There has been quite a bit of momentum in the past few years to integrate public art into Leesburg’s streetscape, and several projects in the works aim to do just that.
At its March 8 meeting, the Town Council was briefed by Tom O’Neil, chairman of the town’s Public Art Commission, on a proposal to paint a mural near the bike racks inside the lower level of the Town Hall parking garage. The proposed 52-foot-long by 7-foot-tall mural would be completed with the help of area high school students, and is expected to start in the spring. Friends of Leesburg Public Art has offered to cover the $975 cost for project materials. The commission will return to the council for final mural design approval before work begins.
While one mural project is moving forward, another remains at a standstill. The council recently terminated a contract with a design and construction firm for a tile mural on the parking garage, citing lack of performance from the contractor. So far $5,000 had been spent on those design fees, which were also donated by FOLPA.
Finally, Raflo Park will soon be the location of a new sculpture garden. The Public Art Commission issued a call for submissions for the inaugural installations in ArtsPARKs, an outdoor sculpture exhibit in Raflo Park. ArtsPARKs is a collaboration between the commission and FOLPA.
For the inaugural ArtsPARKs program, five artists or teams of artists will be selected for a two-year installation of public art along a newly constructed paved walkway in Raflo Park. The submission deadline for the artwork was earlier this month, and selected artists will be notified by month’s end. The sculptures will be installed in June, with an unveiling ceremony planned for July 2.