Design for an East Facing Townhouse Wall, 33' x 35' overlooking the Westminster Playground. The overall concept of "community" is realized by the choice of colors, symbols of progress and achievement, sheltering architecture, and an atmosphere of movement and interconnection. Views of the Westminster neighborhood and the 14th and U Streets corridor depict the historical character of the late 19th Century Shaw architecture and the pride of community professionals, working people and craftsmen, who made Shaw their home from the late 1800’s to the present.
“It is our goal to involve community members in bringing quality public art projects to their neighborhoods while creating opportunities for local artists. . . . The mural was funded through the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Community Public Art Initiatives program which makes its funding decisions based on community interests and the public use of proposed sites. Locations for the installation of such public art are identified through a city-wide nomination process, and the artists are selected through open competitions that include community representatives as members of the selection committees."
The InTowner By P.L. Wolff. June, 2003
The artist worked with the arts commission on budgeting in a two step process: wall fabrication and mural design. Project timelines included review stages, completion and a mural dedication for the public. The artist and the Westminster Neighborhood Association President enlisted a contractor to construct wall panels over a historic brick facade townhouse overlooking the playground in preparation for the wall mural by the artist. The artist and a team of six assistants worked in the summer heat to complete the mural in a month. Staging for materials was secured in the basement of a neighborhood resident across the street from the project site. The artist Interacted with neighborhood residents and day care centers using the playground on a daily basis.
"So, here it was September 7, 2002. We were happy and very proud of our new playground. I think the project brought the neighborhood closer together. It’s now up to us to see that we continue to take ownership of the playground. In twenty years, it’s my hope, people will still set in the playground and watch their children play and admire the art. They will if we can continue to take responsibility, continue to listen to each other, continue to dream, and continue to take pride in our neighborhood." Chuck Baxter, playground coordinator.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
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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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