DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Commissions Craig Kraft DC ! Public Art Piece

By Editorial Team on September 13, 2017

Craig Kraft, internationally known light sculptor has been commissioned by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities to create an ART sign to announce the 202 Art & Music Festival. Kraft’s light sculpture measures 11′ tall by 23′ wide stating “DC!”  The 202 Art & Music Festival was the first of many stops. The sculpture will be used to draw attention to various art events around the city.

The DC! sculpture will be created in Kraft’s scrambled neon style. He uses re-purposed neon tubes from his 25 year old collection of discarded, rejected and donated neon tubes. Kraft’s placement of the tubes creates a unique layering of light and color in keeping with the artist fine art series entitled Random Neon. Kraft believes the random assortment and placement of Neon tubes creates the effect of a jewel box, creating a sense of wonder for viewers.

In the front of Kraft’s Good Hope Road studio the sculpture is being created using aluminum square tubing and mesh. Passersby witness the progress of this piece on a daily basis engaging the community and creating a whirl of interest.

Kraft’s studio has expanded to two full time and three part-time employees to complete this project by September 9th. Kraft’s studio is abuzz with planning, creating a prototype (to make sure the piece could be moved in and out of the studio) and bringing the new employees together. There is only a 3″ clearance at the ceiling and 2″ at the door.

This is not Kraft’s first rodeo but is his first commission of this size in his new studio. With Kraft’s move to the Historic Anacostia Neighborhood, after 23 years at the Shaw firehouse, there are a few unknowns. The abandoned building Kraft bought several years ago has proven to be a source of new energy for Kraft’s continued artworks and his Smithsonian Studio Arts Program classes. There is constant community interest and the location in between Anacostia Arts Center and Honfleur Art Gallery.

Craig Kraft (b. 1949, Ames, IA) has created sculptural art work for over 30 years and public art for the past 18 years. Kraft has been an instructor of the Smithsonian Studio Arts Program for over 24 years. His works have been shown in more than 128 exhibitions nationally and internationally. Current works include Cave Art-inspired paintings with flickering light of neon that evokes the candlelight that the cave paintings were produced in. These “cave paintings” were inspired by Kraft’s recent travels and explorations of the caves in France, Spain and Sulawesi, Indonesia. Currently Kraft is planning a trip to Namibia to study the Rock Drawings by the Sans people of Africa.

(via Craig Kraft Studio. Photo courtesy of Craig Kraft.)