This Sunday Contemporary Wing is leaving its 14th Street NW home and traveling over to the National Portrait Gallery and Smith Commons to host a celebration for renowned street artist, Gaia. Not a stranger to DC, Gaia has left his mark on several local buildings, including the space behind the P Street Whole Foods and a wall on the P Street Logan Hardware building.
This weekend, Gaia is back in the District to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Girl Scouts – a celebration he will recognize by creating a massive live portrait of the organization’s founder, Juliette Gordon Low. On June 10, Contemporary Wing invites the public to meet Gaia and watch the artist in action as he creates his new masterpiece. The open event will take place in the Kogod Courtyard (8th and F Streets NW) from noon until 3 pm.
At 5 pm, the party will move to Smith Commons (1245 H Street NE), where Gaia will discuss the story of his work and unveil his extraordinary “Dusk on H Street,” one of the largest privately commissioned murals in DC history. Bar specials and complimentary small bites will be available at the H Street reception, but space is limited so please RSVP to email@example.com.
For more information, visit the Contemporary Wing website.
From Mike Kohn. Got some news for Mike? Drop him an email or find him on Twitter @mike_kohn.
A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words
You’ve probably heard plenty about the Utopia project over the past few months. The Washington Business Journal does have some more news, but more importantly, they bring us a rendering of what the project will potentially look like upon completion. It’s the most updated one I’ve seen, so if you have any more, please share them with readers in the comments!
A couple of months ago semi-local artist Gaia had an exhibit at Irvine Contemporary. I started to see his work around the city and photographed some of his pieces, posting one from 14th and Q NW on One Photograph a Day.
Gaia also painted a mural on a wall behind the P Street Whole Foods–and now it is gone, removed by the store. I read the story yesterday about how the mural disappeared at TBD.com. Sadly, I didn’t get any pictures of it.
I don’t like tagging and destructive graffiti; they are never good for a community or neighborhood. But to me there are a couple of things to consider here. First, Gaia’s work is truly Street Art. Second, it wasn’t even on a street facade–it was in an alley. Due to the nature of Gaia’s work, it would eventually disappear. He uses large sheets of paper, which he paints on and then attaches to walls.
Why can’t Washington enthusiastically embrace art in public spaces such as alleys? What, exactly, was so objectionable about Gaia’s mural that a neighbor–facing an alley of trash cans and delivery trucks–demanded its removal? Wasn’t it obvious that this piece of art was not the work of a vandal?
Philadelphia, for example, has tons of beautiful murals all over the city and has even created city tours of murals and street art. It was sad that in the rush to remove the mural that there wasn’t time to talk about the mural… that no one contacted Irvine Contemporary before destroying Gaia’s mural.
What I find somehow funny, and most ironic, is that now the wall has three huge patches of lightly colored paint on a red wall. No art, just splotches of paint. But, apparently, it doesn’t offend anyone.