Public art to grace Richmond Highway corridor


Volunteers from Community Art for Everyone power-wash the building surface at 8121 Richmond Highway (Credit: SFDC)

Five years after art students at Bryant High School created a colorful mural on a large wall outside the school on Popkins Lane, another part of the Richmond Highway corridor is about to be beautified by public art.

A team of artists from Community Art for Everyone, a nonprofit that enables neighborhoods to express themselves in creative ways, is preparing to paint a mural on the north-facing side of a building located at 8121 Richmond Highway. Team members began the project March 18 by power-washing the building surface, and the next steps are to apply primer, outline the design and then start painting the week of March 21. The project is expected to take about three weeks to complete.

Rendering of mural design (Credit: Community Arts for Everyone/SFDC)

The mural project was conceived by the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation (SFDC), a nonprofit economic development organization that is continually seeking to enhance the attractiveness of the corridor. From 2002 to 2018, SFDC conducted a façade improvement program for businesses fronting on Richmond Highway, and for many years, the organization held the yearly Mary Thonen Richmond Highway Beautification Awards program.

SFDC Executive Director Evan Kaufman said after scouting the corridor for potential mural locations, he approached the owner of the commercial space located next to DaVita Kidney Care and got the go-ahead to move forward with the art project.

The mural project is being funded by the SFDC budget, a grant from Arts Fairfax, Transurban and the property owner. SFDC currently is awaiting word on another potential grant from the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia to fund additional murals, said Kaufman. Future locations for the community artwork are still under consideration, and Kaufman encourages the general public to submit ideas.

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