AREP in the News

Hope and Joy in 625 Square Feet of Wings in Reston

August 4, 2020


By Mercia Hobson

Step in and be part of the art commissioned by American Real Estate Partners.

Street artist Kelsey Montague paints “Reston Wings Mural” at International Tower at Reston Heights in Reston. Commissioned by American Real Estate Partners, the work is interactive.

James Downey, an employee at Virginia Spine Institute, steps into "Reston Wings Mural" by internationally acclaimed street artist Kelsey Montague.

Reston, vocalist Taylor Swift, NFL Super Bowl XIV (54) and developer Howard Hughs have something in common: a mural by internationally acclaimed street artist Kelsey Montague. American Real Estate Partners commissioned Montague to design and create a Reston-centric variation of her signature butterfly mural on the exterior wall of the parking structure for International Tower at Reston Heights, 11800 Sunrise Valley Drive. The butterfly is part of the artist's "What Lifts You" series.

Montague is a prolific artist. She is known for her hand-drawn murals and artwork, commissioned by major brands, cities and business districts, developers, and used in product design work. She is interested in the juxtaposition of public art, interactive art and social media. "I have been doing street art all over the world for about six years now... well over 300 murals." she said. "I focus on interactive art. So, whether that’s a pair of angel wings (or butterfly wings), you can stand with them...appear to be part of the work... All my work usually has the hashtag, "What Lifts You," which is focused on sharing."

According to Louise Boulton-Lear, who is Vice President of Brand Communications at American Real Estate Partners, the company worked with the Reston Association Design Review Board, its architects, landscape architects and community residents on the design of the 25 by 25-foot mural. "Lisa Heath, DRB Manager, was very engaged and supportive," Boulton-Lear said.