I love public art and one of my favorites is “The Awakening,” which was created by the famed American sculptor, J. Seward Johnson, Jr. The Awakening is an iconic sculpture was originally installed by the artist at Hains Point in Washington, D.C., but was moved to National Harbor in 2008 when the developers purchased it.
The Awakening consists of five separate pieces of metal, embedded in the ground, giving the impression of a giant man struggling to free himself from the ground. The left hand and right foot look like normal body parts. The left right hand, bent leg, and the bearded face with mouth mid-scream, are the parts that convey the pain of the man’s struggle to free himself. At any given moment, you will someone posing in front of one body part or another for a photo op. Kids especially love to clamber onto the man’s head. You can tell from the photo which part are my favorites! The way the foot and the fingers bent, the veins and folds of the skin—it’s all amazingly realistic.
At National Harbor, The Awakening has been installed at the small beach area by the marina. It’s a great place to let the kids loose to have fun in the sand, and for the adults to admire a great piece of public art!