Support Public Art in Leesburg
To support public art in Leesburg, visit the Friends of Leesburg Public Arts (FOLPA) webpage.
Current COPA Projects
- Art sPARKs in Raflo Park - Through generous donations by Lansdowne Development Group, Middleburg Bank
- Birdhouse #6 by Michael Clay
- Sproutman by Brian Kirk
- Unity by Brian Kirk
- The Artist by Peter Wood
- Trailblazer by Peter Wood
The People's Choice Award winner is Birdhouse #6 by Michael Clay.
*Art sPARKs is now a part of the Artisan Trail Network.
- LOVEwork Sculpture - Part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s state-wide LOVEworks program, the new LOVEwork sculpture spells out the word “LOVE” in seven-foot high letters made of used bicycle parts and steel channel. The sculpture is installed permanently on Harrison Street, SE across from Raflo Park and just south of the W&OD Trail. Created by Loudoun sculptor Mike Clay, the LOVEwork is the result of a collaboration between the Leesburg Commission on Public Art (COPA) and the Friends of Leesburg Public Arts (FOLPA), and was funded in part by a $1,500 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation. Many thanks also to the following for donations of bike parts, professional expertise and/or cash donations: Plum Grove Cyclery, Leesburg Acquisition Partners LLC, Lansdowne Development Corporation, American Stripping Company, Leesburg Junction, Very Virginia Shop, O’Neil Architects, Mike Stansbury, PE, Bowman Consulting Group, Broad Run Excavating, VeloClassique, Lincoln Smithy, Beth Erickson, O’Shaunessy-Hurst Foundation, The Friends of Leesburg Public Arts, Virginia Tourism Corporation, and Visit Loudoun.
The Leesburg LOVEwork can also be viewed at https://www.virginia.org/Listings/TheArts/LOVEworkinLeesburg. Make sure to have your picture taken in front of the LOVEwork, send it to @visitvirginia #loveva and it will be posted on the VA tourism site.
- Bike Mural in Town Garage - The bike mural is complete. Local high school students and other community members painted the mural, which was designed and donated by Kevin Dunn, local artist and COPA member.
- Local Arts Grant for 2017-2018 – The Town applied for a $5,000 grant and received a $4,500 Local Government Challenge Grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA). With the Town’s $5,000 in matching funds, a total of $9,500 will be dispersed as follows:
- $2,850 to Bluemont Concert Series
- $3,325 to Friends of Leesburg Public Arts
- $950 to Loudoun Chorale
- $1,425 to Loudoun Lyric Opera
- $950 to VSA of Loudoun
Art Exhibits on Town Property
- Leesburg Town Exhibit Hall, 1st Floor, 25 West Market Street
- Current Exhibit - Photography by Kyla Jenkins, on display through August 31, 2017.
- Coming September 1, 2017 - Oil paintings by Anne Block.
For more information about showing your art in this exhibit hall, please review the following:
- Leesburg Town Hall Exhibit, 2nd Floor, 25 West Market Street - This hall features rotating artwork by Loudoun County Public School students
- Current Exhibit - Creighton's Corner Elementary School in Ashburn, VA, on display through October 15, 2017.
- Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street
- Rotating Exhibits - go to Library Events
- A Loudoun County Story- The four-panel mural in the Margaret Mercer Room was commissioned by Friends of the Thomas Balch Library, Inc., during the 2000-20001 renovation and expansion of Thomas Balch Library. It was installed in 2002 and made possible in part by a generous donation from Toll Brothers. The artist is William Woodward a renowned artist and professor emeritus of Fine Arts at George Washington University. He won the contract through a selection process that started with the solicitation of some 300 artists who were sent invitations resulting in 23 submissions.
The Mural is a visual depiction of the story of Loudoun County and captures the evolution of the region from rural to urban:
- Panel 1: The First Frontier- depicts the original inhabitants and early European Colonization
- Panel 2: The Golden Age of Agriculture – depicts the Transportation revolution – turnpikes, canals, and railroads; Wheat – Loudoun’s key staple and the Country Store – the center of Community life.
- Panel 3: A Country Divided: War Destruction and Readjustment – the battle at Ball’s Bluff; the burning of Loudoun Valley and rebuilding and adjustment after the war.
Panel 4: The Urban Frontier – brings in electricity and cars – agents for revolutionary changes; the racial divide from lifestyle to education; and expansion, development and the Dulles Airport.
- Five Portraits - Commissioned by Friends of the Thomas Balch Library, Inc. and painted by Kurt Schwartz a local artist then resident in Waterford, VA.
- Margaret Mercer (1791-1846) Belmont Plantation; Educator and abolitionist - ran a girls school and was active in resettlement of slaves to Liberia and committed to abolition of slavery.
- John Janney (1798-1872): Lawyer, longtime Loudoun Count Politician; President of Virginia 1861 Secession Convention – opposed to secession but reluctantly supported Virginia once the course was set.
- Howard Willard Clark (1876-1960): member of Loudoun County Emancipation Association and advocate for racial equality.
- John Elbert Divine (1911-1996), Farmer: raised in Waterford, VA and descended from a well-established (five generations) Loudoun family. Interests included the American Civil War and local history. The Loudoun County History Awards sponsored by Thomas Balch Library Advisory Commission and the Thomas Balch Library were created to recognize John Divine’s dedication to preserving local history.
- Westmoreland Davis (1859-1942) Lawyer, horseman, activist and politician; rose from poverty to be elected Governor of VA – the first Loudoun resident to serve as governor; philanthropist and a long time support of Thomas Balch Library – he funded the librarian’s salary for extended periods during lean times.
- Meeting the Piscataway - Oil on linen completed in 2003 by William Woodward. This painting was made possible through a generous donation of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Dodge, Jr. Mrs. Dodge was a descendant of Burr Harrison.
The painting depicts the first recorded meeting on 12 April 1699 between colonists and the indigenous peoples of Loudoun County at the fort of the Piscataway on what is now Conoy Island in the Potomac near Point of Rocks. The two colonists, Burr Harrison of Chopawamsi and Giles Vandercastel of Accotink, are conveying a request from the Governor of Virginia, Francis Nicholson, to the Chief of the Piscataway to come to Williamsburg for a meeting. The Piscataway declined, asking the governor to visit them.
- Perseverance Through Faith and Strength- An oil painting by William Woodward presented to Thomas Balch Library in 2005 by the Black History Committee of Friends of the Thomas Balch Library Inc. – it depicts themes representative of the African American experience in Loudoun County including stonemasonry, church, family, horse racing, military, and the underground railroad.
- Thomas Willing Balch (1866-1927) son of Thomas Balch for whom the library was named. Thomas William Balch along with his brother Edwin Swift Balch donated the funds to erect the original portion of the library in memory of their father. This painting, an oil on canvas by well-known Russian émigré artist, Lazar Raditz, resident in Philadelphia in 1909, was donated to the library.
- Thomas Balch (1821-1877) bronze bust on marble pedestal was completed in 1899 by J. J. Boyle, a renowned Philadelphia sculptor. There are numerous examples of Boyle’s commissioned work throughout the greater Washington, D.C. area.
- Legacy The Virginians ‘This Far By Faith' - A mixed media painting given in 2004 to Thomas Balch Library by the artist Katherine A. B. Summers in honor of African Americans in Loudoun County.
- Settle-Dean Cabin - Oil on canvas by artist Sherry Z. Sanabria, long-time member of the Black History Committee, Friends of the Thomas Balch Library, Inc. She focused her art on illustrating “sites of conscience”; that is, spaces “filled with and colored by the spiritual remnants of the lives lived in them.” This painting shows the cabin of Charles W. Dean, who worked as a slave for Thomas Settle in Eastern Loudoun County. The painting was donated in memory of the artist to the Thomas Balch Library by her family.
- Chairs – completed by New England craftsman Thomas Moser – each is handcrafted and signed.
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