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Mother-daughter artists commissioned for 11th Street Bridge Park artwork

Artwork by Martha Jackson Jarvis and Njena Surae Jarvis was selected for a $400,000 commission.

WASHINGTON — The 11th Street Bridge Park in D.C. is getting its first and largest commissioned artwork, courtesy of a pair of D.C.-based artists.

The park announced the selection of a piece entitled "Anacostia's Sunrise/Sunset Portals" by Martha Jackson Jarvis and Njena Surae Jarvis, a mother-daughter duo who operate Jarvis Jackson Studio.

The $400,000 commissioned piece will help orient and invite visitors into the park and welcome neighbors home to historic Anacostia. The site for this artwork will act as a gateway to the 11th Street Bridge Park and in a highly visible, public green space along the river’s edge that is referred to as the “Anacostia Approach,” park officials said in a press release. 

Credit: Courtesy of Jackson Jarvis Studio
Courtesy of Jackson Jarvis Studio

Jackson Jarvis Studio’s  public art commissions appear across the country including at the Anacostia Metro Station, Prince George’s County Courthouse, New York Transit Authority, among others.

Martha Jackson Jarvis explained how the new piece will add to the community.

“The notion of energy and rhythm of a capillary wave as it moves across the river, brings light, color, and reflection into the landscape and into the Anacostia community,” said artist Martha Jackson Jarvis in a statement. “Visitors experience the unobstructed rhythms of the landscape and cascades of seasonal color and reflection as they travel through eleven arching portals, designed to fascinate and invite discovery of the site and its many gifts.”

The portals artwork is the largest of five total that will be part of the 11th Street Bridge Park’s opening in 2025. The remaining four will be announced in late April. The selection process for all five commissions is led by Forecast Public Art in collaboration with D.C.-based artist Irfana Jetha Noorani.

Njena Surae Jarvis said she hopes the art will have an impact on anyone who sees it.

“Our ‘Anacostia Portals’ function as a beacon, a symbol of hope and welcome to the 11th Street Bridge Park community celebrating the historic Anacostia River biome,” said artist Njena Surae Jarvis in a statement. “The piece invites movement through the rubric of forms to make discoveries and see the place where they are as extraordinary, meaningful and part of a prescient call to engage and celebrate natural resources of a unique public site.”

The 11th Street Bridge Park, a project of the ward 8 non-profit Building Bridges Across the River is D.C.'s first elevated public park. The project works with community and local partners to invest in the residents and neighborhoods surrounding the Park with various initiatives and support programs.

"The 11th Street Bridge Park is a community-imagined space and it was important that the art and artists selected for our largest commissioned piece be reflective of this community," said Scott Kratz, Senior Vice President at Building Bridges Across the River. "We’re ecstatic to see Jackson Jarvis Studio’s vision for “Anacostia’s Sunrise/Sunset Portals” come to life and bring a welcoming energy to the park’s eastern entrance while helping expand equitable access to art East of the River."

For those who want to learn more about the 11th Street Bridge Park, click here.

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