DC-based artist brings public art installation of 800 hand-painted leaves to Rosslyn

Linny Giffin hopes to make Central Place Plaza a little less corporate with her colorful creation.

Linny Giffin’s new public art piece features 800 hand-painted leaves at The Alcove in Rosslyn. (Photo by Birch)

What is your first thought when you walk past a new public art installation? Maybe you find them as a necessary glimpse of character within your locality, or maybe the pieces eventually start to fade into the landscape of the city, only to be revisited when pointed out by visitors.

But for DC-based visual artist Linny Giffin, she wants the community to see something more.

“[Public art] can bring the community together in a space, and I feel like it gives people in the city something different to do,” says Giffin, who is also the co-founder of DC’s The Lemon Collective. “I think, especially in this world where we feel like we’re losing touch with each other, we need all of the ways of engagement as possible.”

That’s why she created her new art piece at Central Place Plaza in Rosslyn, featuring 800 hand-painted leaves hanging from the space’s pergola. “The area feels office-y,” says Giffin, who hoped to liven up the space through her use of color and movement.

“I wanted to bring some of the aspects of the other playful and colorful projects I have done for the city (such as the gumball chandeliers at Rosslyn Putt-Putt + Candy Bar or the 52-foot Rainbow Cloud), but also create a fun way to spark joy in the area,” Giffin says.

The piece features three different types of leaves in shades of yellow, orange and blue, and sways as the wind blows, in a way that reminds Giffin of a child’s mobile. She secured each of the weather-safe leaves to the overhang over the course of a week, and will officially debut the piece on Aug. 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Giffin installing some of the 800 leaves for the art installation. (Photo by Birch)

This is Giffin’s third partnership with Rosslyn BID and her first outdoor installation. She says the piece was inspired by the summer season and Rosslyn’s diverse crowd. That way, she says, it can appeal to the city’s families with children, or workers who pass through the area during their lunch break.

“A lot of my work is in retail spaces, restaurants and shops, and this is the first time that I’ve made something that people can really interact with and come together to take it in,” Giffin says. “And because you can see it from several different angles in the city, it really catches your eye and gives you the opportunity to slow down, notice it and be observant of art.”

The installation is free and open to the public at all hours and could be your next Instagram-worthy spot in downtown Rosslyn. But Giffin suggests taking some time to sit and enjoy it, and really feel it’s connection to nature, color and movement in a downtown space.

“Go with your family on a walk to see it, which will allow you a fun and different way to start a conversation and maybe think about art differently,” says Giffin.

She is excited to display the artwork through the end of the summer as a pop-up (although no end date has been announced), and continues to be inspired by the work she gets to create in the NoVA and DC area.

“I feel so grateful to have this opportunity to create something that makes me want to just keep going and making big, large-scale art using unique materials that might surprise people,” says Giffin.

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