2016 Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Biennial

By Editorial Team on May 9, 2016

Sat, 14 May 2016 - Sun, 22 May 2016

Watching Post by Graham Caldwell. Photo credit Dakota Fine.
Watching Post by Graham Caldwell. Photo credit Dakota Fine.


Reception: Saturday, May 14 from 5:30pm to 7pm


Arts in Foggy Bottom, Washington’s award-winning public art program, will present Turf and Terrain, the fifth Arts in Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Biennial, from Saturday, May 14 through Saturday, October 22. The exhibition, selected by Washington-based curator Danielle O’Steen, will feature 13 new contemporary sculptures, new media installations, and performances by 14 local, regional, and international artists. All works will be displayed in front of private homes throughout the Foggy Bottom Historic District between 24th and 26th Streets NW, and H and K Streets NW (located near the Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro stop). The five-month exhibition is free and open to the public.

Turf and Terrain artists will engage the legacy of historic Foggy Bottom by creating site-responsive artworks that range from the figural, the abstract, and even the fantastical. With the combined efforts of the show’s curator, emerging and established artists, and Foggy Bottom residents, this exhibition will highlight the history of this unique neighborhood, its vibrant present, and its imagined future.

“This year’s exhibition is focused on creating expanded landscapes, which will stand in direct dialogue with the neighborhood’s architecture and rich history,” says O’Steen. “The selected works will respond to their chosen sites while also exploring the boundaries of what qualifies as outdoor sculpture.”

Turf and Terrain will feature works by the following artists: Benjamin Andrew, Eames Armstrong, Becky Borlan, Krista Caballero and Frank Ekeberg, Brian Davis, Lisa Dillin, Rob Hackett, Nicole Herbert, Patrick McDonough, Jonathan Monaghan, Lindsay Pichaske, Dane Winkler, and Julie Zirlin.

Arts in Foggy Bottom will host free curator and artist-led tours and workshops throughout the course of the exhibition. These tours will address the artwork and highlight the art’s connection to the historic Foggy Bottom community. Visitors are also encouraged to tour the exhibition at their convenience. Self-guided tour brochures will be located at each sculpture site in addition to downloadable programs on the Arts in Foggy Bottom website.

For more information about Turf and Terrain, the 2016 Arts in Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Biennial, and to view photographs from past shows, visit www.artsinfoggybottom.com.

OPENING WEEKEND ACTIVITIES: (tour meeting point in front of the yellow house on 842 New Hampshire Ave. NW)

  • Saturday, May 14
    • 4 p.m.: Walking tour led by Turf and Terrain curator Danielle O’Steen with artists’ comments at each artwork site
    • 5:30 -7 p.m.: Reception at the Watergate Gallery (2552 Virginia Ave. NW)
  • Sunday, May 15
    • 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.: Following an introduction by curator Danielle O’Steen, Washington-based performance artist Eames Armstrong will perform their Turf and Terrain work, Fog, along the exhibition’s path

Turf and Terrain public artworks will be installed in front of homes in the Foggy Bottom Historic District between 24th and 26th Streets NW, and H and K Streets NW. All events are free and open to the public.

Danielle O’Steen is an independent curator and critic based in Washington, DC. A New York City native, she has curated several exhibitions in the Washington area, including at the Arlington Arts Center, the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Flashpoint Gallery, and Gallery 102 at The George Washington University. She has worked in the curatorial departments at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, and The Phillips Collection, and has contributed to publications such as Art + Auction, Artinfo.com, Art Papers, and The Washington Post. She received her master’s degree in art history at The George Washington University and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she focuses on postwar and contemporary art.

Inspired by the history of Foggy Bottom, Eames Armstrong reclaims the written past. Using the neighborhood’s sidewalks as their canvas, the artist will write a collections of texts—their own and those by historic authors—on the brick paths using water and a paintbrush. By writing in water, a simple material yet essential for life, Armstrong inscribes a text that will quickly fade, offering a meditation on the often-futile process of capturing memory, history, and legacy. A durational performance that traces the path of Turf and Terrain, Fog will be performed on three occasions for three hours each time. Each performance will mark the passing of the day, centering on the sunset for the three seasons of the exhibition: Spring, Summer, and Fall.