The Washington Post

New Tysons Corner Wal-Mart features ‘Thought’-ful art

thought1 “The Thought,” by local sculptor Robert Cole, was commissioned by local developer JBG Rosenfeld to stand outside its new building in Tysons Corner, which will feature a Wal-Mart. Get some art with those jeans. (Tysons Partnership)

At most Wal-Marts, you’ve got your gigantic parking lot, your rows of shopping carts and your blue-vested greeter to start your acquisitory excursion. But not at the new Tysons Corner Wal-Mart. They will welcome patrons with a large sculpture called “The Thought,” created by local artist Robert Cole.

Art! At Wal-Mart! Not for sale!

“The Thought,” as reported by Capital Business’s Jonathan O’Connell, is not to be confused with Rodin’s “The Thinker” — and certainly never will be because they look nothing alike. The impetus behind “The Thought” comes not from Wal-Mart but from local developer JBG Rosenfeld. Longtime readers of The State of NoVa will recall that JBG also did Arlington the favor of preserving the distinctive Googie architecture of the old Bob Peck Chevrolet dealership on Glebe Road, placing a replica of the Peck blue diamonds on the front of their new office tower last year. So, a nod to JBG for again trying to inject a little spice into our increasingly boxlike world.

The Wal-Mart is scheduled to open this fall in a larger development on Spring Hill Road where the old Moore Cadillac dealership used to be, very near the new Tysons West Metro station. The area is intended, in Fairfax County’s development plans, to be part of an arts and entertainment area. JBG’s Jay Klug told O’Connell they wanted to contribute to that by using a local artist, and are hopeful that “by bringing forth this first public art piece in the Spring Hill Road station area we will create a little friendly competition among other developers to outdo each other in terms of public art.”

Art competition! Yes! Now in the lead, Wal-Mart, with one! Who’s next?

So, what do you think of “The Thought”?

The unveiling of “The Thought” by D.C. sculptor Robert Cole on April 15. (JBG Rosenfeld)
Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.



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Tom Jackman · April 26, 2013