Artwork by Fairfax County students now on display at Dulles Airport

A Youth Art Exhibition at Dulles Airport showcases work by Fairfax County students (courtesy McLean Project for the Arts)

Before enduring the indignities of modern airport security, people flying out of Dulles can now calm their nerves by taking in the artistic talents of Fairfax County’s students.

A youth art exhibition from the McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) is now on display in the check-in area of Dulles International Airport, the nonprofit announced last week.

All of the featured work was created by local students at public and private schools. The pieces were going to be included in the Children’s Art Walk that’s typically displayed during the organization’s annual MPAartfest, but the festival got rained out last year.

“We are thrilled to have the artwork of some of our community’s talented young artists on display at Dulles Airport,” MPA Executive Director Lori Carbonneau said. “This is a wonderful example of the community building at the heart of our programming at McLean Project for the Arts.”

The idea of a youth art exhibit at Dulles took root last summer, before the remnants of Hurricane Ian washed out MPAartfest.

As a supporter of MPA’s community arts programming, Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-34) invited its leaders to talk to Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA) staff, according to the nonprofit. The delegate sits on the group’s advisory board, and her husband William Sudow also happens to chair the MWAA Board of Directors.

“There was a preliminary call late in the summer about [Murphy and Sudow’s] idea to feature youth art from county school students at Dulles,” MPA said, noting that Reagan National Airport is hosting a similar exhibit featuring student artists from D.C.

MPA suggested using art intended for the Children’s Art Walk, which is sponsored by the New Dominion Women’s Club of McLean and compiles work shared by local art teachers.

The final exhibit was assembled by MWAA staff.

“The support of our advisory board member Delegate Kathleen Murphy and her husband, Bill Sudow…led to this opportunity to share art and information about MPA with travelers to and from the D.C. area,” Carbonneau said.

The display can be found by the Transportation Security Administration’s west precheck security checkpoint on the airport’s departures level. For now, the artwork will remain for an indefinite period of time.

“They don’t have a date for when it would be switched out,” MPA spokesperson Deborah Bissen said.

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