From Lawn to Portrait in Sand to Soccer Field

From Lawn to Portrait in Sand to Soccer Field

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Dept of Interior photo by Tami Heilemann

For just this month a 6-acre strip of lawn on the National Mall has been turned into a portrait in sand and dirt by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada called “Out of Many, One.” Commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, it’s a composite of many ethnic groups, a generic face of Americans. About 2,300 tons of sand and 800 tons of soil were used, and the video below shows some of the action.

This spot is on a busy flight path, so will be seen by lots of travelers while it’s there this month, and looks awesome in satellite photos. (Scroll to bottom.)

Next month the Park Service will seed a lawn there and next year they’ll install soccer fields on the site. To me, the portrait is a welcome relief from one more boring athletic field, no matter how necessary they may be.

In the video below the artist walks through the portrait experiencing it as a Zen garden, something I plan to do in person asap.



Posted by

Susan Harris
on October 16, 2014 at 8:32 pm, in the category But is it Art?.

    • Joe Schmitt
    • 6th September 2017

    Very, very cool. In an age of spy satellites, CCTV and surveillance saturation, it’s a comfort to see someone, particularly a melting pot Everyman, returning the stare. While it may have been the product of nothing more than the constraints of the site, the single eye is so much more powerful than two would have been.

    • Carol
    • 9th September 2017

    This is just magnificent. I am so impressed with this.

    • Lindy
    • 10th September 2017

    It just looks like Barack Obama to me…and I bet most people will assume that too.

    • Joe Schmitt
    • 10th September 2017

    Couldn’t disagree more. That thought never crossed my mind at all. You might want to take a little closer look at President Obama.

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