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Sunday, September 11, 2011

New mural brightens up Mason Police Station

The new mural installed in the Mason District Police Station will be a “source of pride and a source of motivation” to the officers who work there, said Commander Gun Lee, as he showed the new artwork to members of the Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) last week.

The artist, John Kiernan, had been a Fairfax County police officer for 15 years before he retired in 2001.  He had been based in the Mason station for four years.

Kiernan and family members with the mural.
The centerpiece of the mural is a scene inspired by a Norman Rockwell painting showing a police officer with a runaway child at a diner. But in Kiernan’s painting, the runaway is a girl—his daughter Kerrie was the model—instead of a boy.

 Kiernan used the 1954 Rockwell painting as a starting point, but he told the CAC members that  his mural reflects the reality of policing today and the more diverse communities we live in. Surrounding the central tableau are scenes of police officers doing their jobs and scenes from Mason District, including Annandale (the cannon), Landmark, Bailey’s Crossroads, Culmore, and the Skyline Center.

Lee credited his predecessor, Major Ted Arnn, with spearheading the effort to develop the mural. Arnn told the CAC that, as the commander, he felt responsible for his officers’ morale. When he asked them what would motivate them, several suggested asking Kiernan to create a mural for the station.

Lee presented professionally photographed copies of the mural to several people who had made financial contributions to support the project, including James and Sheila Dryden; Liza Gonzales of the Servus Management Group, which manages Landmark Plaza; and Mason District CAC chair Ben Hester.

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