There’s a new artist residency at Lake Lawson/Lake Smith

Anne Dushanko Dobek is the newest artist in residence for the city. (Southside Daily/courtesy of the city of Virginia Beach)
Anne Dushanko Dobek is the newest artist in residence for the city. (Southside Daily/courtesy of the city of Virginia Beach)

VIRGINIA BEACH — The city’s Cultural Affairs and Parks and Recreation departments announced a new artist residency at Lake Lawson/Lake Smith Natural Area: Anne Dushanko Dobek.

Dobek is a New Jersey artist and she will create her Eco Public Art installation, “Parallel Migrations XXV” on-site beginning mid-August with an unveiling planned for Aug. 24, officials said in a news release.

“Parallel Migrations” is Dobek’s decades-long series of global installations in which she uses silkscreened images of the monarch butterfly as a symbol of survival in the face of perilous journeys.

“In ‘Parallel Migrations’ I use my signature image of the monarch butterfly to address issues of global migrations,” Dobek said. “The monarch butterfly in all its permutations becomes a metaphor for the millions of people crossing global borders in search of survival, sanctuary and safety.”

As part of her residency, Dobek will engage with the public through conversations and cut-a-thons, officials said.

These are social engagement opportunities for the community to contribute to the Parallel Migrations series.

Visitors are invited to cut out pre-printed butterfly images that the artist will use in future installations.

The public is also invited to visit her on-site throughout the residency and any of the following scheduled events:

  • Artist Talk at Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) on Aug. 15 from 6 to 7 p.m.
  • “Cut-a-thon” – Help cut the butterfly images at Lake Lawson/Lake Smith Natural Area on Aug. 17 from 2 to 4 p.m.

The city’s Eco Public Art residencies are designed to inform and highlight the city’s natural spaces.

Through open calls for proposals, artists in this field are invited to participate in residencies to create site-responsive works of art using natural materials, officials said.

They are encouraged to engage the public in artist talks and live demonstrations, officials added.

Last year’s first Eco Public Art residency brought Benjamin Heller to create “Terrapin Basin” at Pleasure House Point Natural Area.

The Lake Lawson/Lake Smith Natural Area is a 42-acre preserve with more than 12,000 feet of shoreline located in the Bayside Borough of Virginia Beach at the corner of Shell Road and Northampton Boulevard.

To learn more about the city’s public art program, click here.

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