Wheaton Gateway Unveils New Community Art Installation
Seven local artists produce dynamic art installation highlighting community and celebrating diversity
July 15, 2021 (Silver Spring, MD) — Seven local artists and the Wheaton Gateway Development Team have teamed up to produce a dynamic new art installation, unveiled in June, which highlights community and celebrates diversity. The theme of the work is Connection as a Cornerstone to a Strong Community, and the installation is located at the prominent corner of University Boulevard and Viers Mill Road in Wheaton, MD.
The Wheaton Gateway Development Team, consisting of the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (HOC), Duffie Companies, and Willco, worked alongside Wheaton Arts Parade to identify and engage local artists who would bring the vision to life.
“Wheaton is richly diverse in creativity and culture, and the same can be said for its artistic community,” said Stacy Spann, executive director of HOC, a co-lead of the Wheaton Gateway Development Team. “The art installation at Wheaton Gateway honors the spirit of community engagement and provides local artists an opportunity to demonstrate their talents and add to the vibrance of this neighborhood.”
The installation, including four original banners and three original murals, spans more than 500 feet long and six feet high. Three mural artists — Aundrae Williams, Lelia Quri, and Sandra Perez-Ramos — interpreted the theme using brilliant acrylic colors, graphics and images applied directly to a plywood canvas.
“My art depicts two hands of different colors showing the variety in demographic of people who live in our area,” wrote Aundrae Williams in his artist statement. “Behind each hand is a different background which shows we all have different backgrounds that shape our perspectives of people and the things around us,” he continued. Lelia Quri said she drew upon “women’s relationship with water sources and agriculture on a global level” as the inspiration behind her work.
The four banner artists — Robert Cohen, Felisa Federman, Dinah Myers Schroeder, and Naomi Weintraub — completed their work digitally, and then their original work was scanned and reproduced onto a high-quality vinyl banner affixed to a perimeter fence.
The public can visit the installation and learn more about the artists by scanning the QR codes located near each piece.