Washington DC December 13th, 2015

WPA Washington Produced Artists
Curated by Laura Roulet

Workingman Collective will create and document a methodical purposeful walk and action that aims to tie the past to the present.

Starting at 9 am, December 13, 2015 at 1227 G street NW, Workingman Collective and company will walk a 9.2 mile journey to visit all the former homes that WPA has occupied since its inception in chronological order, connecting the sites by unspooling/collecting 55,000 linear feet of hi-visibility baling twine behind them. Using modified pier-fishing carts designed to carry the unspooling/collected twine WMC will solicit and welcome friends, collaborators, and the DC community to join the “Twine Hike”. As each WPA site is reached a simple action/marker of sowing seeds will be scattered near the former building and a drummer will announce the groups arrival and departure. WMC will navigate the route and repeat from site to site until the walk is complete.

A limited edition route map, seed packet*, video and book documenting the walk will be created. WPA will distribute maps to anyone interested in visiting the sites.

* Handmade printed seed packets containing Narrowleaft Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium) will be sewn in nearby green strips and handed out along the twine hike route. 

Narrowleaft Mountain Mint is an area native plant that provides a nectar source for pollinators and is well suited for use in pollinator restoration habitat.  WMC sees the Twine project planting action and drumming as a celebratory signal and pollinator of ideas that resonates with the long embedded history and mission of the WPA.

Route + Year 

1227 G Street NW . (1975 - 1982)
Jennifer Building, 400 7th Street NW . (1982)
434 7th Street NW . (June 1987 - December 1988)
Jennifer Building 400 7th Street NW . (1988 - 1995)
Corcoran, 500 17th Street NW . (1996 - 2008)
2023 Massachusetts Avenue NW . (2008 - January 2013)
Capitol Skyline Hotel, 10 I Street SW . (February 2013 - November 2015)
Atlantic Plumbing Building, 2124 8th Street NW . (November 2015 - )



April - July 25 2015
1700 L St. NW Washington DC
8' h x 12' l x 8' w . plywood 
3' x 3' blue square

Inspired by and modeled after Early Bird, the first geosynchronous satellite launched into orbit in 1965.  Sculpture was built in a vacant downtown storefront.  Collaborative event programing ranged from weekly Lunch sessions, readings, performance, video events, and waffle breakfast. 

This project was supported in part by the Lenkin Company


Early Bird

2013 – 2014, 63 Bronze Birds with Various PatinasTysons Corner, VA

Early Bird was created for newly constructed Plaza at Tysons Corner, VA. The artwork commission consists of 63 individual bronze sculptures of indigenous bird species, Cardinal, Robin, Mourning Dove, Crow, and Red Tailed Hawk, orchestrated into a unified, multi-dimensional work that has appeal as a direct experience and as playful allegory.  The work is intended to provide an experience to the spectrum of visitors who arrive, depart and return to the Plaza that is familiar, engaging, and participatory.

During our research for this project we discovered “Early Bird” was the nickname for Intelsat-1, the first geosynchronous communications satellite, placed in orbit on April 6, 1965 by Intelsat.  We were intrigued by the relationship of flight, interaction and ingenuity implied by “Early Bird,” and how that resonated with our vision of the presence of the birds on the plaza.



2013 - 2014
Monrovia, Liberia

Story is a three-part artwork created by Workingman Collective.  At its core, the commission considers the relationship of play, learning, and building community across generations, linking the United States Embassy and the greater Liberian community

 On the U.S. embassy grounds, four cast bronze, oversized school desk chairs populated by the national bird, the Pepper bird, conjure the folktale icon, who according to legend, shrieks each dawn until father night releases the people sleeping peacefully under his arms to father day so they can go about their daily work.  The symbolism of the chairs and Pepper birds carries over to the community in tangible ways.  In Wenneh Town, Kakata, Margibi County, Workingman Collective partnered with the Checago Bright Foundation (a U.S. and Liberia based non-Government organization) to build a playground where children and familioes from surrounding schools and neighborhoods can gather to socialize and share their similarities and differences through play.  In Monrovia, in collaboration with the Quilters Guilds, Waste Not Inc., Alice Bracewell (Sinkor), Quageh, Maude Davis (Caldwell), and  team of young women created a visual document of Story in an edition of Quilts.



Craft 2013                

Cherry, electric/motor, sound system, 5’h x 3’w x 2’d

Audio, Mezo Soprano, Megan Ihnen, singing the names of all the artists who have shown work at Hemphill Fine Arts over the last 20 years.


Cooler Shake

Workingman Collective 
is collecting video footage of shaking hands 

Cooler Shake, 2013
8 hour video loop
mixed media: oak file cabinet, 5-gallon water jug, video projection, limestone
71” x 27” x 16”

Still from video loops 
DuPont Circle Cooler Shake Session Set up
Inside Cooler Shake


Monrovia Liberia

The U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies has commissioned Workingman Collective to create a permanent artwork for the grounds of the US Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia.  

Our first site/research trip is March 2 - 15.

While in Monrovia we are planning a comprehensive survey + research of the Embassy grounds for location and installation of our artwork, including: site conditions + regulations, lighting potential, foundation needs, installation, suppliers, contacts, shipping, and etc.

Concurrently we will continue developing full conceptual/creative research that will inform and enable us to provide the Arts and Embassy Program a meaningful artwork that is specific as well as sensitive to the location for which it is created.

We don't want to build a monolith here in the states, ship it to Monrovia, and bolt it to a concrete pad deep within the embassy grounds.  We envision a project that has a life inside and outside the embassy grounds that connects community.  Therefore, it is important while we are in Monrovia to explore, observe, and simply shake hands in the community involved with education, outreach, the arts and traditional crafts, and diplomacy.  

We are also interested in cultural delivery systems such as the work Alfred J. Sirleaf is doing with his news kiosk, the Daily Talk, the Made In Liberia organization, the Checago Bright Foundation, or Leslie Lumeh who has created the first school of contemporary arts in Monrovia.



Finding a Line


 "Finding a Line Part One" 
January thru April 2012

This is the first of two video documents focusing on the Finding a Line 5x5 project. 
Ben Ashworth, John Falls, Workingman Collective

About Finding a Line
Finding aLine takes the improvisational act at the core of skateboarding - finding a line through physical space - and applies it to the process of transforming a community space.  

January 2012, two to three days a week, Ben Ashworth, Workingman Collective, John Falls, and Co, began transforming a large neglected raw area under the I-695 Southeast Freeway in Washington DC, into a skate-able social space. 

The site, BridgeSpot, a complex high-low socioeconomic mash-up zone was shaped into a skate-able social space that cycles rhythmically from action to a calm-before-the-storm vibe. 

Selected by curator Laura Roulet for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ temporary public art project, 5×5,  Ben Ashworth and Workingman Collective collaborated with other artists, activists, skaters, and the community towards the launch of the Finding a Line on March 20, 2012.

About 5x5
5x5 is twenty-five groundbreaking temporary public art installations that were installed concurrently throughout the District of Columbia March – April 2012.  5x5 coincided with the Centennial National Cherry Blossom Festival.

On Going Actions:
Janrurary – May 2012
Sustaining a steady work ethic, Ben Ashworth and Workingman Collective set a tone of stewardship by removing trash from the site, fixing what was broken, building, documenting, and shaking hands.  We began to link a diverse network of local officials, skaters, parents, dj's, kids, construction and office workers, to the homeless. As we worked and developed the Finding a Line project we sifted through actions + engagement, the collective images + videos to craft the emerging process and narrative. 

April 2 - 6, 2012
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW)
We created a workshop “Explore, Build, Document: Public Art Skateboarding Laboratory”  for students in grades K-6 .
Students made skateboards, designed and built skateboard structures, and documented the process through video and video editing.
Chaw Group
April 29, 2012
Through conversations with AlbusCavus, Peter Kursko the Urban Artistry's International Soul Society Festival and Eighty Eight's Forward Festival, Flow. Programmed the final festival event at the Finding a Line site which centered on live performances and workshops, including graffiti, parcours, djs, skateboarding, music, dancing, and cooking.