The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) announced a collaboration with the Smithsonian to expand the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative – Because of Her Story into the streets of Washington, DC, with the public art exhibition, Monument and Marker, featuring the work of two artists ~ Monument, created by NYC-based artist, Maren Hassinger and Marker, created by DC-based artist, Rania Hassan.
Bringing art outside the walls of the Smithsonian, Monument and Marker connects the White House to Dupont Circle.
Hassinger’s installation, Monument, is taken from a series of sculptures first installed in Marcus Garvey Park Harlem, New York, in 2018 as part of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s InHarlem project, in collaboration with Connie Lee, President of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance.
Hassinger’s site-specific pieces in D.C. reflect the curvature of the Connecticut Avenue overlook, and are meant to mirror the shape of the underpass below.
“I am honored to be among the first selected to create a public sculpture as part of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative,” said Hassinger. “Monument will nestle appropriately in the selected space, and will remind us in a gentle way, of our origins and purposes.”
Hassan’s Marker is a monument to women’s histories, and the fibers that connect us all. Markers is taken from the artists love of knitting, the sculpture’s bright pink hue and bold steel shape are contrasted by its curvy and elegant forms. Viewers might see this installation as an oversized crown, or an abstract knitting project.
“There are so few statues dedicated to women ~ I’m excited to be creating a public art sculpture for one of the most iconic intersections in the city that will represent a monument to all women’s stories and their achievements,” said Hassan. “My hope is this monument, Marker, will act as a beacon to spark an interest in the stories shared through the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, and also encourage people to think about the women in their lives, and uncover their own buried histories.”
“We are excited to partner with the Smithsonian to bring Monument and Marker to Connecticut Avenue,” said Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID. “The project builds on our longstanding effort to bring museum-quality art to the Golden Triangle and to enhance the beauty of the neighborhood. The art will enrich the public space at a time when Washingtonians are spending more time outdoors for recreation, dining, and cultural activities.”
“We are thrilled to partner with the Golden Triangle to expand the American Women’s History Initiative into DC streets,” said Dorothy Moss, curator at the National Portrait Gallery and coordinating curator for the Women’s History Initiative. “The initiative illuminates women’s pivotal role in building and sustaining the country and expands what we know of our shared history. Monument and Marker addresses themes related to women as makers, create conversation about public monuments, and look at the history of women in public and private life.”
Maren Hassinger will also create a new performance commission, Birthright, to premiere in May of 2021 as part of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery’s IDENTIFY Series, dedicated to performance art as portraiture.
Maren Hassinger’s Monument is located on the Connecticut Avenue NW Overlook, just south of Dupont Circle, and Rania Hassan’s Marker is located on Connecticut Avenue NW median at K Street NW. Monument & Marker will be on view from October 2020 for approximately one year.