On View: August 22 – December 13, 2020
Visitors attending the talk or entering the galleries will be required to wear masks and stand a safe distance from others. For more information about AAC’s reopening plan go to arlingtonartscenter.org.
Arlington Arts Center and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia presents Passage, a site-specific public artwork by artist Lynda Andrews-Barry.
Passage, which is installed on AAC’s front lawn, includes 26 large-scale sculptures created from driftwood, rebar, metal hardware, and canvas sails. The sculptural forms are designed to evoke the ships that transported more than 12 million kidnapped and enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean between the 16th and 19th centuries. Inspired by artist Lynda Andrews-Barry’s own family history as the descendant of enslaved people, Passage also grapples with the legacy of Matthew Fontaine Maury.
Known as the “Pathfinder of the Seas” and the “Father of Oceanography,” Maury was a pioneer of naval navigation. A commander in the United States Navy, Maury resigned his post in 1861 to join the Confederate Navy. During the Civil War, Maury traveled to Europe, where he acquired ships for the Confederacy and lobbied on its behalf with European leaders. Arlington Arts Center’s historic building originally housed the Clarendon School, which was renamed the Maury School in 1944. The grounds surrounding the building continue to be known as Maury Park. Passage evokes the ships of the transatlantic slave trade as well as Maury’s connection with naval navigation and his role in the Confederacy.
Passage is the result of a unique partnership between AAC and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. The work was funded by the Foundation’s Ross-Roberts Fund for the Arts, and is undertaken in cooperation with Arlington Public Art.
Arlington Arts Center is located at 3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA.