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With HQ2 Announcement Expected Soon, Crystal City Seeks More Public Art

The BID wants artists to submit their ideas by November 2
Street art in Crystal City. Photo courtesy of Crystal City.

On Wednesday, the Crystal City BID sent out a call for temporary public art to fill the vacant spaces that dot the neighborhood—widely considered a frontrunner for Amazon’s HQ2.

While the BID’s executive director Tracy Gabriel declined to comment on anything related to HQ2, another recent beautification effort in Crystal City has been linked to the Amazon sweepstakes. The sudden appearance of colorful bikes, ombré flowers, and pinwheels confused residents. But the Washington Business Journal solved the mystery earlier this week, citing sources who said “it was an emergency art installation after [developer JBG Smith] got word that Amazon’s HQ2 search team was going to be revisiting the area in early September.”

For people who think they can do better than a couple rainbow bikes, now’s your chance. The BID says it’s looking for “professional public artists or artist groups, art consultant organizations, and curators” with a portfolio proving they can handle a project of similar scale.

“We want to enable creative responses and we’re casting a wide net,” says Gabriel. She mentioned that even performance groups like theater troupes might have a shot, assuming their proposal is “highly visual.” Locations for the artwork will be set after the proposals have been chosen; the BID will work with the individual artist to determine the best placement for their piece.

To submit a proposal, send a resume, letter of interest, description of the artwork, and portfolio to the Crystal City BID’s events manager Cassie Hurley at churley@crystalcity.org by Friday, November 2.

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