The Bethesda Urban Partnership livened the Metro tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue with “Tunnel Vision,” an art exhibit more than six months in the making.
Tunnel Vision showcases the work of 12 artists from the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. corridor, whose work will be hanging for one to two years. A reception May 17 honored the artists and their sponsors.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Frank Cappello of Potomac. “I hope it is popular enough that they do something permanent.”
Cappello spends his days at the Lab School of Washington, where he teaches digital photography and studio arts. He uses paint, plus objects such as leaves, dirt, and pine needles applied directly to canvas.
“Constellation,” an abstract piece chosen to hang in the tunnel, is reminiscent of the space-scape for which it was named. Travelers can see other examples of his work at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, or the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner, Va.
“Rainbow Pulse,” by Richard Dana of East Bethesda, is a psychedelic piece created mostly in Photoshop. Dana switched from paint to computers four or five years ago, and has been experimenting since. He distorts black and white collages with a photocopier, and adds color and other effects on his computer.
“I’m going to be walking through this as often as I can,” Dana said. “I think I will be taking the subway a whole lot more often, just so I can admire my work.”
The exhibit cost $50,000 for cleaning the tunnel, lighting upgrades, signage, and fabricating the polymetal panels that are being exhibited, said Stephanie Coppula, a spokeswoman for Bethesda Urban Partnership, a nonprofit that promotes downtown Bethesda. Sponsors include Montgomery County and businesses such as Chevy Chase Land Company and The Bethesda Center/The Bernstein Companies.
This is the first of what could be many exhibits installed in the Bethesda Metro station, at no cost to taxpayers, said Ken Hartman, director of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center. He envisions the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority as a partner in a program that could use art to personalize the Bethesda station.
“I’ve very pleased with it,” Hartman said. “We see the tunnel as the first stage.”