Judging Art


I’ve never asked folks what they think of the piece of public art commisioned back in 1994 in Mt. Pleasant. I wonder what the debate was like before it was selected. Anyone from Mt. Pleasant remember the process? What’s the general feel – thumbs up or down?


5 Comment

  • I can’t comment on this piece, but I will say that the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities has quite the reputation for allowing public funds to support some very unpopular public art projects of questionable taste, and it’s unfortunate that the residents of the District don’t seem to care enough about art to speak out about it.

    • I don’t know about that – there was a HELL of an outcry about the ‘bicycle musician’ thing they were going to put in Adams Morgan.

  • I believe the the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities took bids on the various projects and then awarded the commissions. I don’t remember any request for input from residents. I think that residents were happy for any attention to that spot. I hope that DC will maintain that park because the artist, Hester Nelson, tragically died in 2000. I always smile when I pass that
    spot, Hester was very proud of that plaza.

  • In general at the time a cabal between the ANC and groups like Historic Mt Pleasant, Mt Pleasant Neighborhood Association and I’m not sure if Mt Pleasant Main Street was formed then or not, they basically pushed forth their ideas as astroturfing, pretending that they got “community approval” when they refused to allow members into their organization who disagreed with them over live music in Mt Pleasant restaurants.

    So from my memory, anything anyone tells you about the “Mt Pleasant community” from around 1993-1999 is wrong. There was no real community input on anything until people got fed up with the MPNA and fought back in groups like Hear Mt Pleasant.

    Thankfully MPNA is pretty much marginalized. There are too many wealthy, educated landowners in Mt Pleasant who want nothing to do with their 50-60 year old’s ideas of liberalism, like “no Mt Pleasant nightlife.”

    I remember a lot of things happening after the riots that just appeared and when you’d question them they’d say, “Oh, Frank Smith held a public meeting on 14th st, why didn’t you come? There was a flyer posted outside La Cas, didn’t you see it?”

    NO! I never heard nothing!

  • Hester was a lively spirit, and I’m glad her work stands in the centre of her neighbourhood as a reminder of her life, her art, and her affection for this place.

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