It’s our favorite time of year! A time for family, friendship, and an opportunity to reflect on all of the many blessings in our lives. Too often we find ourselves caught up in the workplace whirlwind, noses to the grindstone (…or computer screen), trying to churn out our work as quickly and efficiently as possible that we forget to take a step back and really reflect on the hard work that we’ve done. This past year, we’ve been able to collaborate with architects, designers, artists, and clients from Los Angeles, to Dallas, to Chicago, to Boston, to Fort Lauderdale, and back home in Washington, DC. We’ve worked on everything from small framing projects, to temporary rotating artwork displays, to acquisitions for permanent collections, to large scale public art installations. See below for a review of some of our favorite projects from the last year. We are so grateful to everyone that we’ve collaborated with this and every year to bring these projects to life. From Artists Circle, to you - HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Last week we wrapped up an interior mural for our friends at The Goldstar Group. Their new office in Bethesda was designed by our other friends at American Office. This mural was hand-painted using 35 screens and over 100 layered images of DC old and new. Being a commercial real estate investment firm, the client wanted to feature iconic scenes from around DC to capture their primary market.
Viewers can travel through the DMV’s past, present, and future in this mural. Many thanks to The Goldstar Group and American Office for bringing us on board!
This morning, Dan and Olivia completed an installation for a client down at The Wharf. In their kitchen/lounge area, we installed a custom, laser cut & powder-coated map of the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood. The sculpture, which Olivia designed in-house, stands about an inch off of the wall so that the shadows create an interesting reflection on the wall and on the marble counter-top below.
Further back in the dining area, Olivia sourced 3 wood & resin maps. Not only do they visually tie the room together with the wooden floors, but they also have a direct relationship to the firm’s work. The client is a bipartisan lobbying firm, so the maps depict the street grids surrounding Capitol Hill, the White House area, and the Navy Yard.
Last but not least, we placed a large panoramic photograph of the Tidal Basin in the Potomac Conference Room for… well, obvious reasons!
We are absolutely loving all of the activity at The Wharf these days. This client is lucky enough to be right in the thick of it. Looking forward to more projects in that area!
Last week, the New York Times published a feature on new public artworks that are popping up across New York City. Public art benefits everyone who comes into contact with it; it benefits the artists by providing an opportunity to showcase their work, it benefits the public by harboring a sense of community and place-making, and it benefits the developers who commission public art by increasing foot traffic in the surrounding area. We are personally in love with the sculpture below, which was installed at a children’s hospital in Manhattan. A giant, 24 foot tall dalmatian uses laser-like focus to balance a real, true-to-size (!!!) taxi cab on its nose. The artist has said that “besides wanting this work to be playful, he intended it “to have assets we hope to find in our doctors: focus, confidence, patience and sweetness.”
We love the nuanced approach to the commission above. Public art is incredibly powerful in that viewers often discover new elements in the artwork each time they encounter it. At first place, passerby might think the sculpture is just cute, whimsical and playful. But upon further reflection, the piece invites them to consider the focus, intention, and confidence displayed by the dog.
Below are some of Artists Circle’s current public art projects - check out the captions for the story behind each one!
Perusing the morning art news on Hyperallergic, I (PM, Olivia) saw a feature on a new exhibit at thte Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, PA. The exhibit, entitled Natural Wonders: The Sublime in Contemporary Art, provides commentary on the ways in which the natural world and the artificial world have blended together in the age of technology. Is nature still real if you see it through a television screen? It is still authentic if the plant is in a pot inside a home, or in this case a museum, rather than outside in the wild?
These questions relate to a trend that we’ve seen in our projects over the last several years. We’ve had a number of clients express interest in incorporating natural elements like moss, leaves, and stones, into their interior offices. Photos of flowers and and rivers are undoubtedly soothing and universally pleasing to viewers, but having a tactile work of art that people can touch, approach, and experience its dimensionality allows for an even deeper level of appreciation for the artwork.
The Brandywine Museum’s curator, Suzanne Ramljak, reminds us that “80% of Americans live in metropolitan areas with little direct access to nature, and spend more than 90% of their lives indoors.” Because access to ‘real’ nature is so limited, we’ve found that many of our clients here at Artists Circle are excited about the idea of having natural or botanical artwork brought into their spaces. It serves as a taste of the forest in an otherwise concrete jungle. Check out some of our artwork projects involving natural elements below!
Here’s hoping that we will all get to spend a little more time outdoors in the coming weeks (and that we’ll get to see the show at the Brandywine museum!). If not - we’re happy to bring natural, living artwork right to your office!
Today's installation was at Suburban Hospital's Radiation Oncology clinic in Bethesda. These botanical canvases were selected to brighten the space and soothe patients preparing for their treatments. There may be stormy weather coming our way today, but these bright and cheery images will provide a glimpse of brighter days ahead to anyone who passes them.
Project Manager Olivia is hard art work developing concepts for a new corporate space at the District Wharf. Since the office overlooks the Potomac River, the client is interested in wall-sculptures that have material or aesthetic connections to water. These are preliminary renderings, but Olivia plans to have the selected artist create a piece that ties directly to the path of the Potomac River as it winds its way into DC. A few of the concepts they're considering are below. Stay tuned to see which one they choose!
We all love a good transformation, and this one in particular is a mural in a bike room at a new apartment complex in Rockville, MD. We have noticed clients having an interest in including artwork in their amenities areas. Artwork is becoming a crucial component in gyms, bike rooms, break rooms, garages and lounges. Scroll down to see the finished, in progress and before shots of Olivia’s recent project!
Artists Circle has one amazing team! Not only do we immerse ourselves in art while on the job, we make it a point to bring art into our communities as well! Sr. Associate Katie Giganti, who is Chair of the Board of the Mt. Airy Arts Alliance in Mt. Airy MD, organized the first annual Festival of Creatives to showcase artists and performers in and around her town. The festival was full of creative phenomenons. Artwork, music, face painting, and much more filled Mt. Airy's main street! Artists Circle’s Principal Jack wanted to show his support for Katie and the event, so he sponsored the event and donated materials for Katie to make giant, 8 foot tall dimensional letters that festival-goers painted! It ended up being a very cool interactive public art installation that brought smiles to 100% of the people who passed by it!
Artists Circle tackles projects of all shapes and sizes. “The Force of Nature,” the woman holding the globe was purchased by Comstock Partners LC for the central plaza of their Reston Station development in Reston VA. The sculpture is made of bronze and stainless steel. "Reaching Further" is made of steel and blown glass with neon. This sculpture was purchased by Kettler for their Metropolitan project in Rockville MD.