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Illuminate Fairfax art installations light up Old Town for the winter

A new art initiative is bringing light to Old Town Fairfax, just as winter and the darkest days of the year arrive.

Illuminate Fairfax officially launched last Friday (Dec. 15), but the last and biggest artwork was installed just yesterday (Wednesday), according to Fairfax City Economic Development (FCED).

The economic development office developed the project in conjunction with Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts, the city’s Office of Historic Resources and Department of Parks and Recreation and the Virginia Tourism Agency.

“Our goal is to establish compelling spaces where people can enjoy quality time with their families, indulge in shopping and dining, and socialize with friends,” FCED Director and CEO Christopher Bruno said. “The concept of Illuminate emerged from the vision that Fairfax City can evolve into a beautiful and enjoyable destination — a vibrant community for living, working, and visiting. We want to literally shine a light on that potential.”

The four displays have been placed around the city’s historic downtown to encourage people to walk around and visit key destinations, including Old Town Plaza (3950 University Drive, Suite 211), Old Town Square (3936 Blenheim Blvd), the Ratcliffe-Allison-Pozer House (10386 Main Street) and the recently opened Commonwealth Brewing Company (10426 Main Street).

Two of the artworks — titled “Joi De Vie” and “Pin Toy Meditation Wall” — come from Fairfax County-based metal artist and sculptor JP Muller, whose work also appeared at Tysons Corner Center in the spring.

Also featured are North Carolina new media artist Robin Vuchnich’s “Swell No. 1,” which combines a light projection and audio recordings to evoke “the forces of nature,” and David Kaufman’s “Fireflies and Heartbeats,” which uses about 1,000 small LED lights to simulate fireflies.

Based in Bethesda, Maryland, Kaufman founded the graphic design app Polygonia Design. Full artist statements and descriptions of the artwork can be found on the Illuminate Fairfax webpage.

The installations will remain in place through much of the winter, with the project ending on Feb. 10.

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