2014 March-Public Art

September 13th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Herndon, VA – Dranesville Elementary School students learned the importance of public art through a fun and exciting activity: painting their very own 10’ X 30’ foot mural. With the help of the Docent/GRACE Arts parent volunteers, Marc Archambault and Stewart Image, over six hundred kindergarten through sixth grade students had the chance to work together to create their own public art project that will hang in their school’s main lobby. The Docent volunteers worked hard to trace the mural pattern (designed by Marc Archambault) onto foam core sheets that were then divided into seventy five 2’ x 2’ square tiles for the students to paint in groups of four. The square tiles come together to create a fine symbol of community involvement and cooperation.

The Dranesville Elementary School Community would like to give a big thank you to Larry Spevak at ColorBurst Systems in Ashburn, for lending a helping hand in this project by ordering the foam core sheet for the students and allowing the Docents to craft and cut the sheets in his facility.

About the mural designer:

Marc Archambault, founder of Hammerhead Stoneworks, is a stone mason and artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. After working with developmentally disabled adults and teaching English abroad, Marc decided to pursue a career in stone work to show his sonschandler-folio-208 that it was possible to make a living doing something you love.

He describes his work as an artful balance between graceful aesthetics and sound structuring and is a strong advocate of drystone construction, as it is gentler on the environment. Marc’s work is both functional and beautiful; finding inspiration in what surrounds him. When he’s not installing a mosaic floor or adding putting his own spin on a once ordinary outdoor space, Marc can be found teaching stonework classes or updating his blog with his latest projects. Along with running his own business, he is also a member of the Stone Foundation and Handmade in America.

Through his dedication to his work, family, and promotion of artistry, Marc Archambault has made a positive impact not only on his community, but the environment as well


To see Marc’s stonework projects, please click the icon below:



About Stewart Image

Stewart Image is a visual marketing services company founded by Michael R. Stewart in Northern Virginia. Michael has been in the photography business for over twenty-five years and has an impressive resume as an author, researcher, and teacher. His studio is decorated with his extensive camera collection, which once boasted over one hundred different cameras. His portfolio ranges from headshots and architecture to fine art and food and his business has taken him all around the country. He used his production skills and contacts to bring and business contacts to bring this project together.

Michael puts a lot of emphasis on the importance of volunteer work and giving back to the community, and is currently the GRACE Arts school coordinator.



Public Art – Art that is accessible to all

Public art has many definitions.  It is not simply art in public places like squares, gardens, and museums.  We define public art as any work of art or design that is created by an artist or a team of professionals that can include an artist, an architect, an engineer, and a landscape architect, specifically to be displayed in a public space. Kristo_Public_Art_Web The artist creates a work of art that reflects an awareness of and enriches the site where it is displayed.  Public art is designed for a space accessible to the general public.  Public artwork can be a large-scale piece, or it can call attention to the road beneath your feet.  It can be built, painted, carved, or cast.  It can involve light, sound, new technologies, as well as social media.


Public art is usually permanent but it can also be displayed for a limited period of time.  Public are intended to be permanent is usually constructed of durable, easily cared-for material.  However, many works of art are intended to have only a temporary existence. These temporary public art projects might be performance, audio or interactive, or may be installed in unexpected places.  Temporary projects often push the limits of what can traditionally be considered art and allow for experimentation and use of unexpected material or new media.  Monuments, memorials and civic statuary are the oldest and most obvious form of public art.  Increasingly most aspects of the built environment are seen as possibilities for public art, including street furniture, lighting, murals, mosaics, fountains, facades of parking garages and buildings, manhole covers, paving patterns, playgrounds, etc.


Whatever its form, public art attracts attention.  By its presence alone public art can heighten our awareness of a site, engage the mind and senses, transform a landscape, or express community value.  For these reasons public art can have the power to build and transform a community.

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