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WONDER at the Renwick Gallery Smithsonian American Art Museum

The new exhibit, Wonder, at the Renwick Gallery in Washington DC is awe-some. Using everyday objects, nine artists created nine "immersive" artworks to make visitors literally wonder. I recognized the name of three of the artists -- Patrick, Dougherty, Leo Villarreal, and Maya Lin. I first saw Patrick Dougherty's stick sculpture at the Parque del Retiro in Madrid. Leo Villarreal designed The Bay Lights in San Francisco and Hive in the Bleecker Street NYC subway station. Maya Lin is Maya Lin. The other six artists are Jennifer Angus, Chakaia Booker, Gabriel Dawe, Tara Donovan, Janet Echelman, and John Grade. The artworks are presented in the order in which I saw them.

Patrick Dougherty

Plexus A1
Gabriel Dawe

Tara Donovan

Volume (Renwick)
Leo Villareal

Janet Echelman
I have not done this for the previous entries but wanted to highlight the significance of the title of this work. The March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami were so strong that the earth was shifted on its axis and the day on which the event occurred "was 1.8 millionths of a second."

Middle Fork
John Grade 
I'm going to annotate this work as well. This piece was created from a plaster cast of a living 150 year old hemlock in Seattle's Cascade Mountains. The artwork will be set in the same forest at the closing of the Wonder exhibit.

Folding the Chesapeake
Maya Lin

Chakaia Booker

In the Midnight Garden
Jennifer Angus

Do you have a favorite piece? I was really struck by the use of color in Jennifer's Angus piece. It's also a great celebration of insect life. As an urban forester, it was a pleasure to be introduced to John Grade's work and to see another sculpture by Patrick Dougherty. And I'm happy to finally see one of Maya Lin's works in person.