Crystal City’s Synetic Theater Unveils Dramatic New Mural
A dynamic new mural has transformed the facade of Crystal City’s Synetic Theater, featuring flowing lines in mint green and black over a neon pink field.
Created by artist Jay Shogo, the concept was selected as the winning design in a competition led by the Crystal City Business Improvement District in partnership with JBG Smith, Arlington County, the Crystal City Marriott and Synetic Theater. Artists were asked to reimagine the exterior of the award-winning cultural institution, located on the concourse level of 1800 South Bell St. in Crystal City, half a block from the Crystal City Metro.
After receiving dozens of impressive entries, a jury of representatives selected five finalists and invited each to submit conceptual designs, eventually narrowing it down to Shogo’s winning concept. The mural’s unveiling event took place in November. Area residents, workers, fans of Synetic and art enthusiasts gathered to meet Shogo and see his new mural for the first time.
Shogo looked to capture and reflect the vibrancy, creativity and characteristics of the Crystal City area in his design.
“Jay’s design is sophisticated and bold and serves as a beautiful addition to the Crystal City streetscape,” said Tracy Sayegh Gabriel, president and executive director of the Crystal City BID. “There have been exciting productions at Synetic Theater for years, but the street environment hasn’t matched the energy inside, until now.”
Greatly influenced by travel to countries around the world, Shogo started his career as an artist in Los Angeles in 2009 and then went on to work on the famed 5Pointz street art project in New York City. In addition to the U.S., his murals can be found in his native Japan, Barbados, Australia and Korea.
Shogo’s extensive skills and experience have also led to design partnerships with world-renowned companies such as Suntory Whisky, Heineken and Montblanc.
In enlivening the facade of one of its premier cultural venues, the BID hopes to amplify the pedestrian experience and draw further attention to the vital role that arts and culture play in Crystal City.
"When we selected Jay's design, we were excited by its potential to bring life to our facade; now, seeing it fully realized, we are over the moon,” Synetic Theater Managing Director Jason Najjoum said. “It beautifully matches the dynamism that can be found inside Synetic while being a work of art all its own. We can't thank Jay, the BID and JBG Smith enough for helping us draw attention to the artistry and wonder happening inside our walls."
The installation features curving lines and linking dots that Shogo said represent the flow of time that joins the past, present and future and the connections between human beings and their community. It also features a recessed shadow wall in an eye-catching pink hue that incorporates a chain of curving lines.
“We are thrilled to see the completion of this mural, which focuses on the concept of movement as an expression of time and the experiences that connect all people,” Gabriel said. “As the end of the year approaches, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the people and places we hold close. This mural serves as a representation of those who are near and dear to the Crystal City community.”
Though it is open to the public at all times, the mural will be especially on display at Crystal City’s inaugural Winter Wonderland event Dec. 14 at the South Bell Street courtyard, where families and residents can gather to celebrate the holiday season with food, crafts and holiday cocktails.
This feature was produced in collaboration between Bisnow Branded Content and Crystal City BID. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.