Takoma Park Art


I am lucky: I like where I live. There’s a public library a few blocks away from my apartment in Takoma DC; my polling place is a block or two past the library. There are street festivals, purple houses, and more than one place to get vegan cheesecake. The scenery is punctuated by an artistic pulse, and this year, there’s a particular abundance of public art to see.

First, there is the poetry walk – a Takoma Park annual installation since 2007, put in place by the Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library. Eye-level signs, each bearing one or two poems, adorn the town’s main streets and public parks.

"Jabberwocky" at Belle Ziegler Park

Then there’s reCYCLE The Art of Bike (sponsored by the Old Takoma Business Association), a series of seven sculptures constructed of bicycle parts. The public art exhibit is “designed to celebrate the art, bicycling, and recycling cultures of Takoma Park.” Just the mere fact that I live in a place with recognized “art, bicycling, and recycling cultures” is enough to tickle me.

Mandala by Robert Wertz

Finally, we have vintage-style crate labels adorning Takoma Park signs and maps, which you can read more about in the April edition of the Takoma Voice. Thirty-odd signs labels have been placed around the city, highlighting Takoma Park’s claims to fame, such as “playful” and the nickname “Azalea City.”

Takoma Park is also known as Azalea City

All this art gives me a Project: I must photograph every poem, sculpture, and crate label! I’ve been working on it, but I’m far from finished. The search will bring me to Takoma Park’s two differently iconic gazebos, outside the door of the TP Historical Society, and near the labyrinth in Forest Park, among other places.

As much as I love art museums, I don’t think museums are the only place for art. In fact, I think art should be in pretty much every public place where people can see it. I’m lucky to be so surrounded by art.

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About Laura

Paralegal with Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education, frequent museum visitor, based in Washington, DC. I care about what museums can do, both in terms of public offerings and internal practices, to make the world a better place. I blog about museum education ("informed"), the social work of museums ("humane"), and visitor experience ("citizenry").
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