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Artworks from the legendary desert event known as Burning Man will activate the streets and parks of Washington, D.C.’s central business district for the first time through a collaboration between the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery and the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID). “No Spectators: Beyond the Renwick” presents six public art installations by noted Burning Man artists. The unique partnership marks the first time the Renwick Gallery will expand beyond its walls into the surrounding Golden Triangle neighborhood.
The project is an outdoor extension of the Renwick Gallery’s building-wide exhibition “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man,” which will feature large-scale, immersive artworks that are the hallmark of the annual celebration in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, an influential phenomenon in contemporary art as well a cultural movement. The exhibition will be on view from March 30 through Jan. 21, 2019, with the outdoor portion on display through December. Nora Atkinson, the museum’s Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft, curated the exhibition and collaborated with the Golden Triangle BID on the outdoor artwork selections. The BID worked with the artists and neighborhood stakeholders to produce the outdoor extension. The museum and the BID also collaborated with Burning Man Project, the nonprofit organization responsible for producing the annual Burning Man event and for facilitating and extending the culture that has issued from Burning Man into the wider world.
“We are excited to expand this exhibition beyond our walls in partnership with the Golden Triangle BID,” said Stephanie Stebich, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “This collaboration will surprise and delight the public in the vibrant neighborhood that the Renwick Gallery calls home through unexpected encounters with the astonishing work produced at Burning Man.”
“‘No Spectators: Beyond the Renwick’ will enliven key streets and parks in the Golden Triangle, the heart of D.C.’s central business district,” said Leona Agouridis, executive director of the BID. “Public art is a dynamic component of the Golden Triangle’s identity, enriching public space for nearly 90,000 daily workers and millions of residents and visitors to our neighborhood. We’re thrilled to collaborate with the Renwick on this first-ever outdoor extension and are grateful to our friends at Lyft for their generous support.”
The six installations include sculptures on Pennsylvania Avenue west of the White House and major corridors such as Connecticut Avenue. Jack Champion’s giant bronze crows will inhabit Murrow Park at Pennsylvania Avenue and 18th Street N.W., while Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson’s “Ursa Major,” a 14-foot-tall bear sculpture crafted from 170,000 shining pennies, will reside at 19th and I streets N.W. HYBYCOZO’s (Yelena Filipchuk and Serge Beaulieu) perforated-steel sculpture titled “Golden Spike,” will light up Connecticut Avenue at K Street N.W., and Laura Kimpton’s 20-foot-long steel “XOXO” installation, made together with Jeff Schomberg, will meet daily commuters at the Farragut West Metro station entrance at 18th and I streets N.W. Mischell Riley’s five-ton cast-cement bust, “Maya’s Mind,” pays homage to Maya Angelou and will be installed on 17th Street between H and I streets N.W., and Kate Raudenbush’s luminous 23-foot-tall laser-cut steel sculpture, “Future’s Past,” will captivate passersby near Monroe Park, at Pennsylvania Avenue and 21st Street N.W.
The Renwick Gallery and the BID will present related programming around the neighborhood to further engage audiences with the art and spirit of Burning Man. This will include walking tours along with other participatory and community activities. Details will be available in the spring online at americanart.si.edu/nospectators and goldentriangledc.com/initiative/beyond-the-renwick/. A map will be provided at the Renwick and online for self-guided tours of the outdoor installations.
“No Spectators: Beyond the Renwick,” an installation of outdoor sculptures and related programming in the neighborhood, is made possible by a collaboration with the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District and support from Lyft.
About the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery
The Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrates the vision and creativity of Americans with artworks in all media spanning more than four centuries. The Renwick Gallery is the museum’s branch for contemporary craft and decorative arts. The Renwick is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. americanart.si.edu.
About the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District
The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) works to enhance Washington, D.C.’s central business district, the 43-square-block neighborhood stretching from the White House to Dupont Circle. Home to more than 3,400 businesses, the BID’s primary focus is to provide a clean, safe and vibrant environment for hundreds of thousands of area workers and residents and millions of visitors, and to encourage economic development through capital improvement projects and innovative public art, sustainability and events programs. Follow the BID on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. More information: (202) 463-3400. goldentriangledc.com.
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