Awning Studies: Marvin Gaye Park

Patrick McDonough, Awning Studies, Marvin Gaye Park (partial view), 2012,
Outdoor furniture fabric, custom wood awning frames, steel porch supports, and hardware, Dimensions variable

Dates: July 12 – September 30, 2012 extended until October 31, 2012
Location: Marvin Gaye Park, 6201 Banks Place NE, Washington, DC (formerly Watts Branch Playground)

Participating Artist: Patrick McDonough

Public Talk with artist Patrick McDonough, Saturday, July 14 at 3pm
Location: Marvin Gaye Park Recreation Center, 6201 Banks Place NE, Washington, DC

Washington Project for the Arts presents Awning Studies: Marvin Gaye Park by DC-based artist Patrick McDonough in Marvin Gaye Park (formerly Watts Branch) in Northeast DC from July 12 – September 30, 2012. Awning Studies: Marvin Gaye Park is adjacent to the Marvin Gaye Park Recreation Center and less than half a mile from the Capitol Heights Metro Station. The work is located outside and can be viewed during daylight hours. A reception and artist talk will take place at the Marvin Gaye Park Recreation Center on Saturday, July 14 at 3pm. McDonough will teach a workshop for children enrolled in Marvin Gaye Park’s summer camp on July 16.

The latest work in McDonough’s Awning Studies series, the project was developed during WPA’s 2011 Public Art Residency (PAR) Program at Socrates Sculpture Park (SSP, the Park) in Long Island City, NY. As the 2011 Public Art Residency Artist, McDonough carried out a two-month residency at SSP from July 1 through September 2, 2011. The resulting project, titled Awning Studies: Socrates, was installed in the Park from September 10, 2011 through March 4, 2012.

Awning Studies: Marvin Gaye Park adapts the project to its new environment and continues McDonough’s exploration of the awning form as the key domestic vernacular architectural adornment of the northeastern United States. The project takes the form of a series of fabricated awnings without buildings installed on existing infrastructure, on the ground, and rising on columns of steel supports. With Awning Studies: Marvin Gaye Park, the artist continues to emphasize the relationship between his awning structures and the architecture of the surrounding neighborhood, an emphasis that was also present in the two earlier iterations of the series, Awning Studies: Florida Ave NE and Awning Studies: Socrates. Located in the historic Deanwood neighborhood, Marvin Gaye Park is surrounded by residential architecture with features that mirror the structure of McDonough’s project. The work’s proximity to a recreation center and newly renovated playground provides an ideal context for McDonough’s ongoing exploration of leisure space and free time and connections between these notions and issues of art making, art viewing, use value, and class.

This project has been made possible with the support of the Bernstein Family Foundation, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ DC Creates! Public Art Program, and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Public Art Residency (PAR) Program, established by WPA in 2010, offers a paid residency at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, NY to a Washington, DC-based artist for the purpose of instruction and information about practical and conceptual issues related to the creation of public art. Through this program, artists learn the fundamentals of developing a proposal for public art work, identifying sources for materials and funding for projects, fabricating work for a public environment, and are able to obtain access to a support network for technical assistance and future opportunities related to creating and presenting art in the public realm.

Patrick McDonough (b.1982) was raised in Madison, WI, and now lives and works in Washington, DC.  McDonough holds an MFA from George Washington University and a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at such venues as the American University Museum, Flashpoint Gallery, Art Museum of the Americas, Conner Contemporary Art, Vox Populi, and Civilian Art Projects. Forthcoming solo projects include G Fine Art (September 2012) and the American University Museum (September 2013).