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by RestonNow.com — August 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm 1 Comment

The next exhibition at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) will feature the work for D.C.-based artist Sue Wrbican.

Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo” will be on view at the gallery Sept. 9 through Nov. 18. According to a press release from GRACE:

This first comprehensive exhibition of Wrbican’s work will bring together her most recent photographic series inspired by the landscape paintings of American Surrealist Kay Sage (1898-1963) — The Eventual Outcome of an Instant and Biography of Catastrophe — both dealing with ideas of epic journeys, one personal and the other representing impossible connections through time, place and dimension. The exhibition will also feature a site-specific installation and sculptural elements. Over the years, Wrbican has had many instances of encounter with Sage, a one-time student of painting at the Corcoran School of Art. By building three-dimensional models of Sage’s painted structures, Wrbican not only actualizes the hallucinatory images from Sage’s two-dimensional renderings but makes them relevant for the contemporary viewer in an ever-changing landscape.

Wrbican is an associate professor and director of photography at the School of Art at George Mason University. Her education includes an MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design, and BA in English writing with a concentration in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh.

A free public reception to celebrate the show’s opening is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9 from 5-7 p.m. at GRACE. Further free public programming related to the exhibition will include:

  • Creative Responses (Thursdays, Sept. 28 and Oct. 26, 6-7 p.m.): Hear a creative professional respond to the work on view in the gallery. The short presentation will be followed by open conversation. Presenters may include poets, dancers, writers, musicians, visual artists and more. The Oct. 26 response will be held in conjunction with the Now Be Here project.
  • Conversation and Book Release with Sue Wrbican and Lily Siegel (Saturday, Nov. 4, 3 p.m.): Enjoy the release of Wrbican’s book, “Biography of Catastrophe and the Eventual Outcome of an Instant,” and a conversation with Wrbican and gallery curator Lily Siegel. The book’s cover is crafted with material from one of the sails in the narrative. Varied covers featuring a handwritten embroidered title and binding by the author make each book unique in an edition of 50.

Images courtesy Sue Wrbican/Greater Reston Arts Center

by Brooke Giles — July 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

The first show of NextStop Theatre Company’s season, “A Grand Night for Singing,” recently opened.

The musical revue, based on the music from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, takes both the least known and the most popular hits from the playwright duo and gives them new meaning. Rodgers and Hammerstein were the minds behind popular musicals like “The Sound of Music” and “The King and I.”

The show is one of two shows chosen by Evan Hoffmann, producing artist director, to show the “power of catharsis” in theater.

“This season debut is such a fun evening of theatre with remarkably talented singers,” Hoffmann said in a press release. “It fills the theatre space with joy–both from the music and from our patrons. In our ‘Point and Counterpoint’ season, it’s a great match in our ‘catharsis pair’ to the play ‘Disgraced,’ which comes next in September.”

The company has converted their warehouse performance space into a “club-like environment” that opens the setup to be explored and even features a bar on stage.

Led by director Michael J. Bobbitt, the cast and crew include Matthew Hirsh, Karen Vincent, Katherine Riddle, Sarah Anne Sillers and Marquise White. The production team includes Elisa Rosman, Bobby Libby, Jason Arnold, Reid May, Laura Moody and Jessica Dubish.

The theater is located at 269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon. The show runs until Aug. 20, with performances on Wednesdays through Sundays. Ticket prices change with performance popularity, ranging from $17.50 to $55. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 866-811-4111.

Pictures courtesy Lock and Company

by Kalina Newman — July 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm 22 Comments

There will be an all-around focus on activism and civil rights during Reston Community Center’s 2017-18 Professional Touring Artist Series at the CenterStage.

As part of that focus, Tamika D. Mallory will speak on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15, 2018) as part of Reston’s Dr. King Birthday Celebration. Mallory was national co-chair of the Women’s March in January, which saw hundreds of thousands protesting in DC and upward of 5 million participating worldwide.

According to her profile on the Women’s March website:

Tamika D. Mallory is nationally recognized as a fiery and outspoken champion for social justice who has worked closely with the Obama Administration as an advocate for civil rights issues, equal rights for women, health care, gun violence, and police misconduct. Tamika has been publicly applauded as “a leader of tomorrow” by Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Valerie B. Jarrett, and was selected to serve on the transition committee of New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio.

Mallory is also considered a “leading figure in the grassroots, community-based effort to stop gun violence,” according to the website. She has been in the news recently for her statements against the National Rifle Association.

Mallory is just one of the speakers slated for the coming season of the CenterStage series. Another is Terry Tempest Williams, who will speak on environmentalism on Saturday, Dec. 2. According to her website, Williams is “a writer who speaks and speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice.”

Paul Douglas Michnewicz, RCC’s director of arts and events, says there will be something for everyone during the 2017-18 season.

“Deeply personal and highly engaging, the Professional Touring Artist Season at the Reston Community Center will activate your spirit and motivate your soul,” he said.

The activism won’t just come through speakers either. Chicano rock band Quetzal, who will kick off the series Oct. 1, is described as using music “as a form of politically engaged community-building.”

The full CenterStage season lineup is listed below. Tickets will go on sale for Reston residents Aug. 1, and for non-Reston residents Aug. 8.

For more information about any of the performances, visit the Reston Community Center website or call 703-476-4500.

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by Dave Emke — July 17, 2017 at 11:30 am 8 Comments

Dr. Tuliza Fleming, curator of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, will visit Reston this weekend for a discussion with artist Radcliffe Bailey.

Bailey is an Atlanta-based mixed media artist whose work is currently on view at both the museum and the Greater Reston Arts Center, where his exhibit “The Great Dismal Swamp” will be through Aug. 18. According to GRACE, Bailey’s work “layers imagery, culturally resonant materials and text to explore themes of ancestry, race and memory.”

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened to the public last September and was visited by 1 million people within its first few months. It features exhibits about African-American struggles, triumphs, activism, entertainment and much more.

The free event will take place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). The formal discussion will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.

RSVP is required and can be made by emailing William Parker at [email protected].

Image via Wikimedia user Fuzheado

by RestonNow.com — June 26, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

The 51st season of the Reston Community Players will feature four performances of well-known and critically acclaimed shows.

It will begin in October with a staging of Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida.” A story of an enslaved Nubian princess that finds her heart entangled with an Egyptian soldier who is betrothed to the Pharaoh’s daughter, the musical will be staged by RCP from Oct. 20-Nov. 11.

Next, “Peter and the Starcatcher” is the story of an apprentice starcatcher and a young orphan boy who find themselves on a life-changing adventure when they are charged with protecting magical starstuff from fearsome pirates. It will be performed Jan. 19-Feb. 3, 2018.

Tennessee Williams’ play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is an American classic brimming with intensity and wit. RCP will bring it to the local stage March 9-24, 2018.

RCP will close the season with “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” a spirited musical romp that takes the audience back to the height of the Jazz Age in New York City. It will be performed April 20-May 12.

Reston Community Players perform at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) at Reston Community Center. Season tickets are now available for purchase online, and single-ticket sales will begin Saturday, Sept. 23.

For additional information, visit www.restonplayers.org or call 703-476-4500.

by Dave Emke — June 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm 3 Comments

The annual Chalk on the Water festival this weekend at Lake Anne Plaza brought out a bevy of artists, young and old, to color bricks with public art.

About 150 participants gathered on the plaza Saturday and Sunday to be a part of the annual event. Artists participated in four categories: family/elementary, family/junior and senior high school, amateur artists, and professional artists. Cash prizes were awarded in each category.

Winners at the festival were:

Professional Artists
1st Place: Ben Morse
2nd Place: Penny Hauffe
3rd Place: Phil Erickson

Amateur Artists
1st Place: Bruce Wright
2nd Place: April Komar
3rd Place: Maria Dorodnitsyna

Family/Junior and Senior High
1st Place: Nadya Steare
2nd Place: Charlotte Cottrell
3rd Place: Ian Henry

Family/Elementary
1st Place: Savannah Beard
2nd Place: Sofia Kortanek
3rd Place: Kim Stavio

All of the artwork from the weekend’s festival will remain visible on the plaza until it wears off naturally.

Photos courtesy Public Art Reston

by Kalina Newman — June 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Tennessee Loveless is an outsider.

Born severely colorblind, Loveless worked relentlessly as an artist despite failing out of art school. With no formal training, he was let down dozens of times before he his work was noticed.

Now he’s partnered with Disney and has a new collection called “Art Outsiders” on display at the ArtInsights gallery in Reston Town Center (11921 Freedom Drive), created with the collaboration of ArtInsights owner Leslie Combemale.

Both Combemale and Loveless will be at French bistro Mon Ami Gabi (11950 Democracy Drive) Tuesday at 6 p.m. for an evening of food, wine and art discussion. The Art Outsiders collection will be on display and the two will discuss the creative process behind the development of the project.

The evening will begin with a welcome reception, followed by a selection of hors d’oeuvres. In addition, attendees will be served a five-course meal paired with a boutique wine selection. Food includes a crispy goat cheese salad and charred bison rib-eye. The full menu can be found here.

“Art Outsiders”  is a collection of abstract portraits of various figures that all have one thing in common. Everyone depicted in Loveless’s collection was an outsider in their field of work, a reflection of Loveless’s own story. These portraits are people in the fields of science, art, music and beyond and each work of art displays a narrative of history, courage and perseverance. . Some notable figures include Vincent Van Gogh, David Bowie and Andy Warhol.

Tickets for the event are $75 and must be purchased in advance by calling 703-707-0233.

Image of Tennessee Loveless artwork

by Dave Emke — May 25, 2017 at 2:45 pm 5 Comments

This past weekend’s Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival was a major success for Greater Reston Arts Center, its executive director says.

“I can tell you that not only is the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival a marquee cultural event for the area, it is GRACE’s largest fundraiser,” said Lily Siegel, GRACE’s executive director and curator. “We, again, successfully raised half of our operating budget for the year.”

Siegel said the annual operating budget for GRACE is about $550,000.

She said that while attendance for the event cannot be accurately measured because of the numerous entrance points to Reston Town Center, casual counts have organizers estimating between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors over the course of the weekend.

Those thousands of visitors gave a lot of positive reaction to the cultural event, Siegel said.

“Response from the public and the artists was overwhelmingly positive,” she said. “We repeatedly heard that this year’s festival had the highest quality of work on display yet [and] it continues to get stronger every year.”

Siegel also said the festival’s jurors were “consistently impressed” by the excellence of the work at the show.

“This is one of the most competitive fine arts festivals in the country to gain acceptance to and it shows,” she said. “This all goes hand-in-hand with the mission of making the festival an extension of the gallery experience available to the public throughout the year at the Greater Reston Arts Center.”

Photos by Megan Myers and Carol Nahorniak

by RestonNow.com — May 17, 2017 at 10:15 am 1 Comment

Fans of public art now have greater access to Reston’s collection, as it has been added to a national online database thanks to the efforts of Public Art Reston.

Three dozen pieces of public art in the community are now catalogued in the Public Art Archive. They can be accessed by searching for “Reston, VA” on the website, which is currently featuring on its front page Patrick Dougherty’s “A Bird in the Hand” temporary installation outside Greater Reston Arts Center.

“We are pleased to incorporate Reston’s public art collection into the Public Art Archive after months of extensive collection management work by Public Art Reston’s art administrators,” said Lori Goldstein, the archive’s manager. “Reston’s collection shows outstanding diversity in the variety of projects, artists and sites chosen for both permanent and temporary public art throughout the community, and it is evident that Public Art Reston has excelled in establishing collaborative and creative partnerships to bring projects to fruition.”

Among the works pictured, detailed and mapped in the archives are sculptures, fountains, architecture and more. Public Art Reston committed to contributing content to PAA’s digital repository in order to give broader access to the community’s public art collection, its executive director Anne Delaney said.

“Creating greater awareness of Reston’s cultural assets supports Public Art Reston’s mission to inspire an ongoing commitment to public art and create a new generation of artworks in Reston,” she said.

Screencap via PublicArtArchive.org

by Dave Emke — May 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm 5 Comments

Metro’s Art in Transit Program is recommending the vision of a Colorado-based artist to become the motif of the future Reston Town Center Metro station.

Last week, the program unveiled the proposal of Joshua Wiener as its pick for the public art installation at the station’s walkways over the Dulles Toll Road. Wiener’s designs, which are shown on his personal website, consist of powder-coated aluminum sculptures of a bassist, a horn player and a drummer, as well as flowing red and teal ribbon designs down the corridors.

Wiener’s proposal was chosen over two other finalists. The program received 45 total submissions for the project. The Art Review Panel included the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, the Arts Council of Fairfax County, Public Art Reston and other Virginia-based visual art professionals.

According to the Art in Transit Program, the public art initiative benefits Metro as a whole by:

  • Creating attractive transit facilities
  • Building livable communities by creating public spaces that reflect the artistic, cultural and historic environment
  • Creating economic opportunities for artists, engineers, fabricators and other professionals

WMATA’s Customer Service Operations and Security Committee approved the proposal at its Thursday meeting. The full WMATA board will vote on it this summer. Upon board approval, WMATA will enter into contract with Wiener to develop, fabricate and install the artwork.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is overseeing construction of Phase II of the Silver Line, is funding the public art effort. The project’s funding is capped at $250,000.

by RestonNow.com — April 6, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Reston Community Players will put a wrap on their 50th season next month by staging the Noël Coward comedy “Private Lives.”

Coward’s 1930 play features a divorced couple who meet by chance while honeymooning with their new spouses. According to a press release from RCP:

“[The characters] reignite the old spark and impulsively elope. After days of being reunited, they again find their fiery romance alternating between passions of love and anger. Their aggrieved spouses appear, and a circle dance of affiliations ensues as the women first stick together, then break ranks, and new partnerships are formed.”

The show’s director, Adam Konowe, said the play is not as “flippant [or] even superficial” as it might appear at first glance.

“Look closer and appreciate how Coward skillfully embedded critiques in rapier-like dialogue,” he said.

The show’s cast includes Richard Isaacs as Elyot Chase, Rachel Hubbard as Amanda Prynne, Andy Gable as Victor Prynne, Caity Brown as Sibyl Chase, and Lisa Young as Louise. The creative team, headed by Konowe, also includes Suzanne Johnson, Laura Baughman, Mary Ann Hall, Eileen Mullee, Tel Monks, Michael O’Connor, William Chrapcynski, Maggie Modig, Doug Rolston, Scott Birkhead, Sara Birkhead, Bea Morse, Jerry Morse, Julie Cherundolo, Lilya Eberle and Mary Jo Ford.

Opening night for the production will be Friday, May 5 at 8 p.m. at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) at Reston Community Center. Evening performances will follow each Friday and Saturday through May 20; in addition, there will be a matinee show Sunday, May 14, at 2 p.m.

The Community Players’ 2016-17 season opened with “Gypsy,” which won five Washington Area Community Theatre Honors awards. RCP has also presented “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” and “Rock of Ages” this season.

RCP has announced its first two shows of the 2017-18 season will be “Aida” (Oct. 20-Nov. 11) and “Peter and the Star Catcher” (Jan. 19-Feb. 3).

For more information about “Private Lives” or to buy tickets, call 703-476-4500, ext. 3, or visit restonplayers.org.

Image courtesy Reston Community Players

by RestonNow.com — April 4, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Inspired by springtime, the works of local artist Dorothy Donahey are currently on display at Reston Art Gallery and Studios (11400 Washington Plaza W.) on Lake Anne.

“First Blooms” showcases acrylic and oil paintings from the artist, an expert in commercial color printing who has traveled the nation lecturing on colorimetry for Reston’s HunterLab.

Donahey’s paintings are in the realms of representational abstraction and realism. She is known for her “Awareness Donkey,” which was featured on Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C. and is now part of the permanent collection at American University.

According to a press release about the exhibit:

The self-explanatory title of Donahey’s new show is inspired by the spring landscape, and a goal to “give people a little sunshine,” born out of the news, the cold and the loss of cherry blossoms at the tidal basin. The season can be enjoyed throughout the year through the paintings in this show.

The “First Blooms” exhibit will be on display at Reston Art Gallery throughout the month of April, including during Founder’s Day festivities at Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday. The official opening reception for the show is Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

Image: “Pastoral” — courtesy Dorothy Donahey/Reston Art Gallery and Studios

by RestonNow.com — March 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Rebekah Wingert Jabi/Public Art Reston

A trio of documentary films on the tradition of public art in Reston will be screened Tuesday at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).

Rebekah Wingert Jabi/Public Art RestonPublic Art Reston will present the three short films, works of award-winning director Rebekah Wingert-Jabi, who will also attend the event to discuss them. The films — “Emerge: The Making of a Community Public Art Project,” “Fun, Beauty, Fantasy: Reston’s Public Art” and “A Bird in the Hand — Patrick Dougherty’s Sculptural Installation in Reston, VA” — explore the legacy of Reston’s public art and show how Public Art Reston works to advance it.

“Since Reston was established over 50 years ago, public art has played a central role in defining the unique character of our community,” said Wingert-Jabi, a Reston native. “As Public Art Reston celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2017, it is a particularly important time to have a discussion of what public art has meant to our community and how we would like to see it advanced here over the next 10 years.”

The films will be screened beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Public Art Reston’s presentation is in collaboration with Reston Community Center. The event is free.

Photos courtesy Public Art Reston

by RestonNow.com — March 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Reston Community Players logoReston Community Players’ performance of “Gypsy” took home five honors Sunday night at the annual Washington Area Community Theatre Honors (WATCH) awards ceremony.

In addition to the awards won by “Gypsy,” the Community Players were also recognized with an award for their performance of “Mary Poppins” to bring their total number of wins for the 2016 season to six.

The full list of awards won Sunday night by Reston Community Players:

  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical: Jennifer Lambert (as Rose) in “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical: Ken and Patti Crowley, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical: Joshua Redford, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical: Kathy Dunlap, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Hair Design in a Musical: Chris Dore, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Special Effects: Greg Steele, Sara Birkhead and Rich Bird, “Mary Poppins”

The troupe was nominated 23 times, second-most among the 27 participating theater companies.

The next production by the Reston Community Players, “Rock of Ages,” will open Friday night at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).

by RestonNow.com — February 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Students from around the area are preparing to have their artwork on display at the Greater Reston Arts Center, where two March exhibits will be celebrations of Youth Art Month.

The first, GRACE Art: Celebrating Creativity, will be on display March 3-11 and will showcase the work of local elementary school students. The second, Emerging Visions: Interactions, will be on display March 17-April 1 and will feature the work of high schoolers.

Celebrating Creativity will highlight projects from GRACE Art program. Nearly 40 area schools participate in this program, in which trained classroom volunteers deliver an interactive art history lesson with materials and visuals supplied by GRACE, followed by a related in-class art project. Schools whose students will have art displayed in the exhibit include Academy of Christian Education, Aldrin Elementary, Armstrong Elementary, Crossfield Elementary, Flint Hill Elementary, John Kerr Elementary and Willow Springs Elementary.

After viewing GRACE’s exhibition last fall, Shih Chieh Huang: Synthetic Transformations, students from three area high schools — Herndon, Oakton and South Lakes — were asked to explore different interpretations and aspects of interactions. They worked directly with the education director at GRACE, and the final selections from their work will be shown in the Emerging Visions exhibition.

Several free art activities will also be offered for families throughout the month, and gallery visitors will be able to participate in hands-on art activities related to the art shown in the exhibition.

Key dates throughout the month are as follows:

  • GRACE Art: Celebrating Creativity opening reception and Family Day: Saturday, March 4, noon-4 p.m.
  • Emerging Visions: Interactions opening reception: Saturday, March 18, 6-8 p.m.
  • Studying Art Post Secondary School workshop, Saturday, March 25, 5-6:30pm

To register for the workshop, contact Stephanie Booth at [email protected] or 703-471-0952, ext. 118

The Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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