Social Spaces

On display from April 2021 through Spring 2022

Social Spaces is a community-focused initiative to bring people together in a safe and distanced manner along Pennsylvania Avenue west of the White House. These temporary public space activations transform the vast, sprawling avenue by creating more intimate, human-scaled places in the form of three public art installations.

The Penn Ave Pocket Park is home to MERIDIAN by Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong, and Murrow Park is home to Common Ground by Risa Puno and Circula by Tomek Rygalik. Social Spaces is focused on art that creates dialogue and celebrates cultures through intentionally designed gathering spaces.

Social Spaces paves the way for the bigger streetscape design changes planned for Pennsylvania Avenue by sparking the public imagination around the potential these spaces contain through the installation of temporary artworks. In a large-scale partnership between the DC Department of Transportation, the Golden Triangle BID, and other partners, Pennsylvania Avenue will be transformed over the next several years.

Social Spaces is the perfect place to bring your book, catch up with a friend over coffee, and even hold a small team meeting. We hope to see you there!

MERIDIAN

By Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong
Located at Penn Ave Pocket Park (Pennsylvania Avenue, H and 19th Streets NW)

“My creative practice explores how we can share space together. Featuring a terraced pavilion and a floor mural, MERIDIAN aims to transform this park into a community site for sitting, reading, and socializing outdoors.”      

— Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong’s site-specific installation, MERIDIAN, draws inspiration from the celestial meridians, or the circular pathways, that run along the Earth from pole to pole. The colored patterns on the wood surfaces correspond to shadows that will be cast on these faces at solar noon on the first day of the year’s upcoming seasons: summer solstice, autumn equinox, and winter solstice. MERIDIAN aspires to create greater awareness of time and encourage moments of pause, reflection, and interaction between people and place.

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong is a New York-based artist working at the intersection of art, architecture, and the public realm. Cheryl holds a BA in Art and Italian from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University GSAPP.

Common Ground

By Risa Puno
Located at Murrow Park (Pennsylvania Avenue, H, and 18th Streets NW)

“I am interested in how interactivity and play help us understand how we relate to one another. I create disarmingly fun experiences allowing people to let down their boundaries and connect. By expressing my ideas through recognizable objects, like these brightly colored tables, I hope to encourage many levels of engagement.”                

— Risa Puno

Risa Puno’s Common Ground is an interactive installation that offers a site for community dialog and exchange. It features 25 connected picnic tables and benches, each with a different handmade mosaic pattern. It was originally commissioned by NYC Parks for Rufus King Park in Queens, and the mosaic designs are inspired by the neighborhood’s unique mix of immigrants and iconic architecture. The colorful patchwork aesthetic and interconnected structure are a celebration of harmony through diversity.

Risa Puno is a New York-based interactive sculpture and installation artist. She has exhibited at national and international venues. She studied art and medicine at Brown University and earned her MFA from New York University.

 

Circula (circula.org)

Courtesy of the Polish Cultural Institute New York and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland

By Tomek Rygalik
Located at Murrow Park (Pennsylvania Avenue, H, and 18th Streets NW)

Designer Tomek Rygalik’s Circula is a site-specific design installation that is part of the ECO Solidarity initiative. The art stimulates solidarity through sustainable design that reduces social isolation and strengthens societal bonds. Crafted as a seating area, Circula provides a symbolic, functional space for dialogue, facilitates direct social interactions, and advocates for an ecological approach in two contrasting ways: one of the circular benches is made of recycled plastic, and the other is made of a naturally renewable resource – wood.

Tomek Rygalik is a lead designer at Studio Rygalik, educator with a Ph.D. in industrial design, curator, head of the Graduate Studies at the Design Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, founder of brad TRE Product; Cofounder of the interdisciplinary platform Design Nature and the Creative Campus Sobole.