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Kitschy new art installation coming to Waterfront Park

I Love You park design, via City of Alexandria

The city has unveiled plans for the next art installation in Waterfront Park, which will be in place at the park for most of next year.

At a meeting of the Park & Recreation Commission Meeting, Diane Ruggiero, deputy director of recreation, parks and cultural activities and two-time ALXnow quotee this week, outlined the initial plans to work with R&R Studio in Miami on a new display meant to evoke joy and happiness after a dour couple of years.

The studio is run by husband-wife artist team Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt, who Rosario said have done previous installation art displays including a couple of pieces at Coachella.

The proposal for Waterfront Park is a 15-foot sign with metal letters, outlined in neon, that says “I Love You”. The park will also feature an open area of asphalt painted to look like a room’s carpet.

“There’s a sense of joy,” Ruggiero said. “It’s fun, it’s colorful. There’s an element of kitsch to it.”

Ruggiero said the color of the neon is still being decided as the artists work through figuring out what color shows up best. The current designs show the letters illuminated with what Ruggiero called “Pepto-Bismol pink.”

The idea, according to Ruggiero, is to have another photo-spot that draws people to the waterfront, like the Mirror Mirror exhibit in 2019.

The new park exhibit will run from March 19 — to correspond with the opening of the Cherry Blossom festival — until November 6.

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