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New online app launches to map out public art across Fairfax County

ArtsFairfax’s Public Art Locator maps installations around Fairfax County, such as “Wooden Horse” at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

ArtsFairfax wants you to help it keep track of all the public art popping up around Fairfax County.

The county’s designated, nonprofit local arts agency recently launched an online Public Arts Locator to identify and map out murals, sculptures and other installations placed in the community, either permanently or on a temporary basis.

The app currently shows 94 works of art, including a few that fall outside the county’s borders in Arlington and Manassas. It can be searched by location and different categories of art, such as murals or street fixtures.

Monitored by the nonprofit’s staff, the app is free for anyone to use and includes a survey where people can submit the address, images and descriptions of works of art that they’ve seen.

“If the artwork is available in a public setting and accessible day and night, we want it captured in this inventory,” said Lisa Mariam, ArtsFairfax’s senior director of grants and services and project lead for the Public Art Locator.

The locator was developed by ArtsFairfax and the county’s Department of Information Technology using aerial imagery, map layers and other geographic information systems data. It was designed by GIS analyst Chip Galloway, according to a July 13 press release.

ArtsFairfax says the locator was created in conjunction with its ongoing development of a public art master plan, which will serve as a “blueprint” for the county as it evaluates existing works and plans for future ones.

The app’s launch came on the heels of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors accepting a master art plan focused on facilities. Both that plan and the one on public art are being guided by the Fairfax County Arts Committee, which consists of both county staff and volunteers.

“The ArtsFairfax Public Art Locator will be a critical planning tool as we continue work on the County’s Public Art Master Plan,” ArtsFairfax president and CEO Linda Sullivan said. “By crowd-sourcing public art in our community, this inventory will help us identify where there are gaps and greater needs for community enhancement and creative placemaking.”

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