At the Chamber’s economic development committee meeting this month we learned that the Arts Council of Fairfax County has been approved for a $30,000 Art Works award for the Arts Council’s Imagine Art Here: Springfield initiative. A similar art project will be done in Seven Corners.
Residents and businesses will be engaged on the type of facilities, public art and related arts amenities desired.
While additional funding is still needed, it’s anticipated the installation will take place in 2017. The artist selection will be made through an RFQ with a panel of arts, architecture, planning and community representatives. The selected artists’ works will be located in the Frontier Drive/Franconia-Springfield Parkway underpass near the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station.
As with most outdoor public art, maintenance and vandalism are issues that must be considered in the design process. The Chamber is eager to work with the Arts Council to find creative ways, possibly lighting-based, to reduce the need for maintenance and deter vandalism.
We agree with the Arts Council that the project will enhance the experience of residents, workforce and visitors passing through the area, promote community participation and increase public awareness of the potential for public art. The Arts Council will work with Fairfax County, corporate sponsors and community partners to carry out the project.
“The Arts Council’s work with the community and public art will greatly enhance our plans in Springfield,” said Lee District Supervisor Jeff C. McKay. “Public art is a great solution for way finding and will enhance access to and from the Metro Station and Springfield Town Center.”
This is the second Imagine Art Here project in Fairfax County. In 2015 the Arts Council launched the series of Imagine Art Here projects with Tysons Tiles - two massive ground murals located at Greensboro Green Park and Tysons West.
If you or your company would like to support this project financially please contact Lisa Mariam, Director of Grants for the Arts Council, 703-642-0862.
Nancy-jo Manney is the executive director of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and an advocate for creative economic development in her community.