From a Model to a Rainbow

Photo by anonymous user. Posted March 2012.
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The artwork, a monumental-size mosaic mural, was commissioned by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in cooperation with the Metro Art in Transit Program. The mural of multi-colored ceramic and glass tiles mounted on aluminum panels spans 400 square feet. It measures 14 feet high and 39 feet wide, and weighs 2,000 pounds. The artwork can be found at the station on the southern abutment wall along Cedar Street.

The DC Commission, Metro and the Takoma Metro Mural Committee, a committee formed specifically for the project, selected Gilliam from among 132 artists who submitted applications for the commission.

"I wanted to make a work that is part of its environment, yet changes that environment," said Gilliam. "A work filled with color and light."

Since the early 1960s, Gilliam, with his signature draped canvases, has challenged the traditional painting techniques of the Washington Color School and Abstract Expressionism. During the '70s Gilliam's wrapped canvases pushed his aesthetic explorations even further. By the '80s Gilliam began applying sculptural elements to his surfaces - making three-dimensional sculptural paintings. Currently he creates, along with his signature works, multimedia installations and translations using various techniques and media. "From a Model to a Rainbow" is a mosaic translation of one of Gilliam's earlier paintings. Gilliam's work is included in private and public collections around the world. He lives and maintains a studio in northwest Washington, DC.

Commissioned By

Takoma Metrorail Station

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