, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) commissions five highly-experienced and innovative art professionals, who each select five artists to develop and present exciting, publicly accessible art works. The result is twenty-five projects that activate and enliven all eight wards and add a layer of creativity and artistic expression to the District’s neighborhoods. This unique curatorial approach allows for a different artistic viewpoint from each curator, resulting in a wide range of diverse, compelling installations and performances.
Through 5×5, DCCAH continues to develop opportunities for curators and artists to engage in the experimental and to further their artistic development through authentic relationship building with the community, actively using the environment and its materials in the creation of artworks, and exploring themes of social justice.
• ACTIVATE spaces to attract residents and visitors to explore within and beyond the monumental core.
• SHOWCASE artworks that are innovative, engage the viewers in dynamic, interactive and creative ways.
• DEVELOP opportunities for artists to experiment with approaches not possible through permanent public art commissions.
• BUILD relationships with local residents, galleries and cultural institutions.
• CREATE an environment in which the works of local, regional, national and international artists merge to reflect the character and identity of the city.
• PROMOTE the creative profile of Washington, DC to the nation and the world.
The 5x5 Project: Bridges
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Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
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In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
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The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.