6-Acre Sand and Soil Portrait Coming to National Mall

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Aerial photo of the National Mall. (credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Aerial photo of the National Mall. (credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — The Smithsonian says it has commissioned a work for the National Mall, a portrait made out of sand and soil that will stretch over six acres.

The Smithsonian says it commissioned the work from Cuban American urban artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada. The piece is a composite portrait of several people photographed in Washington and is called “Out of Many, One,” the English translation of the Latin “E pluribus unum.”

Installation of the piece, which will go between the World War II and Lincoln memorials, is expected to start in September. The finished product is expected to take 2,000 tons of sand and 800 tons of soil and be on view during October.

Rodríguez-Gerada is known for his large-scale “facescapes.” This is the first to be placed in the United States.

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