Creative Life in the Gateway Arts District

Riverdale Park Public Art Initiative Announces Sculptor Joanna Blake to Create First Commission


RIVERDALE PARK, Maryland – On behalf of the Riverdale Park Public Art Initiative and with the generous support of the Prince George’s Arts & Humanities Council Environmental Public Art Project, the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation is pleased to announce the commission of sculptor Joanna Blake to create a permanent public artwork sculpture at the intersection of East-West Highway and Route 1 (Baltimore Avenue) at the J.D. Williams Office Building, in the Town of Riverdale Park, MD in Prince George’s County.

Following a competitive jurying process, Blake’s proposal titled ‘Great Blue Herons’ was chosen to serve as a landmark for the heavily-trafficked and highly visible intersection. The preliminary concept showcases three herons in flight, with each bird’s outstretched wings touching at their tips, akin to the international symbol for recycling, as a rotating weathervane atop a tall base at the south lawn. As the design develops from maquette to sculpture, Ms. Blake will join the Environmental Public Art Project (EPAP) in interactive discussions with community members to guide the artwork’s development.

The artwork will greet visitors and commuters – of which there are approximately 61,000 daily – to Riverdale Park and its adjoining municipalities. It will also lead them to the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River, where the sculpture’s avian subject can be seen in its natural habitat less than a half mile east.

This permanent artwork is expected to be installed by Summer 2015, in anticipation of the Riverdale Park Public Art Initiative (RPPAI)’s second phase of rotating temporary year-long artworks, timing to be announced. The public is invited to view a preliminary maquette of Ms. Blake’s artwork as well as the other finalists’ proposals at

The RPPAI is a collaborative program sponsored and enabled by the Town of Riverdale Park. The Initiative is facilitated and implemented by Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (CDC) and in conjunction with the support of the Riverdale Park Arts Council, with additional funding by Councilman Jonathan Ebbeler (Ward 1).

This commission also marks the second EPAP location, following its first commission at 1801 McCormick Drive, Largo, MD.  The EPAP is a multi-commission opportunity for addressing environmental issues in Prince George’s County, through visual art that inspires both artists and citizens to embrace environmental sensitivities in both creative practice and lifestyle. The Project is run by the Department of the Environment and Prince George’s Arts & Humanities Council, with the support of the Art In Public Places Program, and welcomes new funding sources and community support for each commission.

For more information, please visit


About neenajoe

Joe’s Movement Emporium is a cultural arts hub that acts as a catalyst for creativity and economic opportunity for all through productions and programs in education, artist services and work readiness. Located in the town center of Mount Rainier, Maryland within the Prince George’s County Gateway Arts District, the organization supports and promotes creative projects of local artists and community groups. For additional information on programs and events, please visit

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