The Pike by Donald Lipski
Artist Donald Lipski was selected in 2013 to create a work of public art for Arlington’s Western Gateway, near Columbia Pike and South Jefferson Street. This project will mark the entrance to Arlington from Fairfax, and is being commissioned in conjunction with the County’s Multimodal Street Improvement project at that location.
The sculpture is made from a 50-foot-tall wind-turbine wing, the base of which will be studded with thousands of coins collected from Arlington County residents. In 1810, the U.S. Congress chartered to build Columbia Pike, then a toll road, to connect outlying areas to the District of Columbia. The artwork takes inspiration from the shape and form of a tollgate. The incorporation of the coins honors the history of Columbia Pike as a toll road while also celebrating the diversity of the community.
Lipski visited Arlington in the summer of 2013 to gather input from community members and project stakeholders in order to develop the concept for the artwork. The artwork is slated for installation in 2020.
Donald Lipski was in town on September 18, 2017 to speak about the project at the Columbia Pike Library. Watch his talk online.
From Spring to Fall of 2018, Arlington County residents contributed coins which represented their heritage and are intended to encrust the base of the sculpture. These coins honor the history of Columbia Pike as a toll road while also celebrating the diversity of the community. Much gratitude to Arlington County residents, who helped us collect, count and sort the 4,784 coins from 117 countries and every continent (except Antarctica)!
More info about the Multimodal Street Improvement Project.
Learn more about Donald Lipski.
Check out this interview in Artcritical with Donald Lipski.
Review the project timeline.