Saturday, July 6, 2024

Still Life with Robin: What if each Metro station gave you the "local color"?

 by Peggy Robin

Today I have two purposes in writing:

1. To let you know there's a marvelous art show -- a retrospective of the works of Cleveland Park sculptor-architect Dickson Carroll, on now through August 11, 2024, at American University's Katzen Art Museum.

Here's the when & where to see the show:

Chris Addison, Curator
Presented by the Alper Initiative for Washington Art
June 15 – August 11, 2024
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016-8031

2. My second purpose is an expansion of the observation made by the Washington Post art critic who, in reviewing the show in the Sunday Arts & Style section on June 30, 2024 (available online at, wrote this:

"The exemplary item in "Dickson Carroll's Retrospective, 1973 to 2023" is a model of a proposed canopy for the Cleveland Park Metro Station, the closest stop to the artist's home. Made of brightly painted wood, the proposed structure is both whimsical and functional. The canopy is the antithesis of the machine-tooled blankness that dominates contemporary architecture. Yet Carroll is a practicing architect as well as a maker of charmingly cartoonish furniture and purely abstract sculptures that -- like all the artist's product -- are beautifully made and elegantly finished."

Just imagine what it would be like if every Metro station in every neighborhood had a canopy custom-designed by a local artist or architect to express the personality or character of the neighborhood, as perceived by that artist. Of course, there should be some design elements that remain consistent throughout the Metro system, so that every station would bear at least one thing that brands them all as Metro stations. But after that, each one could exuberantly illustrate whatever the artist sees as the "Cleveland Parkiness" of that station -- or the "Van Nessiness" -- or the "Anacostiality." *

Today only! The artist Dickson Carroll and Curator Chris Addison discuss the exhibition:

Saturday, July 6, 2 - 3 PM
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Show map
*This is fun, so I I just had to do a bunch more:

Columbia Highness (also Friendship Highness)
Crystal Citizenry
Dupont Circularity
Farragut Northerliness (or Westerliness)
Forest Glendom
Fort Tottenity
Judiciary Squareness (also McPherson Squareness)
Pentagony (accent shifts to the second syllable)
Silver Springiness
Still Life with Robin is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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