The artist team Epigram (from left): Emanuel Pires, Hector Montalvo, Julieta Guillermet, and Natalia Brizuela. Not pictured: Edwin Coimbre and Jorge Fuertes.
Photo by Steve Hibbard.
Art is going interactive in Springfield. The Old Keene Mill Shopping Center in Springfield has installed a three-column Cuboid – a public art installation in the parking lot. As part of the “Imagine Art Here” initiative, the installation called INOUT:Springfield engages the public and gets their participation, dialogue and thoughts about art in the community, said Linda Sullivan, President and CEO of ARTSFAIRFAX, a nonprofit local arts agency for the county.
“INOUT:Springfield actually takes photos and takes opinions from the community and presents it back to the community,” said Sullivan. “So, if you participate in this, then you are the face of the community. We’re excited about the project. We’re expecting 1,000 engagements; were getting close even now and we’ve just started.” The public won’t see the comments; but they’ll see the photos.
THE INSTALLATION will ask six questions on residents’ roles in the community and their opinions on art. The information will be compiled and that feedback is going to help inform a Master Arts Plan for Fairfax County. The responses will be available in English, Spanish, Korean, and Arabic. Questions include: Where is home? And when would you like to encounter art? What makes you feel creative?
Sullivan added: “We received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to do this, but it has to be matched by the community, so we really thank Federal Realty for providing the match for INOUT:Springfield here.” Federal Realty owns and operates the Old Keene Mill Shopping Center.
Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said: “This is a great project and it’s important that art is something that people have the opportunity to enjoy. It shouldn’t be stuffy; it shouldn’t be expensive; it should be something that your average person can just enjoy and participate in and that’s what this project is all about. It’s pretty cool.”
Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41), who was co-chair of the Arts Caucus in the Virginia General Assembly, added: “I think public art speaks to all of us, and in such a tough time for our country and our community, art really brings us together. It transcends politics and unites us, so I was thrilled to hear this was coming here to the 41st District.”
Added Lisa Mariam, Director of Grants and Services with ARTSFAIRFAX: “What I love the most about this project is that this project engages everyone in the community regardless of your age, regardless of whether you live here or work here or whether you’re just visiting. You can participate in this project; we even have the prompts translated into the most commonly spoken languages in Springfield.”
Shelly Hazel, Chairman of the Board of ARTSFAIRFAX, added: “It’s important that we engage the community in arts. And we all know how it takes our lives and it makes it better for all – especially for all ages, our aging or very young. Here, everyone can come and experience this and engage in it. It’s really wonderful.”
Added Pat Herrity, Springfield District Supervisor: “People in Springfield love art and this is a great interactive opportunity to participate in both the survey and the art project. And thanks to Federal Realty for providing the space and for the lovely work they’re doing with the shopping center.”
THE FINAL PRODUCT created by the artist team Epigram will be displayed at Old Keene Mill Shopping Center through Aug. 9, and then move to Springfield Town Center from Aug. 10-23, 2019.
INOUT:Springfield is the third ARTSFAIRFAX’s Imagine Art Here initiative, a project first launched in 2015 that provides information for Fairfax County's Master Arts Plan. In 2010, the Board of Supervisors tasked ARTSFAIRFAX with the collaborative leadership of the Master Arts Plan to expand community access to and the engagement in the arts and culture by planning cultural facilities and public art throughout Fairfax County reflecting its diversity and growth.