It looks like Duke Ellington is returning to the Howard Theater. A few weeks back, Housing Complex reported on the official start to renovations of the century-old theater. And while the finished structure will bring in some major musical acts, they will all stand in the shadow—quite literally—of Duke Ellington, who’s likeness will be immortalized by a large statue in the plaza out front.
When completed, “Encore” will be a 20-foot-tall steel sculpture of D.C. native Ellington, sitting atop an enormous treble clef in front of the theater. Washington City Paper got a look at some renderings depicting how the statue will appear when finally in place. Below, you can see the artist, sculptor Zachary Oxman, hard at work in his studio. According to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ blog, the design of the treble clef was Oxman’s personal addition to the commissioned work, inspired by Ellington’s handwritten compositions.
Outdoor rendering courtesy of PGN Architects, PLLC. Statue sketch by Zachary Oxman. Photo by Heather McKay Bowes.