Golden Triangle Arts Exhibition Enriches Connecticut Avenue in the Heart of DC’s Central Business District
Washington, DC (April 4, 2019)— The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) opens Layers + Lines, a new public art exhibition on Connecticut Avenue, on April 4, 2019. Bringing together two pieces of art, Up ‘til Now by DC-based artist Nekisha Durrett and Axis Mundi by NYC-based artist Kate Raudenbush, the exhibition explores the layers of history in the Golden Triangle neighborhood, the geometries of our built environment, and the lines connecting us to our community.
“We are excited to bring this new public art exhibition to Washington’s central business district,” said Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID. “Layers + Lines is the latest in the BID’s 10-year history of creating a transformative public art program. Each day, these new artworks will enrich the public space for the neighborhood’s nearly 90,000 workers as well as millions of residents and visitors throughout the year.”
Up ‘til Now is located at the Connecticut Avenue Overlook south of Dupont Circle, while Axis Mundi is installed on Connecticut Avenue NW and K Street.
Durrett’s Up ‘til Now evokes the history of the area’s landscape and architecture. It envisions the forests, thickets, marshes, and springs from hundreds of years ago gradually giving way to the roadways, infrastructure, and buildings that shape our built environment today. Looking through the peephole on the front of the structure, one can see a diorama invoking the rolling terrain blanketing DC hundreds of years ago before colonial times. Durrett also summons the Victorian rowhomes later populating this area through the architectural shape and ornamentation of her sculpture.
“The history-laden streets of the Golden Triangle neighborhood are the ideal forum to present a work with themes common in my public installations,” said Durrett. “Up ‘til Now confronts the layered meanings that materials and objects hold and the space where fantasy, imagination, and history converge while summoning subject matter that is hidden from plain sight.”
Kate Raudenbush’s Axis Mundi is a futuristic landmark that echoes the shape of an ancient obelisk, a type of monument used to mark places of importance. The sculpture references both the dynamic diagonal patterns of Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s city plan for Washington, DC and star patterns that connect the city to the sky above. This modern obelisk marks the physical place, while a mirrored sphere reflects the people who surround it and form the vital center of our city. Utilizing the sphere as a symbol of a living democracy and of inclusivity, the sculpture shows the power of the people to influence society. Axis Mundi asks: What does it mean to work here, at the axis of one of the world’s most important cities? What is our role in shaping a better world?
Layers + Lines: Golden Triangle Arts is on view from April 4, 2019 through March 2020. The project was supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Additional support was provided by Share Fund.
About the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District
Formed in 1998, the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) works to enhance Washington, DC’s central business district, the 43-square-block neighborhood stretching from The White House to Dupont Circle. Home to more than 6,000 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, public art, sustainability and events programs. For more information please visit: www.goldentriangledc.com and connect on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
About the Artists
Nekisha Durrett’s work draws upon her longtime interest in the power of storytelling and the graphic style of comics and advertising. She earned her BFA at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York, NY and her MFA in photography from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her drawings, large scale installations, and public art have been exhibited in the DC area and beyond. Public art projects include O’er Yonder, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, A Garden Party at the West End Library, and Heaven Lasts Forever, all in Washington, DC. Durrett lives in a tiny house in Washington, DC and divides her time between creating public art and gallery installations and teaching the next generation of artists at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
Kate Raudenbush is a self-taught, Burning Man-bred sculptor. Her laser-cut steel, experiential environments are spaces for exploration and human connection. Each artwork forms a symbolic narrative that attempts to explore the perils and elevate the potential of our human story. Informed by a range of cultures, symbols, and myths, these otherworldly – even sacred – works serve as allegories for social and environmental concerns. She was recently honored with a “Citizen Artist Award” by Americans for the Arts at the US Conference of Mayors in Washington, DC. Kate’s work and words have been published and exhibited in art museums from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC to the Hangaram Art Museum in Seoul, South Korea, in international art fairs from Miami to the Hamptons, and in festivals from Amsterdam to Las Vegas, Santiago Chile, Montreal Canada, San Francisco, New York City, and in the creative vanguard of many Burning Man festivals.