Yesterday I was strolling Little Junes through the quad at American University and we stopped to look at the "Seurat" elephant sculpture by Sam Gilliam which is one of the "Party Animals" public art projects that the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities did a few years ago. As you may recall, artists painted a couple of hundred donkeys and elephant statues which are now all over the city.
The Gilliam elephant is right in front of the School of History building at AU and the poor beast is falling apart. I don't know if this is happening to any of the other "party animals" sculptures (or the similar panda project), but the elephant is riddled with surface cracks, as it appears that the elements have won the battle with the finishing element of the fabrication and the sculpture is cracking all over the place.
A Connie Slack panda across the quad seems to be in good shape, although if I remember right, the "party animals" preceded the pandas. But now I wonder if any other of these outdoor pieces are showing the effects of the DMV's severe weather extremes.
Monday, September 20, 2010
To coincide with the 2010 Congressional Black Caucus, the Black Artists of DC (BADC) were invited to present works at the Mandarin Oriental Public Art Gallery from September 17- Mid October, 2010. This project was sponsored in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Included in this exhibit, "Omnipresence", are a wide array of approaches and disciplines. Established artists such as E. J. Montgomery, Martha Jackson-Jarvis and Michael Platt are presented along side emerging artists, Daniel Booking, whose iconic photo of the black male nude, and Shaunte Gates' quasi graphic painting are both noteworthy.
In this small survey show of black DC artists, there are investigations that range from the conceptual to the painterly and each discipline or point of departure is handled proficiently. The digital divide between the graphic arts and the brush is being bridged. Worth a look-see to find out how the continuum of "AfriCobra" principles translate in the 21st Century, check this show out, which marks the vision of a young and upcoming curator in Zoma Wallace.