Lynda Andrews-Barry: Passage

On View: August 22, 2020 - March 7, 2021

Lawn Installation

Arlington Arts Center and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia are pleased to present Passage, a site-specific public artwork by artist Lynda Andrews-Barry.

Passage includes 26 large-scale sculptures created from driftwood, rebar, metal hardware, and canvas sails—designed to evoke the ships that transported more than 12 million kidnapped and enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean between the 16th and 19th centuries. The artwork skillfully reflects the ways in which Virginia was implicated in, and continues to be impacted by, this history, while also grappling with the legacy of Matthew Fontaine Maury.

Known as the “Pathfinder of the Seas,” and the “Father of Oceanography,” Maury was a pioneer of naval navigation. The systems he developed for recording and charting oceanographic data revolutionized ocean navigation, drastically reducing the length of ocean voyages and allowing for more efficient trade and transport in the 19th century.

A commander in the United States Navy, Maury resigned his post in 1861 to become a commander in the Confederate Navy and later Secretary of the Navy for the Confederacy. During the Civil War, Maury traveled to Europe, where he used his connections and reputation to acquire ships for the Confederacy and to lobby on its behalf with European leaders. Arlington Arts Center’s historic building originally housed the Clarendon School, which was renamed the Maury School in 1944. The grounds surrounding the building, where Andrews-Barry’s work will be installed, continue to be known as Maury Park.

Artist Andrews-Barry has a very personal connection to the region’s past as she is descended from enslaved people who were brought to Virginia and Maryland. It was this family history that drove her to respond to Maury’s legacy.

Passage is the result of a unique partnership between AAC and the Community Foundation. The work was funded by the Foundation’s Ross-Roberts Fund for the Arts, and is undertaken in cooperation with Arlington Public Art.


Lynda Andrews-Barry is a multidisciplinary artist with a practice that encompasses time-based media, installations, and sculptures created from found and fabricated objects that reflect the often unseen or ignored beauty of our world.
Andrews-Barry’s work has been featured in books and won numerous awards. Her work has been shown and sold at various art venues, including the National Building Museum, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. Her public art projects have been installed in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and Florida. Recent solo exhibitions in 2019 include the Waddell Gallery at the Loudon Campus of Northern Virginia Community College, and Rockville Civic Center at Glenview Mansion in Maryland in 2018. Her work will be included in the Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Biennial in 2021.

Andrews-Barry received her BA in Interior Design from Mount Vernon College, and her MA in Exhibition Design from The Corcoran College of Art + Design. Her exhibition credits include the Sandy Spring Museum renovation, and design for a year-long installation of the Smithsonian’s collection of art glass and pottery in the National Museum of American History.


Artist Talk: Saturday / September 26 / 2pm*
* Lynda Andrews-Barry’s artist talk will take place on the front lawn of Arlington Arts Center. Visitors will be asked to wear masks and maintain a safe six-foot distance from one another during the talk.


Press Release
Washington Post Review of Passage

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