Art Walls Creates Gallery in Crystal City
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 14, 2008
Crystal City (Arlington, VA) – Crystal City sparkles with the unveiling of the Crystal City Business Improvement District’s (BID) latest creative endeavor, Art Walls. As Crystal City’s curator, the BID employs light, art, and design to transform the way people see, perceive, and experience the area. The new program infuses color and character into the textures and surfaces of Crystal City to brighten and energize Crystal City’s gateways and gathering spaces.
“Crystal City is a gallery and the area’s walls are the canvases,” said Angela Fox, President/CEO of the Crystal City BID. “Art Walls showcases uniquely designed work in a manner that leads to fun, whimsical, and interesting spaces and creates enthusiasm among Crystal City’s guests, residents, and employees.”
The Art Walls collection currently includes three projects: Radiance, Prism, and Ellipsis. To enhance the arrival experience for the thousands of daily Metro riders, pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles, the BID chose the 18th and S. Bell Streets Metro gateway area for the first set of Art Wall projects. Radiance and Prism flank the north and south sides of 18th Street South, respectively. With similar color palettes, the works reflect a different response to the street while appearing to stand in conversation with each other as they greet and delight users.
Developed by local mosaic artist Valerie Theberge, Radiance playfully splashes 25 dynamic and dazzling pieces along the 160’ wall. The individual mosaics create an interesting contrast to the gray concrete and geometry of the bridge. Responses to the piece have been overwhelmingly positive and served as the inspiration for the Anne Marchand design across the street. Titled Prism, the resultant work consists of 35 4’X9’ rectangles filled with geometric shapes and unique elements which enliven the wall.
Embraced by Crystal City commercial property owners, the BID has also partnered to bring the program to other key areas around Crystal City. Though several are underway, the first corporate Art Wall is a partnership involving Gould Property Company, the Airport Hyatt, and Concord Residences. Ellipsis, courtesy of Anne Marchand and Zenith Gallery, takes twelve of the artist’s most colorful abstracts, enlarges them onto ten-foot square panels, and mounts them onto the back wall of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Clearly visible from the Concord Residences, the vibrant work adds flavor and spirit to the area.
The installation of the Art Walls highlights a number of recent creative activities in Crystal City. In April, 50 artfully designed and decorated airplane statues landed in Crystal City. In September, CHALK4PEACE inspired artists of all ages and skill levels to add color to area sidewalks and the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival entertained patrons at the 2nd Annual Vintage Crystal – A Taste of Wine & Jazz. Last week, the Crystal City BID unveiled ten artistic mile markers designed by local artist Kevin Irwin for the Arlington County portion of the annual Marine Corps Marathon to be held on October 26, 2008. Also generating buzz and interest is Crystal Market - bringing a little “Eastern Market” flavor to Crystal City. The six-week open-air art market features hand-made ceramics, glasswork, jewelry, soaps, candles, clothing and other artwork from local artisans. Crystal Market, located in the 2200 Crystal Drive courtyard, is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11:30 AM to 6:30 PM until October 25, 2008. A special version of the market will also be part of the Crystal Run/Marine Corps Marathon event on Sunday. Crystal Flight will also have a final send-off from the streets of Crystal City on race day as they have all been placed along Crystal Drive such that they can be seen at once.
Come explore, experience, and enjoy an artful Crystal City featuring, Art Walls, Crystal Market, Crystal Flight, local musical entertainment, theater, and numerous dining offerings. For additional information, please visit www.crystalcity.org.
About the Crystal City BID
Established in April of 2006, the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) is creating a soul for Crystal City. A public-private partnership, the BID is providing a higher level of service to visitors, workers and residents in Crystal City - driving to become world-class destination in both Arlington and the greater DC region. For more information, visit www.crystalcity.org.