Arlington, VA

(Updated at 1:50 p.m.) A long-planned public art installation is finally becoming a reality in Rosslyn.

The first four stainless steel pylons of the “Corridor of Light” project are being installed along N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn, on either end of the bridge over I-66. Installation of the pylons started this past Monday; the installation of lighting and electrical connections is expected to be complete by Monday, May 25.

The project from California-based artist Cliff Garten was first envisioned in 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis. Now, during what may be a deeper, pandemic-fueled recession, the first of Garten’s “Luminous Bodies” sculptures are now in place and will soon be lighted.

“The four 26′ tall stainless steel sculptures are a major milestone for the ‘Corridor of Light,’ a three-phase, 13-year effort to create a new urban identity for Rosslyn’s central corridor,” Arlington Arts said in a Facebook post that was accompanied by a video of the installation, below.

We’re told by a tipster that the sculptures will be initially lighted blue, “to honor our health care professionals.”

Arlington Cultural Affairs spokesman Jim Byers said passersby can expect “splashes of light fractured into a multitude of effects.”

“Ultimately, the sculptures of stainless steel rods will be enhanced with an LED lighting scheme designed and programmed by the artist,” Byers said. “Prior to the artist programming the lights, the initial lighting plan will serve as a beacon for all Arlingtonians to reflect on our community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Byers was unable, however, to confirm that the initial lighting scheme will be blue in honor of health care workers.

“Arlington Public Art staff are still in consultation with the artist about the specifics of the initial lighting to be unveiled on May 25,” he said.

The project, which has had to wait for construction of the Lynn Street Esplanade project, has been beset by delays. In 2014, ARLnow reported that the first pylons were expected to be installed in 2017. The County Board approved a $1 million contract with Garten for the first four sculptures in 2016. The county reported that the Esplanade project was “substantially complete” as of last month.

The first phase of the Corridor of Light project was a Garten-designed LED light display near the Rosslyn Metro station, dubbed “Gravity and Grace,” which the county says was installed in 2018.

A third phase would see the installation of additional lighted Luminous Bodies pylons on the N. Meade Street bridge over Route 50. So far, there’s no word as to when that might take place.

Over the next two-weeks, LUMINOUS BODIES by Cliff Garten will be installed at the Lynn Street Esplanade (North Lynn Street and Lee Highway, above Route 66 at the approach to Key Bridge). The four 26’ tall stainless steel sculptures are a major milestone for the “Corridor of Light,” a three-phase, 13-year effort to create a new urban identity for Rosslyn’s central corridor. When completed, the sculptures of stainless steel rods will be enhanced with LED lights programmed by the Artist. On the underside of the dome of each structure, passerby will see splashes of light fractured into a multitude of effects by the steel rods. Look for this iconic new gateway into Arlington when installation, lighting and adjustments will be completed by Mon., May 25.

Posted by Arlington Arts on Monday, May 11, 2020

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