ECA News Briefs

Public Art Reston Announces Ben Volta’s Final Design of Public Art Project for Colts Neck Road Underpass

Public Art Reston is delighted to announce that artist Ben Volta’s final design of the public artwork for the Colts Neck Road underpass has been approved. Covering the exterior and interior walls of the underpass, the design’s vigorous, interconnected and vividly colorful swirling “pathways” are the creative outcome of months of work by Volta with the Reston community.

As part of his artistic process, Volta conducted eight workshops that involved students at Hunters Woods and Dogwood elementary schools, students at Southgate Community Center’s after school program, residents of the senior living communities at Hunters Woods Fellowship House and Hunters Woods at Trails Edge, as well as the community at large at an intergenerational workshop. More than 600 individuals realized 710 drawings that Volta incorporated into the design. The artwork will be set on panels that will be fixed to the walls of the underpass. Installation is scheduled for mid-September with plans to hold a ribbon-cutting celebration in mid-October.

Volta was inspired by Reston’s 55 miles of pathways and by a quote by the poet Henry David Thoreau: “Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.” He asked workshops participants to draw a path and then, in the spirit of Robert E. Simon, Jr., Reston’s founder, to list “everything that you have seen or read about that is essential to your life and then add everything else that you can think of that makes living in Reston stimulating and worthwhile.”

Volta’s final design concept was selected through a review process that involved an Art Selection Committee comprised of project partners and funders; the Public Art Reston Public Art Committee, whose role is to provide guidance regarding aesthetic decisions for specific projects and initiatives; and the Reston Association Design Review Board.

The Colts Neck Road underpass project—a partnership between Public Art Reston, Reston Association, and Atlantic Realty Companies/Integra Care—is the second of Public Art Reston’s permanent public artworks at an underpass. It is also an opportunity for infrastructure beautification and inspiration. It will promote active use of the underpass that links residential areas, Hunters Woods Village Center, two schools, two senior facilities, and two community centers.

In addition to this project, Volta has been selected by the Japan-United States Friendship Commission (JUSFC) and the National Endowment for the Arts, among five artistic teams, for the 2019-2020 US/Japan Creative Artists Fellowship Program. Each team of artists from the United States and Japan will work together on a project (for a total of five projects) that reflect the themes of next year’s Olympic Games—unity, collaboration and the long-time friendship between the United States and Japan. The completed projects will be showcased in Tokyo next summer at the same time as the Olympic and Paralympic Games. [See disclaimer.] This is the first time since the program’s inception in 1978 that artists were selected as U.S.-Japan pairs to produce a completed work to present to the public. Disclaimer: The program has no affiliation with nor endorsement by the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Supporters of the Colts Neck Road underpass public art project to date include: Atlantic Realty Companies, Reston Association, ARTSFairfax, Reston Community Center, JBG SMITH, Virginia Commission for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Pat & Steve Macintyre, Hunters Woods at Trails Edge, Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association, Storycatcher Production, and many other individuals.  Public Art Reston is seeking additional contributions to support this impactful project. Sponsorship opportunities are available at a variety of levels. For information, contact info@publicartreston.org.

Public Art Reston was founded in 2007 by civic leaders and community organizations to re-invigorate the strong tradition of public art in Reston. The organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that imagines public art throughout Reston that inspires the community and engages the mind and senses. Public Art Reston seeks to inspire an ongoing commitment to public art and create a new generation of artworks in Reston. For more information about Public Art Reston, visit www.publicartreston.org

(via Public Art Reston. Photo courtesy of Public Art Reston.)