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Beyond the Renwick: Six public art installations enliven Downtown D.C.

See what to expect from this brand new outdoor art exhibition, organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery and the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District

All photos via Jeff Song Photography, courtesy of Golden Triangle BID

Only steps from the White House, there are now six large-scale public art installations that are lighting up the night and enriching the lives of the workers, residents, and visitors of Washington, D.C.’s Downtown neighborhood.

The exhibition, known as “No Spectators: Beyond the Renwick,” is a collaboration between the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) and the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery. It is also the outdoor extension of the Renwick Gallery’s museum-wide exhibition, “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man,” which features 14 installations that have been displayed at the Burning Man festival or were commissioned from Burning Man artists.

Some of the artworks in this indoor exhibition include an 18-foot-tall, mesh wire sculpture of a woman, a steel installation of polyhedrons, and psychedelic mushrooms that heave in and out like lungs. There are also costumes, photography, handmade jewelry, and other memorabilia featured in the Renwick Gallery.

Burning Man is a week-long countercultural festival held at Nevada’s Black Rock Desert every summer. It was founded in 1986 on on San Francisco’s Baker Beach by Larry Harvey. Now, more than 75,000 visit the festival every year.

At the Renwick Gallery, located at 1661 Pennsylvania Ave NW, there will be events and public programs organized through May that will include a gallery talk with Nora Atkinson, an artist talk with David Best, and a walking tour of “No Spectators: Beyond the Renwick.” For those interested in taking a walk around the block and seeing some of the larger artworks up close, see what you should know before you go below.

How long is the exhibition?

The Renwick Gallery’s exhibition, “No Spectators: Beyond the Renwick,” will run through December 2018. The indoor exhibition will run through January 21, 2019.

Where are the artworks, and how do I get there?

For a quick look at where you can find each of the artworks, check out the above map. Can’t see the map? Click here. If interested in printing a map, check out the Golden Triangle’s easy-to-access PDF document.

If using the Metrorail, be sure to use either the Farragut North or Farragut West Metro stations to travel to these artworks. For the best Metrobus routes, check out this WMATA PDF.

What artworks are featured?

↑ “Maya’s Mind” by Mischell Riley

Atop a stack of books, this 20-foot bust of Maya Angelou weighs a whopping 6,000 pounds. Also included is an audio recording with excerpts of Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise.”

↑ “Ursa Major” by Mr. & Mrs. Ferguson

Wave to the friendliest bear in town. This 14-foot-tall sculpture is covered in what looks like fur from afar, but is really 170,000 pennies.

↑ “Untitled” by Jack Champion

Created as part of a larger flock called “Murder,” which was featured at Burning Man two years ago, these crows are made out of bronze.

↑ “Future’s Past” by Kate Raudenbush

Created in 2010, this 23-foot-tall laser-cut steel sculpture is meant to be a monument to technological progress.

↑ “XOXO” by Laura Kimpton with Jeff Schomberg

Sure, Washington, D.C., doesn’t have a “Love” statue, but it does have this kiss and hug statue, further complemented by LED lights. Look a little closer, though. Visitors will find that there are bird-shaped cutouts in both the X and O.

↑ “Golden Spike” by HYBYCOZO

Last but not least, this three-dimensional shape was made with laser-cut designs. The artists behind the work, Yelena Filipchuk and Serge Beaulieu, together known as HYBYCOZO, are the only artists featured in both Renwick’s Burning Man exhibitions.

No Spectators: Beyond the Renwick [Golden Triangle Business Improvement District]

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man [Smithsonian American Art Museum]

This exhibit brings the spirit of Burning Man to D.C. Well, minus the drugs, sex and desert. [The Washington Post]