Arts in Foggy Bottom Presents Absence & Presence Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Biennial

By Editorial Team on April 25, 2018

Sat, 28 April 2018 - Sat, 27 October 2018

John Ruppert Pumpkins for 2018 Arts in Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Biennial. Courtesy of Arts in Foggy Bottom.
Tour: Saturday, April 28 at 4pm
Friday, June 15 at 7pm


Tour: Friday, June 15 at 7pm
Absence & Presence Twilight Tour (with Performances by Members of the National Symphony Orchestra)

Tour meeting point: Outside of 842 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Join Arts in Foggy Bottom for a unique, guided twilight tour of Absence & Presence, the 2018 Arts in Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Biennial with accompanying performances from members of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO). Curator Helen Frederick and Absence & Presence artist Linda DePalma will lead the tour while NSO musicians will play original arrangements ranging from jazz medleys to classical pieces at select sculpture sites which are inspired by the works in the exhibition.

Following the tour, join them at 835 25th St. NW for wine and conversation. All is free and open to the public.

Arts in Foggy Bottom, Washington’s award-winning public art program, presents Absence & Presence, its sixth Arts in Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Biennial, from Saturday, April 28 through Saturday, October 27. The exhibition, co-curated by internationally recognized Washington area-based artists Helen Frederick and Peter Winant, will feature contemporary sculptures—many of which are site-responsive—by 15 emerging and established local and regional artists. In cooperation with neighborhood homeowners, all sculptures 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. The six-month exhibition is free and open to the public.

Inspired by the rich history of the Foggy Bottom Historic District and stories of its residents, Absence & Presence explores what we can see and not see, what is visible and invisible. Through sculpture, the artists will tell their own stories and unite the seen and unseen while exploring what exists now and what may in the future.

“Absence and presence are inextricably linked. One cannot exist without the other. We see it in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, we see it in the sculpture,” say Frederick and Winant. “We hope that their juxtaposition affirms meaningful feelings and thoughts within the visitor, as well as raises questions about those same feelings and thoughts.”

Absence & Presence will feature works by the following artists: Adam Bradley, David Brooks, Brian Dailey, Emily Fussner, Erwin Timmers, Jeremy Thomas Kunkel, John Ruppert, Linda DePalma, Lisa Scheer, Melissa Hill, Nancy Sausser, Nehemiah Dixon, Richard Lew, Sean Hennessey, and Valerie Theberge.

Frederick and Winant will lead a free opening day tour of the exhibition Saturday, April 28 at 4 p.m. The tour will begin in front of the yellow house on 842 New Hampshire Ave. NW and will be followed by a 5:30 p.m. reception at the Watergate Gallery (2552 Virginia Ave. NW). The reception will feature works for sale by select Absence & Presence artists.

In addition to the opening day tour, Arts in Foggy Bottom will host free curator and artist-led tours throughout the course of the six-month exhibition. 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 Absence & Presence, the 2018 Arts in Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Biennial, and to view photographs from past shows, visit

Helen Frederick is recognized as a distinguished artist, curator, educator, and coordinator of international projects. She founded Pyramid Atlantic and served as its director for 28 years. As an advocate for and an active participant in the Washington, DC metropolitan area arts scene, Frederick has served on the directorial boards of alternative art spaces, various local and national boards and national peer-review panels. Her work has been exhibited at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and the Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, Japan, and is in collections of the Whitney Museum and Brooklyn Museum in New York, the National Gallery of Art and Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, among many others. Frederick as Professor Emeritus in the School of Art at George Mason University has fulfilled speaking engagements around the world with the emphasis of collaboration across disciplines.

Peter Winant is a recognized sculptor who works on individual projects and in collaboration with other artists. For twenty years, as a founding member of the collaborative group, Workingman Collective, and as a core member of the group, Art Attack, he has engaged in making pieces that question the domain and currency of personal authorship, the context of location and the creative process. The groups’ works have been commissioned/exhibited/performed and intervened in settings as diverse as PS.1, Artist’s Space, parking lots, abandoned houses and public spaces, and in public and alternative galleries and spaces in Berlin, Prague, Slovakia, Marseilles, Warsaw, Krakow, Chicago, Washington, New York, the US Embassy in Liberia, Butte Montana, and the North Carolina Museum of Art. Winant currently serves as the Director of the School of Art at George Mason University. Since 2006, he has reviewed Washington area fine art exhibitions as a panelist on public television station WETA’s Around Town.

The tour will begin in front of the yellow house on 842 New Hampshire Ave. NW and will be followed by a 5:30pm reception at the Watergate Gallery (2552 Virginia Ave. NW).