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Leesburg’s Art sPARKs Sculpture Trail in Raflo Park Receives “Signatures of Loudoun” Design Excellence Award

Post Date:06/09/2017 10:47 AM

Chair Phyllis Randall, Supervisor Kristen Umstattd, Mayor Kelly Burk, COPA Chair Tom O'Neil and Design Cabinet Chair Alan HansenLeesburg, VA (June 9, 2017) – At the 13th Signatures of Loudoun Design Excellence Awards on Tuesday evening, the Loudoun County Design Cabinet honored the Art sPARKs Sculpture Trail in Raflo Park with an award in the Public Spaces category.

The annual Signatures of Loudoun Design Excellence Awards recognize quality design projects throughout the county that reinforce Loudoun’s identity.

The Art sPARKs Sculpture Trail, a joint project of the Leesburg Commission on Public Art and the Friends of Leesburg Public Arts, was completed in June 2016. The trail features five sculptures by local artists installed along a winding path through Raflo Park. The sculptures will be on display through June 2018 and are for sale. Proceeds of the sculpture sales will fund the next round of sculpture displays, scheduled to be selected in late 2017 and installed in July 2018.

Sculpture Trail in Raflo ParkIn recognizing the sculpture trail with a Public Spaces design award, the design cabinet heralded the project as an example of a public space revitalized through community involvement. In particular, the cabinet highlighted the inclusion of work by local artists, bringing an element of uniquely Loudoun culture to the space. Design Cabinet Chair Alan Hansen noted that the combination of the sculpture trail and the Crescent Place development across the street has created a new gathering space in downtown Leesburg.

“We are delighted that the Art sPARKs Sculpture Trail has been recognized with this award,” says Tom O’Neil, chair of the Leesburg Commission on Public Art. “The genesis of this project was our realization that there were many public places in Leesburg for paintings, photographs and other two-dimensional art to be displayed, but few places for sculpture. I’d like to thank Rich Williams, Leesburg’s Director of Parks and Recreation, for his support. We originally approached him about creating a sculpture trail at Ida Lee Park and he suggested Raflo Park instead. With its visibility along Harrison Street, Raflo Park is a much better location, allowing more people to see and enjoy the sculptures as they travel through downtown.”

“The sculpture trail has been a great addition to downtown,” adds Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk. “Before the trail was installed, Raflo Park was greatly underutilized. Now, you see people there every day. I would like to recognized the major sponsors of the trail, Lansdowne Development Corporation and Middleburg Bank. Without their support, the sculpture trail would not have been possible.”

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Betsy Arnett
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