Last week, I left Artisphere with a bitter taste in my mouth.
Searching in over-air-conditioned gallery rooms for artistic inspiration was a trying endeavor, and my frustration manifested itself in the depressing tone of my column.
But I don't hate Artisphere -- far from it.
In fact, my visit to Artisphere inspired me to return to the streets; to recapture the lost days of artistic wandering, criss-crossing about the sprawling Arlington concrete in search of newsworthy pieces of public art.
Specifically, it was Artisphere's Art Every Day initiative that pushed me back onto the sidewalks.
The premise is simple. Collect a few Art Every Day decals at the Artisphere arts center. Stick them to pieces of art that appeal to you -- or, in their words, "Photograph the decal in a manner or place that resonates with you." And, finally, post your discoveries to Artisphere's Facebook page. (You must "like" them first. Nice marketing ploy).
It's a brilliant idea. And so I decided to participate.
Since I'm an everyday kind of guy, I chose to stick to the theme of "Art Every Day." Or, as I thought of it, "everyday art."
Everyday art isn't some oil painting I toil over for weeks in my closet studio. That's "several-weeks art."
Everyday art is pedestrian art. It's the exceptional disguised as mundane, the aesthetic anomalies you walk by unknowingly on the streets each day. These are pieces of art without placards.
But now, at least, some of these pieces of art have decals.
My first victim: a big red alarm bell.
The cartoonishly big, bright and bulbous red alarm bell offers a vintage-industrial aesthetic and contrasts nicely with the video-game-like grey bricks it's set upon. I'm always keeping my eyes open for great design sneakily incorporated into our everyday infrastructure, so this was any easy first find.
Stop two: a neon sign.
As I've shared before, I'm a sucker for bright, neon colors. And if the visual elements spawn from the chemical properties of acutal neon gas, all the better. This beautifully designed sign is essential to the success of the El Paso Cafe, making sure you know they have chili! Just one though, so you better hurry up.
Final decal: textural contrast at a local construction site.
Placing this decal was mostly an excuse to sneak beyond the no-tresspassing barrier at one of Rosslyn's many construction sites. But I was also drawn to the contrasting textures and appealing color gradient of the rusting, spray-paint-tagged piece of steel beam.
And there you have it: "Everyday Pedestrian Art" curated by Brooks.
For your chance at curation, visit Artisphere and snag a few Art Every Day decals. Get out and about and snap some photos with your decals in frame. And post to Facebook. (Editor's note: Or right here!)
It's interactive art at it's best.
Until next time, happy art hunting.