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If anything’s going into Ward 8, Councilmember Marion Barry wants to know about it first.

Yesterday, I wrote about a government-funded art project along a busy Anacostia retail strip that’s causing some residents to call 311. This installment of the 5×5 Project, on outward appearance, anyway, consists of yard debris displayed in two abandoned storefronts on Good Hope Road SE. Residents say the artwork, created by Abigail DeVille and titled “The New Migration,” is insulting to a neighborhood that has many unwanted blighted buildings and is just starting to get some redevelopment.

And now Barry, who says he didn’t know about the project before it was installed, has something to say about it: “It looks like junk,” he tells Arts Desk, adding that he is a “supporter of the arts.”

Barry says his office has been flooded with constituent calls the last three days. He went to see the project himself this week and isn’t any happier than the other residents.

“I’m upset about it too,” he says. “This won’t happen again without me knowing about it. I just found about it.”

“I tell every agency that anything coming to Ward 8 should come to my office.”

Barry adds that he will be talking to officials to figure out the purpose of this project and how this specific art project landed in Anacostia. (You can read more about that here.)

“I will be getting to the bottom of it,” says Barry.


Photo by Darrow Montgomery.