The rain started just as the eight-foot photo cube was unveiled at the top of Seven Corners on Saturday, but the unanticipated weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the artists, the sponsors, or the community members who gathered to celebrate “InOut Imagine Art Here.” Imagining art at Seven Corners has been a decades-long dream, finally achieved, if only temporarily, at the Bank of America site where Route 50, Route 7, Sleepy Hollow Road, and Wilson Blvd. all come together. Thousands of vehicles pass by the site every day, so the illuminated photo cube, powered by a small solar array, will reach a huge audience, if only for moments at the traffic signals.
Hundreds of people already have had their photos taken at community events prior to the launch, and a photo booth will be operational on site on Saturday evenings – May 19 and 26, June 2, 9 and 16. Photos are projected onto the cube front, and include smiles, both shy and broad, sweet kisses, funny faces, and an occasional grimace. Visitors also are asked to answer simple questions such as the role of public art in community, features they like to see, why they visited the art installation, etc. On other sides of the cube are laminated stickers that visitors can remove, exposing random patterns of light. The installation, designed by Surcreative LLC, a group of young artists based in Annandale, is multifaceted, and was selected in a regional competition for the Seven Corners location. Sponsors include ArtsFairfax, Art Works, Fairfax County, Ipsun Power, Hampton Inn and Suites, Regency Centers, and Montalvo Guillermet Photography. Seed money for the project came from an arts proffer when the Bank of America land use application was approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2006. More information about InOut Imagine Arts Here can be found at www.inoutexperience.com.
This week is Police Week, and Friday’s Fallen Officers’ Memorial Service was the first held at Fairfax County’s new Public Safety Center in Fairfax. Previous memorials were held at the Massey Building in Fairfax City, where the black marble cenotaph originally was installed. When the new public safety center was designed, a larger, more formal, lighted space was included at the entrance to the building, and the cenotaph was moved gently to its new place of honor. A few feet from the cenotaph and two black marble benches is an illuminated strip of lighting in the concrete — the “thin blue line” reference to law enforcement personnel who protect the community day and night. Surviving family members of officers lost placed red roses at the base of the memorial honoring Karen Bassford, Sandy Gideonese, Tommy Bernal, Vicky Armel, Michael Garbarino, and Frank Stecco – Fairfax County officers who died in the line of duty from 1977 to 2008. Four died as the result of accidents; Armel and Garbarino were gunned down at the Sully Police Station in 2006 and died of their wounds. The name of K-9 police dog Bandit, shot and killed in 1975 during an apprehension of car thieves, also is included on the memorial. Protecting the community 24 hours a day is no easy task, but we can pray that no more names will need to be added to the memorial in Fairfax.
Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at [email protected]