Union Market Partners with Hirshhorn to Present World Debut of Public Art Mural by Artist Yoko Ono and the Inaugural Project for New Initiative Hirshhorn in the City


WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Union Market announces partnership with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden to present the world debut of a new large-scale public art mural by artist Yoko Ono. Officially opening on September 15th, the mural will be located along Union Market’s 6th Street NE exterior wall. The installation is the inaugural project of Hirshhorn in the City, a new initiative to exhibit international contemporary art beyond the museum walls and connect artists and curators with Washington, D.C.’s creative communities.

Yoko Ono new large-scale public art mural installed on the exterior wall of Union Market in collaboration with the Hirschhorn Museum (photo credit: Emma McAlary)

Created exclusively for Washington, D.C., Ono’s new work, “RELAX. YOUR HEART IS STRONGER THAN WHAT YOU THINK!”, compels us to step outside of our everyday lives and consider the power of the heart over the restrictions of the mind.  Said Yoko Ono of her inspiration, “I hope our hearts will be stronger and stronger forever.”

“The Hirshhorn is much more than iconic architecture and world-class collections,” said Hirshhorn director Melissa Chiu. “Our goal is to bring people and ideas together to shape 21st century culture, and Washingtonians are an incredible source of creative innovation. Union Market fully embraces this aspect of the city, making it an ideal home for Ono’s newest work.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Hirshhorn,” says Jodie W. McLean, CEO of EDENS. “Art is crucial to the vitality of a city. By providing unique platforms for artists to engage with cities, we can spark conversations and encourage collaboration in our communities.” 

In conjunction with the new exhibit, Hirshhorn’s Curator of Media and Performance Art Mark Beasley will lead educational conversations on Ono’s work at Union Market with several nearby D.C. schools.

The collaboration with the Hirshhorn continues Union Market’s mission to be a place for creative minds to connect and thrive in the District. “Art is a symbol for the diversity of our neighborhood, from local to international artists,” explains Jennifer Maguire Isham, Director of Strategy for Union Market and EDENS. “This is a place to showcase their creativity.” Union Market’s experiences are varied and transformative, including: studio tours with internationally recognized sculptor John Dreyfuss, partnerships with Creative Time and native D.C. artist Darius Frank, the unveiling of a mural by graffiti artist Mr. Brainwash on International Women’s Day, and the We Love You Project portrait work of Brian Summers. Each project reinforces the importance of art in expanding dialogue and engaging with the community.

For more information on Ono’s work with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the new Hirshhorn in the City initiative, visit

About Union Market:
The Union Market District, located a short walk from the NoMa/Gallaudet metro, is one of DC’s most vibrant, diverse and thriving neighborhoods—a living laboratory for a sustainable urban community and place for creative minds, the community and businesses to connect, thrive and make DC their own. Since opening in September 2012, The Market at Union Market, the acclaimed food market with over 40 local artisans, now averages 20,000 visitors per weekend and has hosted over 400 events. For more information about Union Market, visit

About the Hirshhorn
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is the national museum of modern and contemporary art and a leading voice for 21st-century art and culture. Part of the Smithsonian, the Hirshhorn is located prominently on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Its holdings encompass one of the most important collections of postwar American and European art in the world. The Hirshhorn presents diverse exhibitions and offers an array of public programs on the art of our time—free to all, 364 days a year. For more information, visit

SOURCE Union Market