‘Things That Don’t Have Names’ Exhibit Coming to GRACE

D.C.-based artist Stephanie J. Williams is bringing an exhibit of objects that apparently don’t have names to Greater Reston Arts Center.

Williams’ work includes animation, sculptures and costumes and “explores themes of identity through omission and inclusion,” GRACE says. Williams’ recent Instagram posts showcase pink, animated objects with meat-esque appearances.

“Things That Don’t Have Names” opens next Saturday (April 20) at 12001 Market Street, Suite 103. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, April 27, from 5-7 p.m.

Photo via Facebook

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Hudgins Praises Frying Pan Farm Park for Land Use Award

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins lauded Frying Pan Farm Park for its clean water efforts, which recently earned the Herndon park a land-use award.

The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD) selected the park for the 2018 Fairfax County Clean Water Farm Award because of “its implementation of effective agricultural best management practices and diverse educational and outreach programs, as well as its close interactions with NVSWCD,” according to Fairfax County.

“It’s a fabulous park,” Hudgins said at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday (April 9). “It’s really exciting to be able to recognize them for the stewardship they do.”

Located at 2739 West Ox Road, the park preserves and interprets farm life of the first half of the 20th century. For the last two decades, the park has been working to comply with the Fairfax County’s Chesapeake Bay Preservation Program by following the Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plan, according to the county.

Chairman Sharon Bulova also added to the praise of the park. “That is pretty impressive,” Bulova said about the farm earning the award. “It is a working farm with lots of animals.”

Hudgins asked that the Frying Pan Farm Park staff get invited to the board for recognition, along with representatives from the county’s Park Authority and NVSWCD.

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Reston Association’s Board of Directors Elects New President

Reston Association’s Board of Directors elected Catherine Baum to the position of board president Wednesday night.

In her candidate statement, Baum, a former real estate executive who currently advocates for people with dementia residing in memory care, addressed a controversial debate around the Planned Residential Community — Reston’s primary zoning district.

“Let me state clearly for anyone concerned: I am not now and nor will I ever be for unfettered development throughout the PRC,” Baum said. “I supported and will continue to support every motion made and seconded relative to RA dealings with Fairfax County on this topic.”

While the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted in March to “indefinitely defer” the consideration of a proposed zoning amendment regarding the PRC, the hotly debated issue will likely resurface in the future.

Baum also outlined her priorities as the board’s president.

“Our most important job this coming summer and fall is to pass a 2021 biennial budget,” Baum said, adding that the board must support the new Chief Executive Officer Hank Lynch and use data.

“We will have to make tough and sometimes unpopular decisions made on facts,” she said.

Baum was the only candidate nominated to be president. After South Lakes District Director Julie Bitzer nominated Baum, At-Large Director Ven Iyer urged the future president to improve the board’s inclusivity.

“I would like to say I am disappointed in the way my colleagues have conducted discussion in the past year, and it’s because whenever there has been a dissenting or an opposing view, it has often been ridiculed. It has often been cut short,” Iyer said.

Iyer said that he has seen board members aim to form a majority to win motions.

“My request to the future president is to try to be inclusive and to make sure that all board members seem to be heard,” Iyer said. “These board discussions are not about proving your point. They’re about making progress.”

In response to Iyer’s concerns, Baum said that “each of you holds yourself accountable to everyone else on this board.”

The other officers chosen are:

  • Vice President Julie Bitzer
  • Secretary John Mooney
  • Treasurer Eric Carr

Photo courtesy Reston Association

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Afghan Restaurant Sets Sights on Opening Next Month in Herndon

Kabobi by the Helmand, a restaurant featuring Afghan cuisine, plans to start serving diners in May.

Owner Khaleeq Ahmad told Reston Now that the permitting process has led to delays. The restaurant’s next inspection is this Friday (April 12). If all goes well, Ahmad said he expects the restaurant to open next month.

Ahmad previously told Reston Now that Kabobi by the Helmand will offer Zeke’s Coffee in the morning for commuters and locals before switching to Afghan cuisine for lunch and dinner. The menu in Herndon will resemble the one from the restaurant’s partner, Kabobi from The Helmand, in Baltimore, he said.

The restaurant’s spot at 2321 Dulles Station Blvd, Suite A is a short walk from the Innovation Center Metro station.

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Comstock’s Downtown Herndon Plans Heading to Heritage Preservation Review Board

Comstock’s redevelopment plans for downtown Herndon are heading soon to the town’s Heritage Preservation Review Board.

“A few weeks ago the council asked me at every public hearing to give an update on the downtown even there is nothing to report,” Herndon Town Manager Bill Ashton told the Town Council on last night’s public session. “Tonight is not one of those nights.”

Ashton said that the site plan has been approved following months of engineering and zoning reviews.

He added that staff is currently looking at Comstock’s applications to appear before the HPRB, which may happen as early as May.

“That is a major milestone,” Ashton said, adding that he applauds the engineering and zoning staff for their work. “We are on to the next step.”

Comstock’s plan wasn’t the only development on last night’s agenda. The Town Council approved a development plan to change the zoning at 555 Herndon Parkway to allow for Penzance Properties’ proposed mixed-use project, which would create an urban block with residential, office and retail space in three buildings.

“This is the first real transit-oriented development that has come to our 38 acres,” Mayor Lisa Merkel said. “Eight years later, we finally have our first plan.”

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Sigle: Reston Association Will Continue to Face Development, Density Challenges

After several months of fighting the county on a controversial zoning proposal, outgoing Board of Directors President Andy Sigle said he expects the Reston Association will keep tackling development and density issues in the future.

“A hot topic for Reston over the last several years and one that will continue into our future is development,” Sigle said, adding that the RA board and staff worked with community organizations to “protect the ‘planned’ part of our Planned Residential Community (PRC) designation.”

In March, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to “indefinitely defer” the consideration of the proposed zoning amendment that would have increased the maximum allowed population per acre in the PRC district — Reston’s primary zoning district.

“The board and RA staff will continue to monitor this as density issues resurface in the future,” Sigle said.

Looking back at accomplishments over the past year, Sigle highlighted the following:

  • renovation of the Central Services Facility
  • hiring a new chief executive officer
  • capital improvement projects, including interior renovations to the Glade Room, tennis court refurbishments, Lake Thoreau dredging, ADA-improvements to Nature House
  • a “realistic” budget with a small assessment increase

Last night’s meeting was the 50th anniversary of Reston Association’s first Annual Members’ Meeting. The meeting serves to update RA members on the state of the association, unveil the election results for the Board of Directors and receive member comments.

Election Committee Chair Ed Abbott announced the election results for the Board of Directors. “This year we saw a 14 percent turnout for Reston generally and even higher turnout in some districts,” Abbott said.

Here are the results:

  • At-Large, 3-year term: Tom Mulkerin won with 5,040 votes
  • Apartment Owners, 1-year term: Catherine Baum won with 1,563 votes
  • Hunters Woods/Dogwood, 1-year term: Caren Anton won with 1,101 votes
  • North Point, 3-year term: John Mooney won with 1,486 votes
  • Lake Anne/Tall Oaks, 3-year term: Aaron Webb won with 1,156 votes

The new RA board will hold its first monthly meeting tonight (April 10) at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

Photos via YouTube

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BREAKING: Herndon HS Theater Director Charged With Unlawful Filming

Updated at 9:42 p.m. — The teacher has been placed on leave, according to a spokesperson for Fairfax County Public Schools.

Fairfax County Police have arrested Raphael Schklowsky, the theater director for Herndon High School, on charges of unlawful filming at a Reston home.

A woman told police she found a hidden camera in an air conditioning vent at a home on the 1800 block of Cranberry Lane in Reston, where she was working, according to a crime report.

FCPD arrested and charged Schklowsky, a 36-year-old Reston resident, with four misdemeanor counts of unlawful filming after detectives conducted an investigation and “found evidence of unlawful filming.”

He was held at the Adult Detention Center on a $5,000 bond.

Photo via FCPD

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Reston Community Players Ending Theatre Season With “Annie”

The classic story of a young orphan girl in search of her parents in New York City who gets selected to stay at wealthy Daddy Warbucks’ residence is coming to Reston in two weeks.

The Reston Community Player’s production of the Broadway musical “Annie” will conclude the nonprofit theatre group’s 52nd season.

“How can you not love a spunky little girl who, against all odds, keeps hope alive and looks forward to a better tomorrow?” Director Sue Pinkman said in a press release. “Each year, another generation of little girls gets to know this classic character.”

The role of “Annie” will be shared by two actresses. The full cast is the following:

  • Kylee Hope Geraci, Eva Jaber as Annie
  • Doug Marcks as Daddy Warbucks
  • Jennifer Redford as Miss Hannigan
  • Claire Jeffrey as Grace Farrell
  • Joshua Redford as Rooster Hannigan
  • Emily Jennings as Lily St. Regis
  • Richard Durkin as Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • Nathan Ramee as Bert Healy
  • Jane Keifer as Molly (orphan)
  • Della McCahill as Tessie (orphan)
  • Elizabeth Cha as Kate (orphan)
  • Madelyn Regan as July (orphan)
  • Elenora Fiel as Duffy (orphan)
  • Eliana Redford as Pepper (orphan)
  • Whimsy as Sandy
  • Ensemble: Marissa Dolcich, Richard Durkin, Andy Gable, Aidan Goggin, Earle S. Greene, Kate Keifer, Kirk Kaneer, Nathan Ramee, Katie Pond, Jennifer Stevens, Sara Watson

Performances will be held at the Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) at 8 p.m. on April 26-27, May 3-4, May 10-11 and May 17-18. Matinees will be held at 2 p.m on May 5, May 11-12 and May 18.

The production of the family-friendly musical is appropriate for all ages.

Photo courtesy Reston Community Players

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Artist Creating Mosaic Public Art for RCC’s Aquatics Center Revamp

(Updated) Reston will welcome a new public art piece when the Reston Community Center debuts its newly renovated Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center in the fall.

RCC chose mosaic artist Valerie Theberge to create mosaic artwork for two large wall panels adjacent to the pool overlook area.

RCC’s Executive Director Leila Gordon told Reston Now that having Theberge on board from the start of the renovation, which will update the 40-year-old aquatics center with two pools, allows for the engineers, designers and the artist to plan how the wall with the art will look and get used, with conversations ranging from color palettes to electrical engineering decisions.

Theberge has been working with the project team, which includes RCC’s Deputy Director John Blevins and Martha Sansaver, Karen Davis and Geoff Kimmel from the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services and the contracting firm Branch Builds — previously named Branch & Associates.

Currently, Theberge is in the preliminary design stages for the art, which will occupy two main panels that are about 50 square feet each.

“I keep getting snapshots of what’s going to come and it keeps percolating, because we have been talking about this for a year,” she told Reston Now. “It will be strong and vocal.”

Unlike her previous mosaic art at the Glade Drive Underpass and the Dogwood Pool, Theberge says this piece is influenced by its different location, one that she describes as indoors, focused on people instead of nature and “white, clean, quiet.”

“The other ones are very earth-centered and this is very water-centered,” Theberge said, adding that she plans to add “sparklers” so that viewers will feel movement in the art.

In a group interview with Reston Now, Theberge and Gordon shared different elements that stand out to them about the aquatics center, including the contrast between the water’s buoyancy and the hard surfaces on the ground, the windowless cave-esque location, the polarity between the exterior and interior worlds and the action of people stripping off layers of clothing before they get into the water. While some of those evocative ideas might sound harsh or vulnerable, Gordon emphasized that “it is hard to be hostile in the presence of art.”

Once Theberge has a design, she said she will build the two pieces in her studio before they get bolted onto the wall.

Once installed, community engagement activities and art workshops will allow Restonians to respond to the art. “It’s not one monolithic swimming community. There are families. There are older adults. There are swim teams, and every one of those groups of people have different desires,” Gordon said.

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DC Row to Fill Appalachian Spring’s Former Reston Town Center Spot

DC Row is getting work done on its future Reston Town Center location ahead of an expected summer opening.

A building permit indicates that the rowing-focused fitness studio recently started interior alterations at 11877 Market Street. A spokeswoman for Boston Properties confirmed that DC Row will occupy the former spot of Appalachian Spring, which closed last January.

DC Row’s General Manager Brittany Brunch previously told Reston Now that the Reston spot will offer similar classes to the ones currently at the D.C. location (790 Maine Avenue SW), along with happy hour events for corporations and more time slots during the day for moms.

Locals can expect a pop-up before the grand opening, which has not been announced yet.

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Needle felting — From 7-9 p.m. participants can learn how to make creations through needle felting, which involves poking gathered wool with a special barbed needle. Andrew Black, a Reston resident and artist, will lead the workshop. [ArtSpace Herndon]

RA election results — The Annual Members’ Meeting from 7-9 p.m. at the Reston Association’s headquarters will include the election results for the Board of Directors and update members on new initiatives, programs and opportunities. The meeting will be live-streamed on YouTube. [YouTube]

Development size ranking — The Washington Business Journal has compiled square footage numbers for developments in the D.C. area. Based on metro-area square footage under construction, Orr Partners of Reston nabbed fifth place at 2.75 million square feet, and The Ardent Company of Reston ranked 11th at 1.93 million. [Washington Business Journal]

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Have You Seen These Eight Public Art Pieces Around Reston?

Reston has more than 70 pieces of public art. While many of them are placed in well-traversed locations, like the Mercury Fountain in Reston Town Center, some pieces are less widely known because they are hiding in plain sight or located off the beaten path.

“There are many gems that are off the main areas,” Anne Delaney, the executive director of Public Art Reston, told Reston Now.

Reston Now has rounded up information on eight “hidden treasures” — as Delaney describes them — and where to find them.

Berlin Wall Fragment

Where to find it: Bundeswehr–German Liaison Office (11150 Sunrise Valley Drive)

Description: A part of history is at the entrance to the office. The 4-foot-wide Berlin Wall fragment is circa 1973 and was acquired by the Command Headquarters in 1990 to commemorate the reunification of Germany, according to Public Art Reston.

Emerge 

Where to find it: Glade Drive Underpass near Hunters Woods Village Center

Description: Valerie Theberge’s 2010 glass and mirror mosaic tiles greet bicyclists and people walking eastbound on the Turquoise Trail. “Theberge designed this artwork to be uplifting, whimsical and optimistic,” according to its Public Art Reston bio. “Multiple shades of greens were chosen to reflect the rich vegetation in Reston.” Students from Hunters Woods Elementary School helped create the stars scattered around the art.

The Underpass

Where to find it: North Shore Drive Underpass near Lake Anne

Description: Multiple, concrete sculptural elements created by Gonzalo Fonseca in 1965 decorate the tunnel connecting Lake Anne and the nearby Hickory Cluster townhouses along the Green Trail. “Along with a functional seat and table, The Underpass includes pieces that — upon close inspection — provide passersby with surprises meant to jog the imagination with stories and ideas,” Public Art Reston says.

Pylon

Where to find it: Right by The Underpass

Description: The curved, concrete cylinder, also by Fonseca, sits near the pathway beyond The Underpass. Public Art Reston notes that this piece is the most inconspicuous of Fonseca’s work in the area.

September 11th Memorial

Where to find it: Attached to a large stone in the garden at the Freedom Grove at Brown’s Chapel (1575 Browns Chapel Road)

Description: The Reston Association commissioned the bronze memorial by Kathy Walden Kaplan to honor the memory of the victims of the 9/11 attack, including Reston residents Leonard Taylor and Norma Cruz Kahn, according to Public Art Reston.

Slit Figure

Where to find it: In the parking lot at Plaza America directly across from MOD Pizza

Description: While three red ellipses standing more than 6 feet tall might sound like a sculpture that would stand out, this welded steel art piece by Al Landzberg is hiding in plain sight at the complicated Plaza America parking lot. Meant to be the centerpiece of the plaza, “Slit Figure is a study in contrasts: the contrast in shapes between three closed ellipses and a mysterious opening that slices through them, the contrast in colors between the sculpture’s fire-engine red and the shopping center’s subdued hues, and the contrast in design between the center’s business orientation and the sculpture’s playfulness,” Public Art Reston says.

Swing

Where to find it: Also near The Underpass

Description: Overlooking Lake Anne, the wood and steel swing was designed by William Roehl in collaboration with Conklin and Rossant. The swing has changed since it was first installed in 1965, evolving from a hanging basket swing to its current form, according to Public Art Reston.

Untitled

Where to find it: Along Moorings Drive by the Blue Trail

Description: This mysterious ceramic, mosaic piece made by Olin Russum in 1967 is an abstract representation of the map of Reston, although only the right side remains intact, according to Public Art Reston. “I would love if anyone knows how this work came to be,” Delaney told Reston Now.

People looking to learn more about public art in Reston and visit the pieces in person can contact Public Art Reston or the Reston Association to find out information about upcoming walking tours and print and digital maps marking the locations of the art.

Last two photos via Google Maps 

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Q&A: Solidcore Manager Talks First Month at RTC West

RTC West welcomed the D.C.-based fitness chain Solidcore back in early March as part of a larger expansion in the D.C. area.

After one month in business at its new spot at 12100 Sunset Hills Blvd, Krystal Capasso, the studio manager for the Reston location, shared some details with Reston Now on how the pilates-focused fitness chain is faring in Reston.

Before coming to Solidcore, Capasso worked at pilates and barre studios in Arlington and Ashburn. She also served in the Marines for several years.

Reston Now: How has it been going since opening?

Krystal Capasso: We’ve had a lot of people come in. It’s a cool mix of people.

RN: Do you know why the Reston location was chosen?

KC: Not really, but I can tell you we are right next to Reston Town Center and then there are also some businesses right nearby.

RN: What is your customer base like at Reston?

KC: We’ve had a lot of people coming during lunch or right before or after work and also people who live nearby — Reston, Herndon and Fairfax. It’s more of a mix of people who are coming from work or who live in the area. I think we have a fair amount of men and women coming into the studio.

RN: What do you think is the appeal of the Reston location?

KC: The [D.C.-area] people are already familiar with Solidcore. This location may be more convenient for them than other studios in Northern Virginia — filing gaps between studios. I think also generally as a workout, the cool thing about Solidcore — it’s a workout that they can use as their primary workout, but it’s also a really good complimentary workout to something else that people are doing. It’s a good way to reach other people, people who are already fit and have a routine in place but want some diversity and change.

RN: Generally, do people who go to studios to work out stick to the same spot or do they frequent multiple ones?

KC: Usually, people come to a studio and stay there and only go to those studios. I think a unique thing about Solidcore is we do have people who do that exclusively, but then people who will use Solidcore as another thing to do to supplement their workouts.

RN: What do you enjoy the most about Solidcore?

KC: When I come into this studio and take a Solidcore class, I am always challenged. It doesn’t get easier. You are always going to get stronger.

RN: What do you think makes people return for more classes?

KC: The community keeps people coming back. We try to get people excited about working out together. It’s a really team-oriented environment.

For people who might be hesitant about trying out Solidcore, Capasso said at the end of the interview that there is a beginner’s class that moves at a slower pace to allow coaches to give more instructions and to demo moves before class starts so that people can feel more comfortable.

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Google Moving to New Reston Station Office Space This Summer

In a few months, Google employees will start occupying their new office space at Comstock’s Reston Station development.

“The global technology company has had a longstanding presence in Reston and will start moving its current employee base into Reston Station later this summer,” Comstock said in a press release.

Building permits last month indicated that the tech giant has been busy fixing up its top floors of 1900 Reston Metro Plaza.

“Google first opened a small office in Reston back in 2005 and we’ve since grown to close to 200 employees, working on major projects across engineering, sales and more,” Liz Schwab, the head of external affairs for Google in Virginia, said in the press release. Its current office is at Reston Town Center.

The new Reston location fits into the company’s larger expansion as part of a $13 billion round of investment in new offices and data centers across the U.S., along with plans to double its workforce in Northern Virginia.

“We’re confident that Reston Station will be a great new home for us and will provide room for future growth,” Schwab said. “We’re proud to call Reston home.”

File photo

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Ben and Jerry’s Giving Out Free Cones in Reston Town Center Tuesday

With warm weather in store for this week, here’s the scoop on where to get free ice cream cones tomorrow.

Ben and Jerry’s will hand them out on Tuesday (April 9) at its Reston Town Center spot. “Free Cone Day” is set to last from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

The store at 11916 Market Street will also accept donations to benefit SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center.

File photo

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