“City Fields”, 160 Ft. Original Art, Installed in MVT at 5th & K Streets, NW
Monday May 18, 2015
Herds of deer and swooping hawks have come into the heart of Washington, DC as artist Rachel Schmidt’s 160 foot original art, City Fields, is installed on May 18th at 5th & K Streets, NW in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood of Washington, DC. City Fields brings a futuristic vision of how the growth of urban cityscapes might co-evolve and interact with local wildlife species.
Using photographs from five major cities around the world, including the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood, City Fields weaves together a collage to represent the ever-developing and changing nature of cities and then integrates hand drawings of local wildlife to stir the imagination in considering our urban fabric. The collage reflects the resurgence of cities and the resurgence of wildlife in many cities. It is also suggestive of the need to balance the built environment with nature. For instance, in Washington DC, there is a growing hawk and white tail deer population. Stumbling across these large herds of wild animals in the midst of a city offers a truly surreal experience. City Fields expands on this moment of fantastical realism by exaggerating the ever expanding urban wilderness to a limitless sea of city populated by drawn deer.
City Fields was commissioned and sponsored by the Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District, Boston Properties, Steuart Investment and MarcParc to be displayed along the fence line of the future 1001 6th Street, NW, a 530,000 square foot office and retail project being developed by Boston Properties and Steuart Investments. The team sought an artist who would create an original and timely piece for the neighborhood that would energize the ‘wall’ of the site fence. Artist Rachel Schmidt recognized that the parking lot site can be likened to an open prairie, a place for herds of creatures to congregate, a moment of rest in the vast city. This concept inspired the direction of her piece. “The MVT CID believes that art and culture are important components of our neighborhood and important for us to encourage and support,” said Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District President, Claire Schaefer Oleksiak. “We hope that City Fields will bring a sense of surprise, creative inspiration, and intrigue for the community to enjoy as they walk along K Street. We also see it as a way to visually connect the community to the west of City Vista. The piece recognizes the changing nature of cities, such as DC, and the incredible possibilities of our future urban fabric.” City Fields consists of seven vinyl mesh panels overlaid on more than 160 linear feet of fence line. The piece runs along K Street and 5th Street, wrapping around the corner of the existing parking lot in Mount Vernon Triangle. City Fields flows around the site, not able to be seen in its entirety from a single angle, but rather inviting one to explore and contemplate. The piece will be installed on May 18th and remain for up for six months. On June 27th and September 26th, artist Rachel Schmidt will be at the MVT FRESHFARM Farm Stand to engage with the community about the piece, solicit feedback and ask for impressions of what they imagine in the city of the future.
About the Artist
Rachel Schmidt received her MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Mount Royal School of Art and her BFA in Textile Design from the University of Kansas. Rachel studied contemporary art and the textile trade in Istanbul, Turkey on a Walters Travel Grant in 2007. Rachel lived and worked in Warsaw, Poland in 2008, where she helped organize an art exhibition of foreign artists in an experimental gallery space. Rachel has exhibits opening at Transformer on May 9th and Flashpoint on June 5th. She is currently an Exhibits Specialist at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and an Artist in Residence at the Arlington Arts Center.
About The Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District
The Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District is a private, nonprofit organization established to enhance the overall quality of life for residents, visitors, employees and property owners in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood in Downtown DC. The Mount Vernon Triangle is considered to be one of Washington DC’s best examples of a mixed-use community, at the heart of the City—both geographically and culturally. Its boundaries include 17 blocks within the East End of downtown Washington, D.C., bordered by Seventh Street to the west, Massachusetts Avenue to the south, New York Avenue to the north and New Jersey Avenue to the east. The Mount Vernon Triangle is a welcoming, authentic, and centered neighborhood that mirrors the City’s unique mix of historic and modern buildings, longtime and new residents, and diverse cultures, restaurants, and experiences. For more information, we invite you to explore our website at mvtcid.org or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MountVernonTriangleCID or Twitter @MVTCID.