This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
A free Dark Star Park Day Walking Tour led by Arlington County’s public artist in residence, Graham Coreil-Allen, takes place on the annual Dark Star Park Day, Wednesday, August 1 from 8-9:45 a.m..
Public art helps give a community a sense of place and few works illustrate that better than Dark Star Park (Nancy Holt, 1984). Each year at 9:32 a.m. on August 1, the day that William Henry Ross acquired the land that became Rosslyn in 1860, shadows created by the sculpture align perfectly with patterns outlined on the ground.
The 90-minute tour will explore Rosslyn’s collection of public art, including Liquid Pixels, Cupid’s Garden, the new LED installation Gravity and Grace / Corridor of Light phase 1 at Central Place Plaza, and will conclude with the dramatic shadow alignment of Dark Star Park.
Co-sponsored by Arlington Arts, the Rosslyn BID and WalkArlington, the event itself speaks to the pioneering combination of public and private resources which created this specific work and shaped Arlington’s internationally-acclaimed permanent collection of contemporary public art.
From the outset, when the County, a citizen activist, the late artist Nancy Holt (profiled in this New York Times article), a developer and the National Endowment for the Arts collaborated to create this seminal landscape artwork in Rosslyn, the Arlington Public Art program has been characterized by its unique approach to combining public and private resources and its focus on enhancements to the public realm.
Graham Coreil-Allen is a Baltimore-based public artist who explores the constructs and engages the contradictions of the everyday built environment through videos, maps, public installations, writing and walking tours.
Coreil-Allen received his MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and has staged projects for numerous spaces, places and events, including the Washington Project for the Arts, Arlington Arts Center and the US Pavilion at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale.
Update: While all the slots are full for the Public Art Walking Tour, we encourage you to come hear the guide tell the history of the work by joining us at the conclusion of the tour at Dark Star Park at 9:15 a.m..