SOUND AND VISION HUSBAND-AND-WIFE ARTISTS ALEX AND AMY BR ADEN COLLABOR ATE ON A MODERN MARVEL OF MOVEMENT, SOUND AND LIGHT THIS FALL. By Michael McCarthy Photography by Benjamin C. Tankersley Styling by Alison Beshai [ART & CULTURE] PEOPLE MODERN LOVE Contemporary artists Alex and Amy Braden, photographed at Artisphere, collaborate on Axon Xylophone Bridge this fall in Arlington. ALEX BRADEN’S LOOK: JACKET BY HUGO BOSS, SHIRT AND PANTS BY TED BAKER, SHOES BY JOHN VARVATOS, ALL AT BLOOMINGDALE’S; AMY BRADEN’S LOOK: DRESS BY REISS, SHOES BY DIANE VON FURSTENBERG, NECKLACE BY AQUA, ALL AT BLOOMINGDALE’S Alex Braden has a colorful secret: He sometimes sneaks into wife Amy’s studio and corrects some of her drawings. Most artists would scream to the heavens about the violation, but Amy is nonplussed. “What can I say? He understands my work, and we’ve learned to amplify each other’s strengths,” she says with a laugh. The Bradens’ art couldn’t be more di erent—Amy (amyhughesbraden. com) paints mammoth contemporary acrylics, and Alex (alexanderbraden. com) is a sound artist and musician—but they’re combining e orts this fall with fellow artists Yassine El Mansouri and Zaki Ghul to create Axon Xylophone Bridge in Arlington. e ambitious installation, commissioned by the Ballston business improvement district, features movement-triggered lights and sound in the bridge that spans the Metro station and the National Science Foundation. “We really wanted to transform the space dramatically,” says Alex. “We’re using colored LED lighting hung from the ceiling, so when people walk through the space, motion sensors pick up their movement. The lights follow them.” Sounds, ambient and also similar to those emitted from a xylophone, kick in and chime in succession. “Depending on the number of people in the bridge, you could have a full arpeggio.” is type of collaboration is a formalized version of how the couple works on projects, including Amy’s recent solo venture ( Are You Going to Eat at? ) at the Civilian Art Projects, 90 DC SEPTEMBER 2014 and Alex’s exotic sound exhibit as part of a Fermata coda at Artisphere. “We’re each good at certain things,” says Alex. “I can ne-tune and edit grant applications and proposals, and Amy has a global view of art [as a business].” And that business, at least in the eyes of the Bradens, spills over into every phase of their lives. “We bring work home with us every day because it’s right here—where we live, and that’s just ne. I love the art scene in DC. It’s so encouraging and supportive,” says Amy. In the case of the Axon Xylophone Bridge —slated to arrive in late October—the couple also hopes to continue a trend of public projects that add a layer of modern revelation to the city. “ e entire project is a nice interruption of beauty,” she says.