Arlington, VA

Commuters today may have noticed a new addition to Rosslyn — namely, 800 colorful leaves hanging in the Central Place Plaza.

The leaves are part of an art project commissioned by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID) for the development at 1800 N. Lynn Street. The project was designed by D.C.-based artist Linny Giffin, co-founder of The Lemon Collective in Petworth.

Giffin told ARLnow that the BID wanted a seasonal design — and something colorful.

“I wanted to work with something new and challenge myself and threw this idea out there,” she said. “This was the one that stuck.”

The leaves themselves are plastic to withstand the weather. Giffin says she hung them all at slightly different heights from the grid supporting the plaza’s glass pergola so viewers can spot different details depending on what angle they stand at.

“I have a studio but I don’t have a studio where I could paint 800 leaves to dry,” she said, adding that luckily her parents in Baltimore were able to chip in space. “I shipped everything to their house and we had to figure out a process to lay everything out in the driveway and use a spray gun.”

The project has been in the works since October, and took about a month to complete this summer.

Previously, Giffin also designed gumball chandeliers and curtains made out of ribbons for Rosslyn’s putt putt pop-up and a 50-foot “rainbow cloud” of string for pop-up store The Alcove . But the leaves presented a new artistic challenge.

“I’m used to doing large scale projects, but inside — not having to worry about wind and rain and storms,” she said.

“Linny’s work supports our efforts to develop connections between people and public spaces,” said Rosslyn BID President Mary-Claire Burick in a statement last week.

Burick said art installations like Giffin’s are part of the BID’s mission to deepen a sense of place and community within the neighborhood.

“It starts when we enhance the experience in our public spaces where thousands of people walk every day,” said Burick.

The installation will be on display in Rosslyn for the next two months, Giffin said.

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