Arlington Art Truck

The Arlington Art Truck
The Arlington Art Truck delivers interactive art projects to where you live, work, and play! Photo © Elman Studio LLC for Arlington Arts

The Arlington Art Truck is a curated mobile tool box for artists-in-residence to engage the public from April to October in interactive art projects designed to blur the line between participant and presenter, citizen and government. The Arlington Art Truck was nominated for the 2019 Robert E. Gard Award from Americans for the Arts and launched in 2018 with a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

Learn more about the Arlington Art Truck 2021 season below, see the past seasons here and learn about previous projects that informed this programming.

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2021 Activations

A Tribute to the Desegregation of Arlington Lunch Counters by Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.

Friday, May 21 – Sunday, June 20, 2021 at various locations

Monday, June 28 - September at lobby of Ellen M. Bozman Government Center, 2100 Clarendon Blvd

September - December, 2022 at The Black Heritage Museum of Arlington, 2611 Columbia PIke

Amos Kennedy Jr

Sit-ins Commemorative Print by Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.

Photographs by Garrett MacLean for Arlington Arts

TAKE AND DISCOVER: A map to find letter-pressed cards located at many of the original sit-in locations that honor the 60th anniversary of the seven lunch counter sit-ins.
LEARN: About the desegregation of Arlington’s lunch counters through seven sit-in protests that occurred from June 9-22, 1960.

Arlington Arts visiting artist Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. has been working for the past three years to bring awareness to Arlington’s civil rights history with a focus on the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Stratford Junior High School in 2019 and the 60th anniversary of the lunch counter sit-ins in 2020.

Mr. Kennedy creates prints, posters and postcards from handset wood and metal type, oil-based inks, and eco-friendly chipboard. Much of his work is inspired by proverbs, sayings, and quotes that are significant to the place where he is working.

Mr. Kennedy has made seven letter pressed cards to honor the 60th anniversary of the seven lunch counter sit-ins that took place in Arlington between June 9–22, 1960. The sit-ins were peaceful protests that challenged widespread segregation policies.

To pay tribute to this history, Arlington Arts has placed a stand at many of the original sit-in locations where commemorative 60th anniversary letter pressed cards can be collected free of charge. It is our hope that you will visit one or more of these locations to gather your own collection of Kennedy’s cards while considering this part of the County’s history.  Each location will feature a different card.

View historic event display and pick up a map (English/Español) of community locations in the lobby of Ellen M. Bozman Government Center, 2100 Clarendon Boulevard and the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington located at 2611 Columbia Pike.

Pick up letter pressed cards at the following community locations:

  • Lee-Harrison Drug Fair, now Mattress Firm located at 5401 Lee Highway.
  • Peoples Drug Store, now CVS located at 4709 Lee Highway.
  • Howard Johnson, now Capital One Bank located on Lee Highway. This card is available at Lebanese Taverna, 4400 Old Dominion Drive.
  • Cherrydale Drug Fair, now Hair Vogue located at 3815 Lee Highway.
  • Buckingham Drug Fair, now CVS located at 265 N. Glebe Road.
  • Woolworth-Shirlington, near what is now Guapo’s and the Lansburgh Department Store, demolished, near what is now Stellina Pizza. These two cards are available at BusBoys and Poets in Shirlington, 4251 Campbell Avenue.

Exclusive photographs and interviews with Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. conducted in his studio by Detroit documentary photographer, Garrett MacLean can be viewed by following @arttruckarlington on social media.  This social media immersion will conclude in June with posts scheduled for the exact moments that the sit-ins occurred 61 years ago. 

This project is organized by Arlington Public Art and the Arlington Art Truck, programs of Arlington Arts in collaboration with the County’s Historic Preservation ProgramArlington Public Library’s Center for Local History and Arlington Transit’s Art on the ART bus program.

The community partner for this project is the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington, Virginia.

Visit Arlington Public Art to learn more about the project and view a banner made for the Arlington Art Truck about the desegregation of lunch counters in Arlington.

Read about the project in the James Renwick Alliance Fall 2020 Craft Quarterly.

Words Matter: Honoring Arlington Educators by Justyne Fischer

Summer 2021

Words Matter by Justyne Fischer Words Matter by Justyne Fischer Words Matter by Justyne Fischer

TAKE & MAKE: Free postcards and a zine created by the artist that includes tips on how to write positive letters and messages. Write a postcard to an important person in your life.
MEET: Justyne Fischer, Arlington printmaker and art teacher
LEARN: About the importance of positive support through the written word

Thursday, July 1 – 3-5pm (shortened hours due to the rain storm forecasted for the evening) – Ballston Mega Market, 901 N Taylor Street, Ballston Metro
Friday, July 9 — 5-8pm — Lubber Run Community Center opening event, 300 N Park Drive
Thursday, July 15– 3-7pm –(Cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.) Tyrol Hill Park, 5101 7th Rd South
Wednesday, July 21 – 10-1 pm  July (Craft) Supply Swap in collaboration with the Library Truck – Outside Central Library, 1015 Quincy Street
Wednesday, July 21 – 3-7pm – Rosslyn Farmers Market, 1800 N Lynn Street, Rosslyn Metro
Tuesday, July 27– 3-7pm – Crystal City Farmers Market, Crystal City Courtyard Green, 2121 Crystal Drive, Crystal City Metro
Saturday, July 31– 8-noon – Arlington Farmers Market,  North Uhle & 14th Street N., Courthouse Metro
Sunday, August 8– 9-1pm – Fairlington Farmers Market, 3308 S Stafford Street 

Saturday, November 20 – 8-noon – Lubber Run Farmers Market, 4401 Henderson Drive
Sunday, November 21 – 9-1pm – Columbia Pike Farmers Market, Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike near Edgewood Street

Here’s a project to help you ‘accentuate the positive’ amid today’s challenges. Share positivity through the written word using a zine guide and postcard kit with woodcut portraits by Arlington printmaker Justyne Fischer.  To inspire you, the artist selected five prominent women educators and activists of varying backgrounds that reflect Arlington’s diversity: Hazel Mahler, Dorothy Hamm, Dr. Evelyn Reid Syphax, Dr. Phoebe Hall Knipling, and Dr. Emma Violand-Sánchez.  Use the postcards to write a note to a teacher, mentor, parent, student or community member. Have writer’s block? Flip through the included zine to start brainstorming ideas of gratitude. To receive a free kit in Spanish or English, either submit your address via the online form so we can mail it to you or pick up one when you see the Arlington Art Truck out on the streets and in the parks this summer.

The community partner for this project is the Center for Local History, Arlington Public Library. The Center for Local History and its Community Archives collect and preserve the material that document the evolving history and culture of Arlington County. Contribute to their COVID-19 archives project.

Chromatic Curiosity by Tommy Bobo

Fall 2021

Composition made from light and discs from Chromatic Curiosity Tommy Bobo with the colored lenses and mirrors that make Chromatic Curiosity.jpg  The colored lenses that are components of Chromatic Curiosity

SEE & MAKE: Colorful ephemeral artwork on urban surfaces using the sun and color wands designed by the artist.

MEET: Tommy Bobo, a Washington, DC artist who produces video and light-based artwork, and a representative from the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE).
LEARN: About the physics of light, Arlington’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, and the local solar energy cooperative.

Tuesday, September 14 – 3-7pm — Crystal City Farmers Market, Crystal City Courtyard Green, 2121 Crystal Drive, Crystal City Metro
Saturday, September 18 – 9-2pm – Rock ‘n’ Recycle, Trades Center, 4300 29th Street South
Saturday, September 25 – noon-5pm – Long Bridge Aquatic Center open house, 333 Long Bridge Drive
Saturday, October 2 — 10-2pm – Barcroft Park, 4200 S Four Mile Run Drive
Saturday, October 9 – 8-noon — (Cancelled) Lubber Run Farmer’s Market, 4401 N Henderson Road
Sunday, October 17 – 8-noon - Westover Farmers Market, Westover Library Plaza, 1644 N McKinley Road
Saturday, October 23 – 8-noon – Arlington Farmers Market,  North Uhle & 14th Street N., Courthouse Metro
Sunday, October 31 – 9-1pm – Fairlington Farmers Market, 3308 S Stafford Street

Capture the excitement and wonder of a child with a magnifying glass and re-envision the world around you: Chromatic Curiosity provides visitors with a collection of shaped mirrors and colored lenses to creatively explore their surroundings. Manipulative mirrors redirect the sun’s beams, and brightly hued lenses transform ordinary colors into fantastic spectacles. With these tools, form radiant new light compositions on the ground, building walls, or other objects around the Arlington Art Truck. Like wearing rose-colored glasses or looking through a kaleidoscope, viewers can inspect purple apples, blue grass, and the red sky and think about how light plays an important part of our life.

Our Community Partner for this project is AIRE, the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy. Learn about Arlington’s initiative to be carbon neutral by 2050, the Arlington Solar and EV Charger Co-Op, and more. AIRE is a division of the Office of Sustainability & Environmental Management.

Behind The Truck Design

Steve Powers and the Arlington Art Truck






Steve “Espo” Powers and the Arlington Art Truck, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 6-17-2017
Photo copyright 2017 Cynthia Connolly 

The Arlington Art Truck’s exterior has colorful and witty illustrations hand painted by internationally renowned artist Stephen Powers. Stephen worked alongside Arlington Art Truck curator Cynthia Connolly to create a “parade of usual and unusual art supplies” including Cynthia’s saddle shoes and Leica camera as a nod to their collaboration. Paying homage to his start as a graffiti artist and tagger, the blank side of the Truck outlined in dotted lines will feature magnetic interchangeable letters in his signature style. About the Artist