April 28 Opening Celebration!
The dedication of Phase 1 of the New York Avenue Sculpture Project will occur on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 with a ribbon-cutting and an evening celebration inside the museum.
This spring, the National Museum of Women in the Arts will unveil the first phase of a bold public art project. Sculptures by renowned women artists will be exhibited in changing installations on New York Avenue—right at NMWA’s front door. The first phase of the New York Avenue Sculpture Project features four monumental sculptures by French-born artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930–2002).
Washington, D.C. — National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) announces plans to create a New York Avenue Sculpture Project along one of downtown’s major boulevards. The new dynamic space will enhance the city’s public art profile featuring changing installations of contemporary works by world-renown women artists. Organized by NMWA, it is a collaboration between the museum, the Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID), the DC Office of Planning and other agencies.
The artist whose work was selected to inaugurate this new public art exhibition program is the self-taught French sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle. Her nine to 15-foot high whimsical, visually playful and colorful works celebrate women, children, heroes, cultural diversity and love.
Throughout the city, public sculpture is an integral part of the streetscape, defining neighborhoods and connecting points of major streets. The New York Avenue Sculpture Project will improve the visual environment of the downtown following in a tradition begun by Pierre L’Enfant in 1791.
“This is an exciting new venture for the District and a wonderful testament to the contribution of women in the arts,” says Mayor Adrian Fenty. “As a public-private partnership, this endeavor will contribute to the revitalization of Mount Vernon Square while providing another avenue for great artists from our nation’s capital and around the world to display their creativity and talent.”
The project is currently funded through support from NMWA National Advisory Board member Medda Gudelsky, the Downtown DC BID, an anonymous donor, the Philip L. Graham Fund, the Homer and Martha Gudelsky Family Foundation, NMWA members and others. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is also funding the project through its Transportation Enhancement Program. The Enhancement Program provides grant funding for non-traditional projects that are linked to the District’s transportation system.