Love Bug Art Installation

2021

Movable and interactive art installation for the National Landing Business Improvement District in Arlington, Virginia.

I first conceptualized, designed, built and hand painted the Love Bug art installation in February 2021. I had been given the task of creating a Valentine's Day themed, interactive public art piece which would invite pedestrians to capture a joyful moment and share it on social media, and thereby indirectly market the National Landing BID brand.

My inspiration for the installation were romantic lovers who had to postpone their honeymoons and weekend getaways due to Corona pandemic related restrictions. Using a vintage VW beetle as the car model was meant to convey a spirit of adventure, nostalgia and romance. I added synthetic roses to give it a little extra touch. The license plate 'VA-4-LVRS' refers to the Virginia tourism slogan 'Virginia is for Lovers'.

The installation was set up at the entrance of the Bartlett luxury apartment building in Pentagon City and received much attention.

In March 2021, I redesigned the installation for the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival and it was set up at the Crystal City Courtyard on Crystal Drive.

In May 2021, I redesigned the installation a third time, this time to a 60s hippie theme, including the infamous Grateful Dead band's dancing bears and a reference to the construction of Route 1 which runs through the National Landing area.
The installation was set up at the Pentagon City metro station which has an enormous amount of foot traffic.

Countless photos of people and even their dogs 'riding' in the Love Bug have been shared on social media. Washigtonian Magazine Editor Daniel Swartz (@dswartz), the official Cherry Blossom Festival Instagram page (@cherryblossfest) and travel website stayarlington.com (@stayarlington) have also shared their Love Bug images across their channels.

As a new resident in this neighborhood I feel particularly honored having been able to create art for the area and hope that the Love Bug will travel to many different locations to bring joy to residents and visitors alike.

Dimensions:
Background wall: 8 x 8ft (245 x 245cm)
Car: 6 x 6ft (180 x 180cm)
Entire construction: 8 x 8 x 8ft (245 x 245 x 245cm)

Material: PVC, wood, metal, acrylic paint, varnish, synthetic flowers

Location: Arlington, Virginia