Right in the heart of Seven Corners, passersby will notice a new public art exhibit designed to highlight residents and the broader community that calls the area their home.
INOUT is a purple, eight-foot solar-powered cube that sits on the grass lot adjacent to Sleepy Hollow road and serves as the canvas for a unique spin on public art: live photos on-site. Residents can snap pics at a nearby console which are then immediately projected onto the front side of the cube for all commuters to see.
“We wanted to do something simple, but meaningful for the community,” Annandale artist Natalia Brizuela Pires said. “We have the opportunity to project the faces of the people that make up this community, so it was an invitation for people to stop being strangers and get to know their neighbors around them.”
Pires, along with Julieta Guillermet, Linda Cui, Edwin Coimbre, Hector Montalvo and Pires all make up the team from Surcreative, LLC who designed and constructed the cube. Coupled with oversight from the Arts Council of Fairfax County, wanted to find a way for residents to be the stars of this exhibit. Drawing architectural influence from the artists’ native Argentina and Puerto Rico, the group from Surcreative felt that photos represented the authentic look into the locals who inhabited the neighborhoods around the busy byway.
So last August, Fairfax County contracted the creators in an effort to generate some juice toward broader redevelopment goals in the Seven Corners area. That’s why the exhibit also allows residents to provide feedback about the role art plays in their lives, how it should be funded and the kind of art facilities they enjoy to be used as background information on future redevelopment plans.
“There’s tremendous diversity around us that deserves to be celebrated,” Mason District supervisor Penny Gross said while addressing the small crowd at the unveiling last Saturday. Gross went on to thank the artists for their ingenuity in creating something simple yet gravitational that will draw eyes in the voluminous intersection.
Though INOUT would never have been possible if it wasn’t for the solar technology that powers it. Pires told the News-Press that during the planning phase of the project standalone generators were considered, but weren’t sustainable enough for what Surcreative had in mind. Instead, Surcreative and Fairfax County acquired two solar panels and received a battery from Ipsun Power, Inc. who donated the battery. By making the entire cube run on solar powered technology, it kept the project possible and energy output at a more controllable level.
“There’s nothing else like this in Virginia and it’s especially important that it’s located here,” Pires continued, who felt the exhibit helps display the state’s central motto of love.
The exhibit is open on Saturdays through June 23 from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.