Published on: Wednesday, July 6, 2022 Takoma Park Newsletter

Unsung Heroes Art Exhibition Celebrates City Employees


Many City of Takoma Park employees perform important work every day that goes unheralded and unsung, but the City would grind to a halt without them.

Local artist Renee Lachman will be honoring City employees in a new series of paintings and charcoal drawings, including sanitation workers, gardeners, crossing guards, and library staff. A free opening reception for the Unsung Heroes exhibition will be held on July 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Takoma Park Community Center at 7500 Maple Avenue. “These sanitation workers remind me of Olympic athletes with all their running and lifting of heavy trash, old furniture, yard waste, and broken tree limbs through all kinds of weather,” Lachman said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve celebrated the work of doctors, nurses, and firefighters. I wanted to highlight Takoma Park’s other unsung heroes.”

Lachman said books from library staff “provided a lifeline during the pandemic” while crossing guards “cheerfully help our children, parents, and residents cross busy streets safely.” Gardeners maintain seven acres of garden plots along with planting, weeding, and cutting grass on city property.

The City’s Arts and Humanities Coordinator Brendan Smith organized a public art grant to support the project, and several pieces from the series will become part of the City’s permanent art
collection after the exhibition.

“Renee proposed this idea to feature City employees, and we’re very excited about it,” Smith said. “Many City employees often are underappreciated, so this is a great opportunity to feature them and
their contributions to community life in Takoma Park.”

Lachman has lived in Takoma Park for more than 25 years. She received another City public art grant to paint mural panels that will be installed at the Hillwood Manor Community Garden. She also was the City’s first recycling artist in residence in 2012 at the Public Works Department where she created assemblages with recycled materials.

Lachman received an MFA in painting from George Washington University and a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. You can see more of her work at


This article was featured in the July 2022 Newsletter. Visit the Takoma Park Newsletter webpage to see full list of past newsletters.