The wall mural that Reston Town Center resident Deva Brehony long imagined outside her Midtown North Condominium became a reality this week.
The large, formerly blank wall immediately outside the condominium, off New Dominion Parkway, that Brehony occupies with her husband JP, a custom-home builder in Northern Virginia, is now the site of a new work of public art, created by well-known Reston artist Dana Scheurer and reproduced by Arlington’s Artifice Inc.
The completed mural has Scheurer’s highly recognizable, surreal yet representative painting style—large, bold architectural and geometric forms, with vivid colors, extensive detail and precise, well-defined edges.
The attentive will find a myriad of structures and landmarks located in the north end of Reston Town Center. In the lower right-hand corner is a silhouette of Reston founder Robert E. Simon.
Like much of her work, Scheurer’s mural is full of symbolic, sometimes whimsical elements. For example, Simon is holding binoculars, signifying him as a “forward-thinking, visionary.” A small street sign in the mural says 6750, which is the number of acres Simon purchased to build Reston. A compass points north for Midtown North.
This week, Bryan King, head of Artifice Inc., and his assistant Kim Ciccarelli took Scheurer’s 17.5-inch by 15-inch original painting and repainted it on the 20-foot by 22-foot wall.
Artifice, which specializes in large-scale mural, faux and trompe l’oeil painting, photographed Scheurer’s painting, blew up the photograph and then created a grid, enabling King and his assistant to recreate the image one section at a time--sort of like a huge “Paint By Numbers.”
Artifice used the environmentally friendly, low-maintenance and vibrant KEIM silicate mineral paint, which also has been used on the White House and Windsor Castle.
Last Saturday King also had some very young, temporary assistants. Children who live in Midtown North, students from Reston’s Lake Anne Elementary and Herndon’s St. Joseph’s Catholic schools as well as Scheurer’s six-year-old granddaughter Hayley Kowalski helped to kick off the project by painting a corner of the mural with some expert help.
“I can hardly stand it!” said Scheurer. “It’s unbelievable to have one of my paintings on a Reston wall.”
Brehony, an interior designer who moved into the two-story, street-facing condo in 2011, recalled, “When we moved in, I said we love our apartment but that wall needs to be painted!”
Besides being a work of art for the whole community to enjoy, an additional satisfaction, Brehony added, is that the project served as a catalyst for bringing people together. Looking around on Saturday, she said, “So many neighbors are here and children; I’m thrilled.”
The overall cost of the mural was approximately $30,000. Among its chief funding sponsors are Kettler (Midtown North’s developer), Fairfax County’s Neighborhood Enhancement Partnership Program, Reston Town Center Association, Initiative for Public Art-Reston (IPAR), and the Reston Historic Trust as well as local businesses and individual donors.