Drivers can be seen slowing up to stare outside their windows when passing by the 18th Street Parklet and dogwalkers hestitate at the base of trees to gaze upward at a colorful display in the trees. A curious little art installation popped up in the ViBe Creative District this summer, courtesy of 50 Junior National Honor Society Students from Virginia Beach Middle School.
Photo: VB Middle School Junior National Honor Society adds artistic bird house installation to ViBe District.
The ViBe Creative District nonprofit and VB Middle NJHS partnered to create a service oriented pop-up art installation exploring the values of the ViBe Creative District’s small, locally-owned creative business community. Through in-school presentatations, the ViBe nonprofit shared topics of discussion regarding public art impact, neighborhood development, community building, authenticity and creative enterprise.
The collabroation married ViBe Creative District’s mission is to promote, support, connect, and inspire the arts and creative industries to enhance the quality of life in Virginia Beach with the National Junior Honor Society efforts to engage students in scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. Asked to view these concepts through the lens of a small birdhouse art project, students were then challenged to create an artwork to symbolize their community. Each student was provided a small wooden bird house, paints, brushes.
For inspiration, over two dozen students took a walking tour to explore the local art studios, public art and creative businesses. The students then painted, decorated and embellished the wooden birds house to represent either a local business, creative industry or public artwork found in the district. Students were encouraged to consider what could make their own artwork unique to stand out as an individual entity but also fit into a diverse installation of other birdhouses.
Photo: Virginia Beach Middle School Students on tour of public art in the ViBe Creative District.
“At the information meeting, walking tour, and the unveiling, I started to develop a new perspective about what community really is,” said student Allison George. “This experience showed me how people in a neighborhood can come together to create something better that will benefit everyone in multiple ways.”
The end result is a temporary bird house installation that adds a pop of color and interest to one of the community’s green spaces. ViBe’s 18th Street Parklet is located on 18th Street between Mediterranean and Cypress Avenues at the Virginia Beach Resort Area. A total of 50 painted birdhouses depict images of the arts and culture found in the district as well as original artwork from the students.
“My favorite part about this project is how the bird houses are meant to represent different personalities in a community,” said student Cadence Ungs. “Close up they each have their own unique style and look, but far away they look cohesive and a part of one another.”
The outdoor display will be on view through the end of September.