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New art installation coming to Virginia Beach Oceanfront in August

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Posted at 6:35 AM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-10 07:35:43-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A new art installation is riding the waves to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, and you can visit it starting August 10!

Hive Public Space, Inc. submitted the winning design for the installation based on a call from the City of Virginia Beach Cultural Affairs Department.

“Our installation aims to capitalize on Virginia Beach as a surf destination,” said Alexandra Gonzalez, president and co-founder of Hive Public Space, Inc. “We believe this installation will attract an audience and instill a memorable experience deserving of its own hashtag.”

“Barreled” celebrates Virginia Beach’s surfing culture and takes inspiration from one of the most sought out and short-lived experiences in surfing, riding through the barrel of a wave. Barrels are formed from powerful swells that rapidly travel from deep to shallow waters. The energy from the lower portion of the wave falls behind from the force of friction of the ocean floor. Meanwhile, the top of the wave continues and collapses over the lower portion.

Catching a ride through a barrel takes mediation between the right ocean conditions, a surfer’s skill, and their timing. It’s a rare moment that at most last only seconds.

“Our installation takes place in the form of four acrylic arches that mimic the barrel experience,” said Gonzalez. “Capturing a moment in time within the barrel, the piece allows the viewers to inhabit and move through the experience.”

Reports say the installation is constructed out of a tubular steel system and acrylic panels that represent the ocean’s oscillating balance of power and fragility. Each arch unfolds from wall to ceiling and ends with a seating component that encourages human interactions.

Each steel “wave” in “Barreled” is also spaced out for a socially distanced selfie opportunity!

Thanks to generous donations from the Virginia Beach business community, the installation will be accompanied by “Broken Current,” a mural by recognizable local artist Navid Rahman that illustrates powerful rip currents and tidal currents created by ocean waves. Last year, Rahman created another mural for the City of Virginia Beach, which is located in the main lobby of the Bayside Recreation Center.

A formal unveiling ceremony will take place once the city feels it is safe to do so.