Art Installations

Map / General InfoSchedule

American Dream Machine

by Wendy Lehman
The simple goal of this ingenious device is the restoration of Peace and Progress. A Rube Goldberg style contraption built collaboratively out of objects, ordinary or extraordinary, which symbolize our own American stories, our own beliefs about the “American Dream”, as well as stories that have been told to us. These may include pictures, household objects, symbols, tools, trinkets, toys, games, books, flags, and simple machines.
People can bring together their objects, stories, and ideas, or help with putting these things together to create the American Dream Machine. It will double as an installation when not in use.
Help to share and/or build:
Thursday 3:30-5:30                                                                                                                                                                            Friday 11:00-3:00
Live demonstrations:
Friday 3:30 and 4:30
Saturday 3:30 and 4:30
Sunday 3:30 and 4:30

Bee Colony Collapse Babel EU

by Betty T. Kao

This painting is based on the story of the Tower of Babel and the building of the European Union in Belgium. The design of the EU structure is based on drawings of the Tower of Babel. This painting is comprised of a variety of bees in pairs, each type of bee drawing represents another language from a different culture or disciple throughout time around the world, such as Egyptian hieroglyphics, Phoenician drawings, scientific illustration, a sacred geometry bee symbol from a crop circle. The eleven bees circle the hive-like tower as the stars circle the EU building in it’s promotional illustrations. The honey dripping hive tower reaches toward a bright white sky.

Honey is one of our most ancient food medicines. This painting is an allegory of what may happen if people don’t pay attention to the phenomenon in which worker bees from a bee colony abruptly disappear. If the major pollinators of our food and medicine plants become sick from poor environmental conditions, thus unable to do their duty, the world’s fresh food supply will shortly disappear. Climate chaos and disorder ensue when people do not communicate. Mixed medium paint and gold metallic pigment on canvas.

This painting was displayed at the Times Square Chashama International Film Festival.

Brushing Out Truth

by Colleen Simmons

I wish to provide a communal art project to all participants of Catharsis on the Mall. This art project will be 2D, I will provide a very large (most likely 24’ x 36’) canvas. The idea for my project is a visual representation of the theme by any individual present at Catharsis on the Mall. Indeed I wish it could encompass all individuals of the American Dream—either trapped in a nightmare or in a deep peaceful REM state—but this project is limited to just one canvas and three days. There will be no rules regarding what marks can go on this canvas except to contemplate on the American Dream theme provided and then try to represent what it means individually… with color and the freeing process of paint!

Digital Fires for Analog Times

by Jessica Snow

Reading bedtime stories is necessary for one to fall asleep and then Wake Up.


by Mason Calhoun

“Emergence” is a symbolic representation of unity and our need as a species to grow away from our exploitative and discriminating ways of life and emerge into unity between Earth’s beings and resources. I am designing this piece to such that the LEDs sparkle at random, representing the chaos of life. The shape of the piece is a ring, which symbolizes the unity of life of all life on earth. The random sparkles also represent the twinkling of stars in the night sky, which represents the connection of earth and its place in the greater universe.

Freedom Killed Lady Liberty

by Sy Van Tran

Statue of Liberty gunned down by four people with guns. In her last dying gesture she’s rips her heart out and raises her heart high in the air signaling that through the heart Is the new beacon from which we can liberate ourselves.

My piece relates to the theme because aims to advance healing through understanding critical Gunn issues through new perspectives that I see easy to take away from engaging with art.

Graphic Sex Project

by Jennifer Beman

The #Metoo movement and the recent national pain engendered by public revelations of sexual assault have made it critical that people get better about talking about sex, openly, honestly and without shame. The Graphic Sex Project helps to empower people to speak up about their sexual preferences, and approach sex with a sense of playfulness to help heal past pain.

Harmonic Lotus Temple

by Doug “Nataraj” Shire

This piece has been to several regional events.

Healing Earth Altar

by Sister Sharon Roach

Piercing the Veil

by Kyle O Street

Project’s Mission: All participants of Catharsis are invited to get up to the artwork and become part of it in photographs. Not many pieces of art invite you to walk right up to the canvas and touch it. And if people desire a memory to share they were in a unique cross section of time and space, temporary art exhibits offer a chance for something novel and unique.

Project’s Philosophy: In conjunction with last year’s theme, Waking from the American Dream, this art piece was supposed to help demonstrate there’s a whole world beyond the boundaries of the one around us, and it may take an energy from out there to assist in seeing past the bubble we may be raised or exist within. I wanted the individual being hit by this beam and receiving this view past the world they’re inside of to be genderless and rainbow colored so anyone might be able to picture themselves in that position of awakening.

Artist: Kyle O. Street

…The American Dream

by Joshua Carroll

What does The American Dream mean to you? What does it look like? What does it feel like? Smell like? Come experience our immersive American Dream Simulator and reflect on these questions during daytime hours at Catharsis on the Mall! This experience is in high demand and space is limited; wait times may vary.


by Bardia Saeedi and the DC/Baltimore regional burner artists

A flock of sheep roams the National Mall in search of meaning and joy. All they want is to mingle with the city residents, ready and lit, in their latest costumes. They bear gifts of bareback rides, songs, and good times. All they ask in return is to be treated with respect and consent. Each sheep has a different personality, voice, and look. Explore what tickles them, what excites them, and what “makes” them.

iSheep is a Burning Man 2018 honorarium art grant recipient.

Peace Principles

by Rachel “Secret” Roa

The poles are based off of the Peace Pole Project, with some Burning Man elements incorporated into the design. Each peace pole will have two sides decorated with ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ (different languages), one side will have one of the Burning Man Principles and the remaining side will have chalkboard paint (where participants can feel encouraged to decorate with words or designs that inspire them from the peace pole).

Potion for Emotions

by Audrey “Potions” Herrington

The relevance to the theme threads into the layers of aroma, experienced through Potions for Emotions. Smells take us into the present moment and can also trigger deep seeded memories. In fact our sense of smell is the sense most closely connected to memory. As we wake from the American dream, we learn radical self reliance, and the empowering ability to understand our own needs and how we can heal. By taking a look at (or a whiffof) the Potions for Emotions, it is my hope that one of the ways we can begin to wake up through aSCENTion.

Psyche 3

by Ashley Dequilla

The condition of the female goddess spirit is boundless.

My work explores mythology, de-colonization and the Junguan practice of active imagination through the unconscious. This piece in particular represents the process and chaos of transmutation, converting negative energy into positive and healing energy.


by Alissa Weisman

Resurrection is a project that has been in the works for several months in Georgetown University Hospital. Resurrection is about rebirth and renewal. Resurrection is all about healing from your traumas and emerging from the wreckage as a stronger person. Spirituality and art are my two biggest healers, and this project has pushed me to fight harder and harder each day. I wish that this piece could inspire others to break through their barriers.


by Justin Bell

An abstract head of a giant robot peers out of the ground…

Sow Beauty

by Caroline Gaiser

“Sow Beauty” seeks to enhance & expand our connections to each other & to the earth using flowers as a means of peaceful communication. By utilizing the grace & abundance of Mother Nature’s gifts, we will speak the universal language of love & spread the powerful message of positivity.

Stop, Drop N Roll Free DC Liberty Pole

by Adam Eidinger, Ricardo Balidizon

Last year’s DC Liberty pole which featured 4 playa tech benches and a 25 foot aluminum OSHA approved pole with LED rope lights capped with small Liberty Cap. The base of the pole will feature multiple solar panels and batteries to power the pole and sounds 24 hours a day. We plan to combined with the Open Jail to create a lounge space for creative expression including DJ and MC. The jail will feature plywood broken gears around it to symbolize it’s a repurposed jail that has been turned into a solar powered meditative state. Pamphlets and other literature on the topic of ending the drug war will be shared in this space.  There will a small microphone station that will be used for a talks on situation facing many Americans.

Tabula Rasa

by Todd Croteau

Tabula rasa (/ˈtæbjələ ˈrɑːsə, -zə, ˈreɪ-/) refers to the epistemological idea that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception. Proponents of tabula rasa generally disagree with the doctrine of innatism which holds that the mind is born already in possession of certain knowledge. Generally, proponents of the tabula rasa theory also favour the “nurture” side of the nature versus nurture debate when it comes to aspects of one’s personality, social and emotional behaviour, knowledge and sapience. This project helps people contemplate who they are and where they have come from. Is one’s slate complete, or can one continue to scribe their life in a more empathetic and healthful way?

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