The Story Behind a New Route 1 Sculpture

Riverdale Park Great Blue Herons sculpture Joanna Campbell Blake
Riverdale Park, which has already seen three new pieces of public art added near the Whole Foods last year, has installed a new sculpture along East-West Highway.

“Great Blue Herons” depicts three blue herons touching wingtips to form the international symbol for recycling. It’s a subtle environmental message at a time when trash still threatens wildlife on the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River.

The sculpture could also be seen as something of a memorial for Cottage City sculptor Joanna Campbell Blake, who worked on it before her death at the age of 39.

Blake, who often worked out of a sculpture studio in Brentwood, is best known for her contributions to the National World War II Memorial and for designing and creating the Battle of Bladensburg Monument, installed in a park near the Peace Cross off Route 1.

The monument is an 8-by-10-foot bronze relief depicting the commodore in charge of the American forces at an early battle in the War of 1812, a wounded former slave who played a role and an unnamed Marine. It took more than two years of work.

“Great Blue Herons” is a smaller work than that but not a lesser one. It stands at the corner of Baltimore Ave and East West Highway in Riverdale Park, where more than 40,000 cars pass daily.

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3 Responses to The Story Behind a New Route 1 Sculpture

  1. Pingback: The Story Behind a New Route 1 Sculpture – Hyattsville Community Development Corporation

  2. Justin Fair says:

    A dedication for the artwork will be held on Wednesday, February 7th at 10:30am at Riverdale Park Town Hall.

  3. Thank you! Please add this and other events to our events calendar. Posting is easy and free.

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