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Corcoran students pose with their protest installation on the school’s facade (all images courtesy Katherine Macyshyn)

A series of photos posted on Tumblr a few hours ago show a creative protest against the Corcoran’s plan to sell its Beaux-Arts palazzo building across from the White House in exchange for a new center in the DC suburbs. In the guerrilla installation, signs attached to the building spell out “4 SALE.”

The red-and-white signs, giant versions of ones seen slapped on the outside of empty homes, are installed in the arching frames of the Corcoran School of Art’s facade windows. The project is the work of Judas Recendez, a student at the school, according to the Corcoran Student Council’s fine art representative Katherine Macyshyn (class of 2013).

The Corcoran students’ protest installation

Protest signs being removed by operation workers

The signs were taken down around 11 am; snapshots show the letters being removed by operations workers. The staff “like the piece, but were following orders from the provost,” according to Macyshyn’s Tumblr. Another photo shows three students outside the building wearing bright yellow shirts emblazoned with “Stay Sane and Don’t Sell” (seen at top).

An activist group called Save the Corcoran sent a letter to the institution’s Board of Trustees last night. The letter argues that the Corcoran has been “fundamentally and tragically mismanaged in recent years,” of which the planned relocation is a part. “The Corcoran’s current leaders have no legal right to relocate the Corcoran outside the City of Washington,” the letter continues, citing William W. Corcoran’s founding deed.

Save the Corcoran outlines a theory that the boardmembers are involved in an orchestrated plot to move the institution in accordance with their own interests. Chairman of the Board Harry Hopper has admitted to “malaise, even at the board level,” the letter cites. The debate continues, but one thing is clear — the school’s students have made their voices heard.

Hyperallergic has reached out to Recendez for comment and will update with more information as it comes.

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Kyle Chayka

Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly,...