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Community Gateway Arch to Be Dedicated in Ward 7

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Commissioned Public Art Project by the Washington Glass School

Mayor Vincent C. Gray will join representatives of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) in the dedication of the Community Gateway Arch on Friday, July 18, at a twilight ceremony, from 7 to 9 pm. The program will take place outside the Unity Health Care Parkside Health Center facility, located at the corner of Hayes Street and Kenilworth Terrace NE.

"This new work of public art celebrates the District's cultural heritage," said Mayor Gray. "Artists, community members and the District government collaborated on the new installation, which represents the creativity and aspirations of Ward 7 residents."

The Community Gatewaysculpture was designed by Washington Glass School artists Michael Janis, Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers, who worked in collaboration with Ward 7 artist apprentice Bill Howard and numerous Ward 7 community members and stakeholders during the early phases of fabrication. The design of the public artwork was intended to mark the entrance to the Kenilworth / Parkside section of the city.

Washington Glass School was selected through an open Call to Artists and panel process led by the DCCAH, through the D.C. Creates! Public Art Program selection committee, in partnership with the D.C. Primary Care Association (DCPCA), the Unity Health Care Foundation, the Ward 7 Community and ANC 7D07 Commissioner Willie H. Woods. Central to the selection of the public artwork and the community input process was the Ward 7 Arts Collaborative, led by artist and community arts advocate Wanda Aikens.

DCCAH's DC Creates! Public Art program plays a leading role in shaping the visual identity, cultural health and economic vitality of the nation's capital through commissioning public art.

"Public art engages community members where they live and enlivens public space," says Judith Terra, Chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. "The community's active involvement in creating this beautiful piece of public art is a testament to the passion for the arts in our city."

The new Community Gateway arch project truly connected the community's artists and residents to create a new public space we can all celebrate," said DCCAH Executive Director Lionell Thomas. "The District of Columbia is a great place to live, work and play."

The work takes form in fused and cast glass and steel woven together to create a large archway. It is supported by two strong pillars with images representing the community's ideals of civic pride, creative will and perseverance. Community Gatewaystands 16 feet tall by 13 feet wide. The sculpture weighs 2,000 pounds and has an interior lighting component for illumination at night. This project was a unique endeavor in that Ward 7 residents and community stakeholders participated in the actual fabrication of the public artwork by creating the glass tiles in the sculpture, through a series of workshops conducted at the Washington Glass School Studio.

"Working on the Community Gateway arch was such a joy for us! It has redefined how we will work with other communities in the future, as a neighborhood and artistic collaboration," said Washington Glass School Co-Founder Tim Tate. "The end result was one of the most beautiful public art pieces in the District of Columbia. We have our friends, and now fellow artists, in the community, to thank for this opportunity."

About the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities provides grants, professional opportunities, education enrichment, and other programs and services to individuals and nonprofit organizations in all communities within the District of Columbia. The Arts Commission is supported primarily by District government funds and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.