National Harbor is thrilled to be part of National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Art in Bloom, a community-wide visual art exhibition featuring 26 over sized cherry blossom sculptures painted by local artists and placed throughout the greater Washington, DC area.

“Cherry Blossom Swirl Freestyle” by artist Josue “Cortino” Martinez is situated along the Potomac adjacent to the Plaza at the entrance of Freedom Pier. Martinez explains his process, “I’ve been creating and working with swirl patterns for some time now. I like to incorporate them into my images and designs or by themselves. When I decided to paint the floor in my gallery, I did the whole thing in black and white. The surface is white while the swirl patterns are all black. I did not do any sketches or pencil outlines beforehand; I just freestyled the swirl pattern. It was exciting and a bit nerve-wracking to not know what the end result would be. I took a similar approach in designing the Cherry Blossom chair and also incorporated hidden images within the swirl pattern. Almost like a hidden picture puzzle, let’s see where your eyes go and what they find.”

Born in Corinto, El Salvador, Josue Martinez is a passionate artist with more than fifteen years of experience creating inspired works of art. He is the founder of CORINTO, a gallery, cultural space, and art studio located in DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood that showcases local artists and engages the local community in the arts. An advocate for the community and teaching artist, Josue has worked with a variety of youth and change making organizations and also serves on the board of the Adams Morgan Community Alliance. Martinez began his love for art in El Salvador as a child. Coming to the U.S. at age 10, art was the way he found comfort in his new surroundings, not being able to speak English. After attending Suitland High School for visual and performing arts, he continued his education in art at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).

Enjoy your Blossom Hunt and make sure to snap pictures with Cherry Blossom Swirl Freestyle here at National Harbor. Please tag #NationalHarbor, #ArtinBloom, #StepintoSpring, and @cherryBlossFest

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