Patrick McDonough: Portrait of a County by a Youngish Man, Phase 1

On View: April 15 - June 14, 2019

Lawn Installation

For the project Portrait of a County by a Youngish Man, artist Patrick McDonough pays homage to the unsung workers of Arlington County, the individuals who keep our streets clean, our schools running, and our parks vibrant, among so many other vital services. During the first two months of Arlington County’s regular mowing season, McDonough asked Arlington County Parks and Recreation to refrain from mowing a large area on the front lawn of AAC. Allowing the grass to grow, McDonough points to the labor performed by County employees and contractors. At the end of phase 1, the center of the lawn will be mowed down and McDonough will use the grass that is harvested to create paper, which he will then use as the surface for portraits of County employees. During phase 2 of the project, to take place during AAC’s 2019-2020 season, the portraits will be publicly displayed.


Patrick McDonough is an artist and high school teacher based in Washington, DC. He is well-known for temporary and interventionist-style public artworks that evoke concepts of play, vernacular aesthetics, and the lived environment. Throughout his career he has collaborated with agencies including the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities, Van Alen Institute with DC Office of Planning, Arlington Public Art, the Ballston BID, and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, among many other private and public entities. McDonough has successfully completed grants and contracts for DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DC Public Schools, Arlington County Cultural Affairs, Virginia Humanities Council and many others. Recently, he was an artist in residence at DC Public Schools where he collaborated with administrators, teachers, and students on public space curriculum and a multi-school mural installation.

Patrick McDonough’s project at AAC has been funded in part by the Arlington Cultural Affairs division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts.

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