Washington Canal Park
2nd Street between I and M Streets, SE
Dear Ms. Nauden:
In its meeting of 18 March, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the proposed art installation by sculptor David Hess for the planned Washington Canal Park along 2nd Street between I and M Streets, SE. The Commission took no action on the project, requesting that the sculpture be resubmitted in conjunction with the overall design of the park.
The Commission members expressed concern about the complexity of this artwork in relation to the park design, suggesting simplification of the proposal and the potential reduction of the number of elements. In their discussion, they recalled their prior approval of the artwork concept by Mr. Hess associated with a previous design for this park and noted the merits of individual formal elements in the current sculpture proposal. They also raised questions about the tactile quality of the stainless steel and the desirability of people climbing on the sculptural pieces. In conclusion, they questioned the appropriateness of the sculpture design as a whole and deferred action until the artwork could be evaluated in the full context of the proposed park.
The Commission looks forward to further cooperation between the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Canal Park Development Association, and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development in designing this public park. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA
Gloria Nauden, Executive Director
D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
1371 Harvard Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
cc: David Hess
Chris Van Arsdale, Canal Park Development Association
David Rubin, OLIN