Virginia Beach lifeguard stands to become public art

Posted at 7:15 PM, Mar 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-06 19:15:24-05

Virginia Beach, Va. (WTKR) - Lifeguard stands at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront are getting a makeover.

"Project LifeguART" will add public art to the resort beach using the stands as well as  storage containers that house rented beach chairs and umbrellas.

Bobby Levin, co-founder of Strategic Art Solutions, is coordinating the project.

"It is functional artwork and because it’s on the beach, we consider where it’s located so I call it fun art as opposed to fine art," Levin told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo.

Levin showed NewsChannel 3 prototypes of a painted lifeguard stand and storage container which will make-up Project LifeguART.

The plan is to transform 42 lifeguard stands and 37 storage containers along a 3-mile stretch of beach from 1st Street to 40th Street.

"This will be unique in the fact that it will be painted in a variety of different colors and we hope it will distinguish ourselves a little bit from other places," explained Virginia Beach's Resort Administrator Mike Eason.

The lifeguard stands will still maintain their primary safety purpose, including all signage, but both Eason and Levin also envision the colorful stands increasing public safety during the summer months.

"A child who may wander down the beach a ways looks up and sees a white lifeguard stand, they think they are in the right place," Eason explained. "I think by changing the color and the appearance of some of those they’ll have a better reference of where they are, maybe where their parents are."

"It’s a lot easier for a small child to remember that he’s located on the beach next to a container that has a picture of a beach chair," Levin said.

Levin also hopes the stands can be wheeled closer to the boardwalk during the evening hours to create a walking art tour.

Project LifeguART will be funded through business sponsorships.

"This is costing the city taxpayers absolutely nothing. This is a sponsorship type of program where we are going out and seeking a sponsor," Levin stated.

The freshly painted lifeguard stands and storage containers are expected to on the beach in May.