‘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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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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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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Annual Student Art Exhibit Coming to ArtSpace Herndon Next Week 

An annual exhibit showcasing student art returns next week to ArtSpace Herndon.

The Herndon Pyramid Schools Exhibit will feature art created by students from the following schools:

  • Aldrin Elementary School
  • Armstrong Elementary School
  • Clearview Elementary School
  • Dranesville Elementary School
  • Herndon Elementary School
  • Hutchison Elementary School
  • Herndon Middle School
  • Herndon High School

The exhibit runs from Tuesday, April 9, to Monday, May 20, at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center Street).

An opening reception will be held on Wednesday, April 10, from 6-8 p.m.

Some of the art will be available for purchase.

Image via Google Maps

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Annual Founder’s Day at Lake Anne Exhibit Debuts Monday

Lake Anne will have a new art exhibit ahead of Founder’s Day.

The exhibit will run from April 1-29 at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery (2310 Colts Neck Road). Founder’s Day, which celebrates Reston’s founder Robert E. Simon, Jr. and the community’s history, will be held on Saturday, April 6, at Lake Anne Plaza.

“In this exhibit, artists step back and focus on things that evoke feelings — anger, happiness, serenity — and give color to them through their art,” Reston Community Center’s website says. “They hope to capture the intensity of a moment and convey the message that reality is not what we see, but what we discover and create for ourselves.”

Pat Macintyre, the founder of the League of Reston Artist, is a sponsor of this exhibit, according to RCC.

A reception is set for Sunday, April 7, from 2-4 p.m.

Photo courtesy Reston Community Center 

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Public Art Reston Picks Artist to Transform Colts Neck Road Underpass

The Colts Neck Road underpass will soon get its long-awaited makeover.

Public Art Reston recently awarded a contract to Philadelphia-based artist Ben Volta to create permanent public artwork for the underpass.

When selecting the artist, Public Art Reston sought someone who could “address the spirit of the Hunters Woods Neighborhood; respond to the cultural diversity of the community; and develop an artwork that identifies the underpass as a civic facility within the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood,” according to a Public Art Reston press release.

Public Art Reston’s Executive Director Anne Delaney said that Volta stood out because of his previous community engagement coupled with his powerful and colorful art.

“The project is an opportunity for infrastructure beautification, engagement, education and inspiration,” Delaney said. “It will promote active use of the underpass that links residential areas, Hunters Woods Village Center, two schools, two senior facilities and two community centers.”

Known for his public murals and sculptures, Volta will work on the project with the Dogwood and Hunters Woods elementary schools, in addition to partnering with Hunters Woods at Trails Edge, a soon-to-open senior living facility.

Volta, who is familiar with working with students in participatory art creation, told Reston Now that he plans to engage with kids in the classrooms with the hope of brainstorming an idea, color or shape that will then get incorporated into the art.

Right now, he is working to get the design done before summer break starts for the kids.

He has started making several planned site visits, where he also meets with students, teachers and administrators at the two schools. “I like to start with the site,” Volta said about his artistic process.

While the Colts Neck underpass was “dark with lots of mud everywhere” on his first visit, Volta said he’s been thinking about how the tunnel’s purpose as a passageway between the two schools can lead to a transformative experience for people who enter and exit it.

“Really, the site has a lot to say because of the way people experience it,” Volta said.

Volta said he didn’t know much about the Hunters Woods area before he was chosen for the project, but said he was struck on his first visit by the area’s connection to nature. “I really fell in love with Reston.”

The project has an anticipated installation in the summer so that the artwork will be ready for when students return to classes in the fall, he said.

Photo of Ben Volta courtesy of Public Art Reston

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Painter Trisha Adams Opening Junction Square Gallery in Herndon

Painter Trisha Adams is setting up shop in Herndon’s Junction Square.

According to her bio, the Californian started painting at age 44 when she decided to make art to fill an empty frame. Adams is known for her bright and colorful landscapes and still paintings, which often feature flowers, birds, boats or gardens.

This will be Adams’ fourth gallery — she currently has her art showcased in Richmond; Sarasota, Fla. and Watch Hill, R.I.

Her website says that the dates for the grand opening range from last Friday (March 15) to Sunday, March 31. Locals can check out her gallery at 708a Elden Street.

Image via Google Maps 

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‘Looming Connections’ Brings Yarn, Cast Iron Sculptures to Herndon

Locals can soon see sculptures combining cast iron and knitting. Hooked?

Artist Alyssa Imes’ solo show titled “Looming Connections” opens tomorrow (March 5) at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center Street).

The mixed media exhibit includes sculptures made from cast iron and other metals covered with knitted fabric, along with earthen colored drawings on raw paper.

Imes, who describes herself as a social person, explores physical bonds and emotional relationships with her artwork — a theme that carries over into her exhibit.

From the ArtSpace Herndon description:

The artist sees the yarn as time and life, and the knots as experiences we share. The looms are the places we meet people. The pieces of fabric are knitted from the sculptures themselves so the iron looms create support and help mechanically weave fabric from an individual strand of string.

A reception will be held on Saturday (March 9) from 7-9 p.m.

“Looming Connections” will run until April 6.

Photo via ArtSpace Herndon/Facebook

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GRACE Student Art Exhibit Debuts This Weekend

(Updated at 5:05 p.m. on March 4) Starting Saturday (March 2), a student art exhibition will be on display at the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE).

The exhibit features art by students at Fairfax County public schools, who are participating in GRACE’s education program called “Emerging Visions.”

GRACE reworked the program to include grades K-12, inviting elementary and middle schools to participate for the first time, according to a press release from the arts center.

“We are now able to take the best parts of our existing programs, expand those in close conversation with FCPS and make a greater impact on more young artists,” Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel said in the press release.

In addition to the three longstanding participating FCPS high school schools — Herndon, Oakton and South Lakes high schools — the exhibit includes student art from Dogwood, Hunters Woods and Hutchinson elementary schools and Rachel Carson Middle School.

The exhibit is based on Caitlin Teal Price’ exhibit last year titled “Green is the Secret Color To Make Gold.”

GRACE worked with art educators at the schools to develop content and concepts to include into the curriculum, according to the press release. After educators, students and their families had the chance to view the exhibition and meet the curator and artist, students were able to respond to the theme by creating their own artwork.

FCPS released additional information about the students and their art on March 4:

One student, who is non-verbal, experiences art and, primarily painting, as a ritual or routine, according to this teacher. He makes repetitive marks with varying color and layers them to refer to different subject matter, such as a landscape. Another student has made at least one artwork a day for multiple years on topics from space-like environments to designs that involve flags of the world. South Lakes students shared their artist statements, explaining the process for creating their works.

[Another] student described the artwork as expressive of the mental illness she has been diagnosed with and says her work shows “that I’m locked inside myself and can’t get out of the emotions in my head.” She uses symbols indicative of psychological and emotional states. A team of two students uses found objects to which they apply paint, glue, and other materials, embracing their sense of humor and love of experimentation to provoke a sense of play and curiosity in their audience.

A third student uses her art to define herself through her own values and beliefs, not through the culture of her home country. She uses layering as a metaphor for memory and experience relevant to her life today. One student used a found piece of wood to which she responded with color and brush strokes ranging from tumultuous to more gentle; another uses her responses to daily events, observations, and feelings to create her paintings. One student submitted a photography display using a camera from a bin of broken cameras, kept by his teacher for spare parts, and fabricated a pinhole lens for the camera. Using a 30-second exposure, he took a series of photos that didn’t meet his expectations but he came to like for their abstract quality and colorful texture that “had a kind of painterly approach.”

Several free events are based around the exhibit.

The opening reception for the exhibit is set for tomorrow from 5-7 p.m. GRACE plans to host an open mic for kids on March 16.

The exhibition will be on display until March 30 at the gallery located at the Reston Town Center (12001 Market Street #103).

Photo via FCPS

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NextStop Theatre’s ‘Fallen Angels’ Premieres in Mid-March

A play about two women’s rivalry for the affections of a mutual lover is coming to Herndon’s NextStop Theatre (269 Sunset Park Drive) next month.

Fallen Angels” dramatizes sexual desire and frustration as two housewives prepare to meet with an “exotic” former lover. The show originally opened in London in 1925 and was considered amusing but scandalous for its depiction of sex and adultery — both subjects that were seen as obscene and disruptive.

Ticketing in advance is recommended, as ticket prices may increase as seating fills. Tickets range from $35 to $50. The show will run Thursday-Sunday from March 14 through April 7. Student and group tickets are available at a discount.

Photo via NextStop Theatre

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NextStop Theatre Creates Program for D.C.-Area Playwrights

NextStop Theatre Company is rolling out a new program to strengthen the network of D.C.-area playwrights.

The Herndon-based, nonprofit theatre company unveiled The Playwrights’ Initiative on Friday (Feb. 8) to help connect artists and to provide resources often needed for new theatrical works.

“I have long aspired for NextStop to get involved in developing new work,” NextStop Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Evan Hoffman said in a statement. “But I wanted to start by consulting with playwrights. I wanted to find out how we could best serve them and their creative process.”

Hoffman says that playwrights often say they face two challenges. “They lamented that the writing process can be very lonely work and that finding the people and space to gain objective feedback is daunting,” Hoffman said. “It is my hope we can help to ease both of those struggles through this program.”

The program has two components.

First, the theatre company will host an inaugural “Playwrights’ Mixer and Pitch-fest” on March 23. NextStop Theatre Company plans to invite 30 local playwrights network with each other and local directors and producers before each playwright pitches their work to the group.

After the event, playwrights in attendance will have the opportunity to complete a survey about the pitches, which will help NextStop Theatre Company select the works for a series of free staged readings. The theatre company plans to have professional actors and directors take part in the developmental readings, which are slated to take place over six months.

The Playwrights’ Initiative is partly funded by a grant from ArtsFairfax.

Photo by NextStop Theatre Company

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CenterStage Event Set to Fuse Indian, Japanese Musical Traditions

The musical traditions of Japan and India will combine in a performance by Yumi Kurosawa and Anubrata Chatterjee at the Reston Community Center later this week.

Kurosawa is set to play the koto, a Japanese stringed musical instrument, while Chatterjee will play the tabla — a pair of small drums common in North Indian classical music.

“This collaboration highlights their affinity and respect for one another as virtuosic performers while furthering their own timeless musical tradition,” the event description says, adding that the performance by Kurosawa and Chatterjee will focus on creating “musical tales.”

They are set to perform on CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Tickets cost $15 for Restonians and $20 for everyone else.

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Nun-Themed Art Show Comes to Hunters Woods at Trails Edge

A Vienna resident’s art show titled “A Bunch of ‘Nun’sense” will bring depictions of nuns and stained glass windows to Hunters Woods at Trails Edge.

The art show “consists of mainly acrylic and ink on large stretched canvas, which includes a variety of styles,” according to information provided by Hunters Woods at Trails Edge.

Jan Dittmar, 68, started painting at the age of 50. A decade later, she earned an arts degree at Columbia College in South Car0lina at the age of 60. She is currently a member of the League of Reston Artists and the Vienna Arts Society.

Locals can view her nun-themed art while sipping sangria and enjoying sweets at the Pre-Opening Showroom (2254B Hunters Woods Village Shopping Center) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 8).

Photo via Jan Dittmar/Facebook

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Annual Exhibit Showcases Fine Art Photos at ArtSpace Herndon

Finalists’ photographs for a contest have their work on display at ArtSpace Herndon starting today (Feb. 5).

The 10th Annual Fine Art Photography Exhibit features nearly three dozen finalists in the Fine Art Photography Competition.

A sneak peek at the artwork on ArtSpace Herndon’s website and Facebook shows some of the vibrant, colorful and dramatic photographs in the exhibit.

“These photographers show how a group of artists with a range of themes and skills can be brought together to exhibit work ranging from whimsical digital collages to realistic black and white prints to colorful abstract images, into one spectacular exhibit,” according to ArtSpace Herndon’s description of the exhibit.

Photographer Mary Louise Ravese is the competition’s judge. She selected the 45 photographs from more than 180 submissions from 93 professional and amateur photographers in Virginia, Maryland, D.C. and Pennsylvania.

Locals who visit the exhibit will see art by some Reston-area artists. A handful of members of the League of Reston Artists have their work showcased, including Vladimir Grablev, Maureen Costantino and Sandy Gherardi.

Ravese will announce the winners during the free awards reception from 7-9 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 9) at 750 Center Street.

The exhibit runs until March 2.

Photo via ArtSpace Herndon/Facebook 

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Artist Seeks ‘Sculpture Court’ Performers for NoVa Fine Arts Festival

Adults are needed to participate in a movement installation for the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.

Artist Heidi Latsky plans to “celebrate the beauty of differences” with a movement installation titled “ON DISPLAY/RESTON.” The installation is a sculpture court where the performers are the sculptures, according to the Reston Community Center.

The Reston installation is a local platform for a worldwide initiative called “ON DISPLAY,” which was created by a partnership between Heidi Latsky Dance, a New York City dance company, and the United Nations to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Men and women age 18 and older are able to participate — no formal dance experience is required. “Diversity and the most inclusive range of ability are welcome. The movement installations will involve focus, stillness and structured improvisation,” according to the press release.

“ON DISPLAY/RESTON” will take place on Saturday, May 18, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 19, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. People interested in participating should contact Kevin Danaher at [email protected]

The three-day festival at Reston Town Center is set to start on Friday, May 17, and last until Sunday, May 19. More than 200 artists are anticipated at the festival.

Photo by Charlotte Jones

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