Imagine Art Here comes to Springfield

Arts Council of Fairfax County Approved for $40,000 Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

County-wide public art initiative Imagine Art Here will engage the public and provide temporary art at Springfield.

map springfieldThe Arts Council of Fairfax County has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Chairman Jane Chu for a $40,000 Art Works award for the Arts Council’s Imagine Art Here initiative at Seven Corners and Springfield. Imagine Art Here will both elicit a vision for the role of the arts in the community and collect resident, workforce, and visitor feedback on the type of facilities, public art and related arts amenities desired at both locations. The input from the Imagine Art Here initiative will inform the Master Arts Plan (MAP) being spearheaded by the Arts Council on behalf of the County.

"We are just delighted to receive this NEA grant to bring Imagine Art Here to the communities of Springfield," said Linda Sullivan, president & CEO of the Arts Council of Fairfax County. "It’s all about engaging the public in a dialogue on art and arts amenities for their community — and we get to engage artists in producing temporary public art in highly visible locations." 

Anticipated start date for both projects are summer of 2016 with installations and engagement taking 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 installed at Seven Corners, located at Route 50 and Sleepy Hollow Road, and Springfield, located in a pedestrian and vehicular underpass near the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station.
Both projects will enhance the experience of residents, workforce, and visitors passing through those areas, promote community participation, and increase public awareness of the potential for public art. The Arts Council is working with Fairfax County Government, corporate sponsors, and community partners to carry out the projects.

"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 Franconia-Springfield Metro Station and Springfield Town Center."

This is the second NEA-funded Imagine Art Here project. In 2015, the Arts Council launched the series of Imagine Art Here projects with Tysons Tiles by artist Julia Vogl. 1,000 Tysons’ residents, employees, and visitors were asked about their vision for the arts at Tysons and were then able to see the responses displayed in two massive ground murals located at Greensboro Green Park and Tysons West. In addition, responses were illuminated in LED lights on the exterior of the Silverline Center building and displayed on a wrapped shuttle bus.  

"Public opinions gathered through the Imagine Art Here initiative will help to inform the Master Arts Plan for Fairfax County," said Leila Gordon, Chair of the Art Council’s Master Arts Plan Task Force.  "Our goal is to expand community access to the arts and to enhance our public spaces through art."

Input from the Imagine Art Here initiative will inform MAP. The goal of MAP is to expand community access to and engagement in the arts and culture by planning cultural facilities and public art throughout Fairfax County that reflects its diversity, considers existing facilities, and responds to future growth.  In 2010 the Board of Supervisors tasked the Arts Council of Fairfax County, as the official arts agency for the County, with the collaborative leadership of MAP.