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Exploring the artistic treasures of Metropolitan Park

By Luke Fichter

Nestled within the vibrant heart of National Landing, Metropolitan Park is more than just a green oasis in the midst of urban hustle and bustle. It's a place where art and nature harmoniously coexist, creating an enriching experience for visitors.

"Shhh" by Aurora Robson

Aurora Robson's "Shhh" invites park-goers to step out of their everyday lives and immerse themselves in the wondrous biodiversity of Virginia. This installation encourages us to be still and observant, allowing us to appreciate the many wonders that remain hidden until we embrace quietude.

Robson's use of upcycled plastic to create 3-D printed mushrooms is not only an environmentally conscious choice but also a nod to the natural world. At night, these mushrooms respond to movement by gently glowing, reminiscent of bioluminescent mushrooms found in the nearby forests. "Shhh" brings the beauty of nature closer, emphasizing the importance of quiet reflection in the urban environment.

"Queen City" by Nekisha Durrett

Nekisha Durrett's "Queen City" is a powerful tribute to an often-overlooked chapter in Arlington's history. It tells the story of the 1941 seizure of Black-owned land by the federal government for the construction of the Pentagon. This historical narrative, though not widely discussed, is an integral part of Arlington's heritage.

The centerpiece of "Queen City" is a towering 35-foot brick structure adorned with 903 ceramic vessels, each shaped and colored like a drop of water. These vessels represent the individuals who resided in Queen City and have been lovingly crafted by Black ceramicists from the local area and beyond. Durrett's installation serves as a poignant reminder of the past while honoring the resilience and contributions of those who lived through these historical events.

"Untitled Perched Objects" by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle's "Untitled Perched Objects" is an exploration of the everyday items that surround us, both seen and unseen. This collection of familiar yet unexpected objects invites viewers to consider the extraordinary in the ordinary, the overlooked in the conspicuous.

As you journey through the forest path, you'll encounter these objects, each telling its own story. They challenge us to appreciate the commonplace, the recognizable, and the inexplicable. "Untitled Perched Objects" serves as a reminder that even in the everyday, there is wonder to be found.