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Art Walk - Iconic Monuments and the U.S. Capitol

Our next Art Walk event is a tribute to the Founding Fathers as besides their valuable contributions to the Constitution, they also influenced the early architecture of Washington DC, and more specifically the U.S. Capitol.

Art Walk event
Art Walk event
Art Walk is our regular event series, where we walk through the different parts of DC, Maryland and Virginia, taking photos, as we explore art, architecture, culture and history while having a fun time outdoors.

Explore the Iconic Monuments and the U.S. Capitol

After the first Congress passed the Residence Act of 1790, President George Washington selected the site for the nation’s seat of government along the bank of the Potomac River. Thomas Jefferson, who was then the Secretary of State offered his assistance to President Washington's city planner Peter L'Enfant and eventually an impressive federal city emerged.

We will start our Art Walk at the Washington Monument and then head east towards the U.S. Capitol.

As we walk, we will also take pictures from different locations around the National Mall and the Capitol Building for our Art Walk contest. Some of our stops will include the Ulysses Grant Memorial, Peace Monument and the Summerhouse.

Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is an obelisk that commemorates George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the first President of the United States.

Washington Monument circa 1860 by Mathew Brady
Washington Monument circa 1860 by Mathew Brady
Construction of the monument began in 1848, and was halted from 1854 to 1877 due to a lack of funds, a struggle for control over its society and the American Civil War. It was finally completed in 1888 and officially opened October 9, 1888.

Standing at a height of around 555 feet, the monument, made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss, is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk.

U.S. Capitol

The U.S. Capitol sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Capitol forms the origin point for the District's street-numbering system and the District's four quadrants, even though it is not at the geographic center of the Federal District.

US Capitol in 1846 by John Plumbe
US Capitol in 1846 by John Plumbe
The original building was completed in 1800 and was subsequently expanded, particularly with the addition of the massive dome, and expanded chambers for the two different houses—the House of Representatives in the south wing and the Senate in the north wing.

Library of Congress

We will then walk in the direction of the Library of Congress and Supreme Court, towards the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

The West façade of the Library of Congress in 1898
The West façade of the Library of Congress in 1898
We will walk around the Library of Congress which is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States.

The Library of Congress which serves as the research arm of Congress was established April 24, 1800, when President John Adams signed an act of Congress providing for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington.

The current Library of Congress building opened its doors to the public in 1897, having previously been housed in the Capitol Building. It was built in the style of the Italian Renaissance and at its opening, it was hailed as the largest, the costliest and the safest library building in the world.

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, in both shelf space and number of books. It contains research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages.

U.S. Supreme Court

Established by the United States Constitution, the Supreme Court began to take shape with the passage of the Judiciary Act of 1789 and has enjoyed a rich history since its first assembly in 1790.

US Supreme Court building
US Supreme Court building
The Supreme Court was the only court specifically established by the Constitution while all other federal courts were created by Congress.

The Supreme Court was provided with its own building, located at One First Street, NE, DC in 1935, the 146th year of its existence. Before that, it was housed inside the Capitol Building.

Light Snacks and Drinks

We will stop along the way for a short break, so you can bring some light snacks and drinks for yourself.

After the event, we can break into smaller groups and get coffee, drinks or food depending on individual preferences.

Competition Rules

Take as many pictures as you would like but only upload two of your best photos for the Art Walk contest. Both the photos must be uploaded after completion of the Art Walk.

  • Our judges, some who will be nominated from among our members will then judge the best photos and the overall winner. We will feature the best photos on our website and the winner will receive our award.
  • The criteria for judging will be based on the artistic creativity, uniqueness of the photo composition and picture framing besides having a stimulating effect. The photo, must also capture the theme specified in the contest.
  • A winner for the best photo will be announced three days after the Art Walk by our judges. The winner can pick the prize at any of our future Art Walk events.
  • The winner will be invited as our guest, for our next Art Walk event.

During the event we will allocate a time frame for stopping at different locations before we continue with our walk.

Photography is more importantly an art of composing the story of an interesting moment and sharing your artistic creation with others.

The most important thing is to have fun enjoying the outdoors and the interesting company of our diverse group of participants.

Getting There

The easiest way to reach our meeting point which is the Washington Monument is by taking either the Smithsonian Metro or Federal Triangle, both on the Blue/Orange/Silver lines.

While the Federal Triangle stop is technically closer, at 12th and Pennsylvania Ave NW, the Smithsonian stop is the easiest – it’s a straight walk down the Mall.

We will meet at the Monument, on the side facing the Lincoln Memorial.

Event Details


Description: Explore the National Mall and the U.S. Capitol as we compete for the best photo for our Art Walk contest.

Date/Time: Saturday February 24th, 2018 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Admission: $2 for covering the cost

Meeting Place

11:00 am - Washington Monument
2 15th St. NW Washington, DC 20024

This event has been cancelled due to bad weather.
There is no contest fee for veterans, firefighters and teachers who are an important part of our community. Grapes & Grains will cover the cost of their participation.

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