Downtown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Mischell Riley (based in Carson City, NV)
Maya's Mind 2017
Mischell Riley brought Maya's Mind to Burning Man in 2017; this work followed a ten-foot-tall bust of Leonardo da Vinci that she created for the event in 2016. With their rugged finishes, Riley's works blend with the dusty surrounds of Burning Man and have the patina of ancient ruins.
As a professional sculptor for more than three decades, Riley has received numerous public and private commissions for portrayals of wildlife, notable Americans, and people in profound circumstances. She is adept at capturing the emotional spirit of her subjects. Maya's Mind is the first in a series of monuments—soon to include Jane Goodall and Amelia Earhart—aimed at increasing the representation of women of all races and religions in public sculpture. The sculpture features a cast twenty-foot bust of the late Maya Angelou set on a stack of books. Adding a layer of sensory experience, the artist added an audio component that recites excerpts from Angelou's poem, Still I Rise, at the push of a button.
Do not climb on sculpture
From the Desert to DC
This sculpture is one of six outdoor installations presented as part of No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, a takeover of the entire Renwick Gallery that extends into the Golden Triangle neighborhood.
For a map of artworks, artist interviews, and more information go to:
Artist: Mischell Riley
Maya's Mind is a twenty foot tall by nine foot wide sculpture of Maya Angelou, great African American poet, singer, activist. This sculpture is a large bust that is mounted on three stacked books creating steps that you can climb up and into Maya's Mind to hear her recite her poem "Still I Rise". Her voice is unique and powerful, adding a dimension and presence in the sculpture that evokes a sort of reverence. At the top of her head bangs an empty birdcage that has no bottom in honor of her famous book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". Her head wrap turns into birds taking flight symbolizing her poem "Still I Rise". Walking up into the back of the open head area will be a written page
I have chosen Maya Angelou for the purpose of promoting women in history. I think women are underrepresented in historical sculptures and monuments. Most of all my nine life size bronze government grants were for men, by men, about men and nothing representing women. For my next pieces, I will be sculpting Jane Goodall, Amelia Earhart, and Camille Claudel. When young women go to parks and public places they will have someone to aspire to. Women of strength and power. Women who challenge us to take greater steps in our own lives. Working through their foundations with smaller sculptures, I want to raise funds for scholarships for women in arts and science. I want to help the next generation of women of every race, religion and nationality to lead us all. Women represent half the planet and I want them to have a voice in history through the Arts.
Participate in the cause
Used with permission of Caged Bird Legacy, LLC
Erected 2018 by Smithsonian Institution, Renwick Gallery Smithsonian American Art Museum, Golden Triangle, Lyft. (Marker Number 1.)
Location. 38° 54.038′ N, 77° 2.372′ W. Marker is in Downtown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on 17th Street NW Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 890 17th Street NW, Washington DC 20006, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Decatur House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (about 500 feet away); “Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead!” (about 500 feet away); Restoration of Jackson Place and Lafayette Square (about 500 feet away); "The Bachelor" (about 500 feet away); Baron von Steuben Memorial (about 600 feet away); Renwick Gallery (about 600 feet away); The Corcoran Gallery of Art (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown.
Also see . . .
1. No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man. (Submitted on March 28, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.)
2. Bronze by Mischell. Artist's web site (Submitted on March 28, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.)
3. Maya's Mind. Video by artist (Submitted on March 28, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.)
4. Here’s where to find the Renwick Gallery’s Burning Man art all over downtown D.C. From the Washington Post (Submitted on March 29, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.)
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Women •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 24, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 23, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 75 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 23, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 5. submitted on March 28, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.