AIA|DC Presents From Architect to Artist: Public Art by Charles Bergen, AIA

By Editorial Team on January 29, 2019

Tue, 05 February 2019 - Fri, 29 March 2019

Bowie: Past, Present, and Future – Photo by Greg Staley
Reception: Tuesday, February 5 from 6:30pm to 8pm

Join us for light bites and drinks to celebrate the opening of From Architect to Artist: Public Art by Charles Bergen, AIA. Meet Mr. Bergen who shares informal remarks about his lifelong passion for art, the journey from architect to artist, and the public art practice he owns and operates today.

Charles Bergen, AIA practiced architecture for 22 years until his lifelong passion for art intervened. After two summer residencies at Salem Art Works in Upstate New York, Charles founded his art practice and began a career as a professional sculptor. Over several years, Bergen experimented with a range of materials—mostly metal and wood—and subjects: animals such as birds, dolphins, and fish; figures like Chuck Brown and Theodore Roosevelt; and sculptural signage identifying “Barracks Row” and “Capitalsaurus Chasing a Falcarius.”

In recent years, Bergen’s practice has focused on public art projects, many of which were awarded through public commissions. Notable projects include the narrative Centennial artwork for the City of Bowie, Maryland and fire and police callboxes-turned artworks for Rhode Island Avenue NE Main Street. One of Bergen’s most celebrated and talked about projects is the “Barnes Dance,” also known as a pedestrian scramble, with its whimsical graphic of dragons and Chinese zodiac images at the intersection at 7th and H Streets NW in Chinatown.

Bergen’s affection for animals and nature, combined with history, is evidenced in his body of work with sculptures that appear playful and decorative, yet serious and functional. With his artwork, he manages to strike a balance between imagery and narrative, demonstrating just enough to invite curiosity, imply a story, and inspire appreciation. This exhibition presents drawings, photographs, and objects from selected projects completed by the artist since 2014.

Organized by AIA|DC for the Suman Sorg Gallery in collaboration with the artist. Exhibition designed and modeled in ArchiCAD19, courtesy of Graphisoft. Supported in part by BluEdge.

Washington Chapter, American Institute of Architects is located at 421 7th St. NW. For more information, visit