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Community art event to celebrate spring at Mount Vernon Plaza parklet

A mural by McAlister’s Deli at Mount Vernon Plaza (courtesy Federal Realty)

As roses, poppies and other May blooms flourish in Fairfax County, kids and adults can craft upcycled flowers at Mount Vernon Plaza in Hybla Valley next Saturday (May 20).

The Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation (SFDC) will facilitate the art project at a free event dubbed “Chalkful of Flowers.” It will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the shopping center’s parklet at 7698 Richmond Highway, located behind Capital Chicken.

Also featuring collaborative chalk murals, “Chalkful of Flowers” will be the first official community event in the parklet, according to a press release. The 3,200-square-foot space opened in October after about five months of construction.

“With the arrival of warmer weather, we are thrilled to start activating the new parklet space as a way to bring the community together,” SFDC Executive Director Evan Kaufman said in the press release.

Attendees will learn how to make the upcycled flowers from local artists, and the crafts will come together to make a flower wall. Materials involved include tissue paper, dog bags and other recyclable items.

Artists on-hand to teach will include Anila Angjeli, CEO of Alexandria-based A-Line Architecture, and local art teacher Jennifer Droblyen. Other local artists mostly from around the Richmond Highway corridor were also invited to participate.

Federal Realty, the owner of Mount Vernon Plaza, partnered with SFDC to create the parklet, which features green space, porch swing benches, cafe seating, lighting, soma stones, landscaping and a trellis. SFDC is a nonprofit that supports economic development in the Richmond Highway corridor.

​”When we were first conceptualizing the potential for a parklet space at Mount Vernon Plaza, we imagined events exactly like this one,” Deirdre Johnson, senior vice president at Federal Realty, said in the press release.

The event will feature live electric violin from D.C.-based violinist Charles “Bliss the Violinist” Tolbert. Those in attendance can also take in new murals that span the facades of multiple buildings in the shopping center. Restaurants in the shopping center will be open as usual, and prospective attendees can RSVP on Facebook.

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