Monday, March 10, 2008
Two Things Challenge: Red / Blue / Purple
This week's challenge was a play on the political demographic that pundits talk about in the United States: Red States vs. Blue States and the odd anomaly: the Purple State (equal division of Red and Blue.) Of course, Red signifies conservative, Republican-leaning states, while Blue stands for liberal, Democratic-leaning states. In 2002, the D.C. Arts Commission sent out a call to artists to participate in a public art display that took an idea from the city of Chicago and applied it to the nation's capital. This first competition and commission was called Party Animals and artists could either decorate an elephant, symbol of the Grand Old Party (GOP) or Republicans, or a donkey, symbol of the Democratic Party. The Party Animals were a huge hit with tourists. At the end of the commission period, the animals were auctioned off to the highest bidders. These two: Grand Old Pachaderm and Stars, The Carousel Donkey, sit outside the University Club on 16th Street. Ergo, Red and Blue!
Two years later, the D.C. Arts Commission again sent out a call to artists to decorate the city's second most popular tourist attraction: the giant pandas at the National Zoo. They called the event PandaMania and it too was a huge hit with folks living in and around D.C., as well as those who came to visit. While there isn't a lot that Americans can agree on in politics (as exemplified by the Red / Blue divide), there is one thing we all pretty much agree on: the enduring adorability and tenacity of the giant panda. This one sits outside Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street. And since we all--Red and Blue--can agree that Ben's is great and pandas are greater, you get Purple!
Okay, I know. Big stretches there. But there you have it: Red, Blue, and Purple in Washington, D.C.!
Photo copyrights: D.C. Confidential.