Overwhelmed by Underpass Art



If all ugly urban spaces were potential canvases, what might flourish in dark underpasses? The NoMa Parks Foundation has issued an RFQ for proposals from artists, designers, and architects to transform four dark underpasses connecting the east and west sides of the NoMa neighborhood in D.C. The foundation envisions “art parks,” which “will beautify, enliven and activate” the sites, but beyond that they are not married to any particular vision. And they are open to having one artist design all four, or contracting with four different entities.

Here is one example from Birmingham, Alabama of what might be created in NoMa. The artist was Bill FitzGibbons and he used colored light to make these art deco railroad underpasses built in 1931 beautiful and safe for pedestrians.—Ruth McCambridge


Ruth McCambridge

Ruth is Editor in Chief of the Nonprofit Quarterly. Her background includes forty-five years of experience in nonprofits, primarily in organizations that mix grassroots community work with policy change. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ruth spent a decade at the Boston Foundation, developing and implementing capacity building programs and advocating for grantmaking attention to constituent involvement.