Arlington Arts Presents ARLINGTON ABSTRACTED

By Editorial Team on August 31, 2018
Abstraction by Marc Pekala. Courtesy of Arlington Arts.
Opening: Saturday, September 8 from 1pm to 7pm

Revisit some of Arlington’s most iconic retro signs and learn interesting facts about the County’s cultural, social and retail history, all while you do this quick, fun project by artist Marc Pekala. ARLINGTON ABSTRACTED will debut on Saturday (1:00 pm until 7:00pm), September 8, 2018 at the Rosslyn Jazz Festival in Gateway Park (free admission), followed by numerous activations into October.

A program of Arlington Arts, the Arlington Art Truck received a prestigious $25,000 Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of its first season, curated by Arlington Arts’ Special Projects Curator, Cynthia Connolly. Historical background is courtesy of the Center for Local History, Arlington Central Library.

Eight typographically interesting signs from Arlington’s businesses – both past and present – were chosen and simplified by the artist.  Mounted onto small magnetic sheets and broken into multiple 2″x2″ squares, the artist asks you to let loose, and rearrange them making them into new original colorful abstract artwork of your own! Share your creation by taking a picture, telling your friends of your discoveries about the locations and hash tagging in social media: #ArtTruckArlington  #ArlingtonAbstracted. One of the public’s designs will be selected to become the new ground mural in the Pop-Up park at 2100 Clarendon Blvd. in the Spring of 2019.

In addition to the Artist, Arlington Art Truck activities integrate a ride-along service to provide information on other County resources. For Arlington Abstracted, the Inspection Services Division (ISD) will provide information about residential building permits and newly implemented tools to ease the process.

Hanging-out at the Hot Shoppes after school… the smell of popcorn wafting from Sears… Listening to the grown-ups talk of civil-rights at Moore’s Barber Shop… Mom buying you your first pair of high-heels at Kann’s… The sight of a particularly memorable sign can transcend time –  immediately triggering a childhood memory, or evoking an important moment in our lives. The backstories of some of Arlington’s cool signs may surprise you:

  • Weenie Beenie – 2680 Shirlington Road, Nauck | 1960–Present

    Arlington’s iconic hot dog stand was originally part of a small chain formed by world renowned pool hustler William “Weenie Beenie” Staton. He performed trick shots in several movies, including the 1986 Martin Scorsese film The Color of Money, and is credited with giving “Minnesota Fats” his nickname. The seed money for Staton’s first hot dog stand came from a 1960 gambling win of $27,000 (well over $232,000 today). The only one remaining location, Arlington’s Weenie Beenie is the title of song by the Foo Fighters, fronted by Northern Virginia native Dave Grohl.

  • Moore’s Barber Shop – 4807 Lee Highway, Hall’s Hill/High View Park | 1960–Present

    Established by Mr. James Moore, Sr. in 1960, adjacent to Arlington’s historically African-American Hall’s Hill/High View Park neighborhood. With limited access to public venues during segregation, Moore’s Barber Shop, fire station and churches were gathering places for Hall’s Hill/High View Park residents. Continuing to offer not only grooming but important space for community building, Moore’s is now operated by James Moore, Jr., but the elder Mr. Moore  still drops by during the week (…look for his 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air parked outside). Mr Moore, Jr. remembers going to the fire station to watch movies as a child. Today, he is a firefighter working for that same fire station.

Marc Pekala is a graphic designer and artist.  Early in his artistic career, he began cutting up brightly colored letter pressed “Globe” concert posters, creating new abstract work by moving the shapes around.   The original posters are now part of Washington DC’s history, especially associated with the Washington, DC Go-Go music scene.  The Globe Poster factory, located in Baltimore, closed years ago, but their equipment and original posters were acquired by the Maryland Institute of College of Art (MICA).  Recently, Pekala was awarded a large scale mural project with the DC Public Library Foundation, creating a design based on his reinterpretations of the Globe posters.

Cynthia Connolly, as Arlington Arts’ Special Projects Curator, conceptualized and programs the Arlington Art Truck. A prolific photographer, curator, letterpress printer and artist, the Arlington-resident graduated from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and Auburn University’s Rural Studio. Integral to D.C.’s 1980’s punk music scene, Connolly worked for iconic Dischord Records and booked d.c. space, the noted avant-garde performance venue. In 1988 she published Banned in DC: Photos and Anecdotes From the DC Punk Underground (79–86) through her independent press Sun Dog Propaganda. Reviewed internationally, her photography is in the collections of The J. Paul Getty Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of American History and the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Inspection Services Division (ISD), the fully-accredited, award-winning County office is our ride-along partner for this installation. They work with Arlingtonians and developers to build and maintain property throughout the County. These teams include Permit Administration, Plan Review, Field Inspections and Code Enforcement.

Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development, which delivers public activities and programs as Arlington Arts.  Our mission is to create, support, and promote the arts, connecting artists and community to reflect the diversity of Arlington. We do this by: providing material support to artists and arts organizations in the form of grants, facilities and theater technology; integrating award-winning public art into our built environment; and presenting high quality performing, literary, visual and new media programs across the County. Below is the current schedule as-of 07/30/18 (Additional dates in October-TBA):

  • Sept. 8, 2018, 1:00 – 7:00 p.m.
    Rosslyn Jazz Festival, Gateway Park
    1300 Lee Hwy., Arlington, VA

  • Sept. 15, 2018, 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.
    Nauck Civic and Community Pride Day, Drew Model School
    3500 23rd St. S., Arlington, VA
  • Sept. 23, 2018, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    Columbia Pike Farmer’s Market
    Pike Park, S. Water Reed Dr. at Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA

  • Sept. 29, 2018, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    West Columbia Pike Food Truck Party
    Four Mile Run Dr. at Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA
  • Sept. 30, 2018, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
    Arlington Valley Fest
    2709 S. Oakland St., Arlington, VA

  • Oct. 6, 2018, 1:00 – 6:00 p.m.
    Columbia Pike Fall Festival
    S. Adams St. at Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA

  • Oct. 20, 2018, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    Marymount Farmer’s Market
    2807 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA

  • Oct. 31, 2018, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, with Arlington’s Mobile Visitors Center
    1100 S. Hayes St., Arlington, VA