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as part of the Year in Art Effort, every week Washington Project for The Arts and BYT will come together to give you a tidbit of the (some may say surprisingly?) colorful DC Art History. Be ready to be a cocktail party conversation star. This week:

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(photo from anartist flickr)

If I’m walking down the street, I barely notice things around me except the people pushing me or where that disgusting smell is coming from. Every once in a while I look up and yell at myself for not doing it more. The murals painted on buildings are so bright and playful against the cloudy sky I consider possible memory loss. Artists in DC have always been looking at everything around them to create art. From little architectural details that make people feel at home to large scale monuments that can be looked at in a different way.

Artist Yuri Schwebler turned the Washington Monument into the largest sundial in the world in the winter of 1974. And he did it with about 6 inches of snow, $24 and a few friends to help him shovel.

The best part about this snow-made sundial was that it would be gone, without a trace, when the snow melts. All 13 lines that were 8 feet wide, totally gone with the rise of temperature. That was Schwebler’s whole idea. He wanted to create art where the concept would still be around, but the actual piece would be gone.

We can take this as a wake-up call from artists saying, “Stop with the running from one place to the next and actually involve yourself in the environment you’re in.”

WPAC_pms200_k_jb Washington Project for the Arts is celebrating it’s 35th Birthday this Year. Learn more here: http://www.wpadc.org/

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