Reston, VA

The community is welcomed to celebrate the official opening of “Buoyant Force,” a 50-foot steel sculpture in Reston Town Center.

The community celebration, which is hosted by the Greater Reston Arts Center, is set for May 2 at 3 p.m. at Reston Town Square Park. The sculpture was installed earlier this year.

Artist Sue Wrbican, an associate professor and director of photography at George Mason University is behind the work, which was inspired by the paintings of American surrealist Kay Sage.

Here’s more from GRACE about the sculpture:

Buoyant Force is a 50-foot steel sculpture by Sue Wrbican inspired by the paintings of American Surrealist Kay Sage (b. 1898, Albany, New York; d. 1963, Woodbury, Connecticut). Sage, who lived in the shadow of her husband, the surrealist Yves Tanguy, is now recognized for her paintings of scaffolded structures and furled fabric in desolate landscapes. GRACE organized the first comprehensive exhibition of Wrbican’s work, entitled Well Past the Echo, in Fall 2017. The exhibition featured photography, maquettes of Sage-inspired structures, and a site-specific installation. It was featured in The Washington Post and East City Art. Based on the success of the exhibition, GRACE has commissioned Wrbican to realize one of her structures at full-size in Reston Town Square Park. 

More information about the sculpture is available online.

Photo via GRACE

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Aldrin Elementary School will unveil a new mosaic art piece in its lobby come April, to celebrate the school’s 25th anniversary.

The piece by international artist  Helen Marshall, will feature small mosaic tiles of students, teachers and community members at the school and make up a larger image of Buzz Aldrin’s iconic moon landing, according to Nicola Shelly, an Aldrin parent.

Shelley’s husband, Tom, is the President of Space Adventures and spearheaded fundraising efforts alongside the school’s principal, Nicola said.

Space Adventures is a company that opens up space travel opportunities to private citizens, according to its website.

Besides this upcoming project, Marshall commissioned other pieces for the Apollo 11 anniversary that were been displayed in London, New York and the Kennedy Space Center.

BBC recently featured Marshall’s work on another mosaic piece of Hilda Burkitt, an English suffragette.

Photo via Hellen Marshall/Facebook

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After the mysterious horse beheading at Lake Anne Plaza back in September, the artist of the wooden sculpture said that he is in the process of building a replacement.

The new horse is almost complete and will be available for public viewing shortly, artist Marco Rando said, confirming that natural decay caused the damages.

The name for the upcoming piece is “Intent, The Wooden Horse” and includes pieces from the previous version for the sake of nostalgia — including the head, Rando said.

“The horse is a metaphor for the energy and work required to bring an idea into existence, and the heart is the symbol for creative passion fueling intent,” he said.

Rando, who currently works at South Lakes High School, said he received assistance throughout the project from his students, who helped to conceptualize the design and will create graphics for the horse’s heart.

“These students are in my STEAM Studio Art & Design classes. They have been given a real-world assignment to design, create and fabricate a public work of art for Boston Properties and Reston Town Center,” Rando said. “The students have collaborated to achieve exceptional work.”

Photos courtesy Marco Rando

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A new art exhibit at the Greater Reston Arts Center uses collaged photographs to explore the memories of refugees living in Vietnamese internment camps.

“Day Dreams” by Khánh Lê will be on display from now through May 26, according to the webpage. Works in the collection explore concepts such as home, country and safety, according to the event page, which added that many pieces feature bits of his Vietnamese heritage and culture.

More from the Greater Reston Arts Center on the exhibit:

Lê creates dazzling compositions based on deteriorating photographs and collective memories of his and his relations’ experiences as refugees living in Vietnamese internment camps in the 1980s. Through the collaging of materials such as acrylic paintings, glitter, prints, and sparkling plastic craft jewels, Lê merges narratives–both horrific realities and idyllic fantasies–that are filled with tension as he explores notions of home, country, and safety.

The artist will be at the Greater Reston Arts Center (11850 Freedom Drive) on Thursday (Feb. 6) from 6-8 p.m. for an open reception and presentation.

People wanting to visit the display should arrive on the Freedom Drive side of the building and wait for the concierge to buzz them in, the event page said.

The hours for the exhibit are from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

Image via Greater Reston Arts Center/Facebook

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Friday Morning Notes

Smoking in Bed Causes Reston Townhouse Fire — A townhouse fire on Wednesday night was caused by “smoking while in bed,” according to fire investigators. The fire happened on the 2300 block of Antiqua Court. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Robert Simon Jr. Children’s Center Marks 30 Years — “This month, The Robert E. Simon Jr. Children’s Center marks thirty years serving area families with high-quality childcare. Named for Reston’s founder, the nonprofit Simon Center provides families throughout Northern Virginia with a warm, responsive and caring environment for children to learn and grow.” [Reston Patch]

Census Begins on April 1 — A Census invitation is heading to your mailbox next month. [U.S. Census Bureau]

Local Students Earn Scholastic Art Awards — “The 2020 Regional Scholastic Art Awards program has recognized 372 Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students in grades 7-12 with 571 awards including Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention awards, and American Visions Nominations.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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This Sunday (Jan. 18), the Liner Notes will perform “Music of the Movement.”

In this performance, the group will explore musical themes and the history of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s.

The performance is set to take place at CenterStage at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and tickets cost $15 for Reston residents.

“Always striving to care for its audience, Liner Notes revisits this turbulent time in our history with authenticity, thoughtfulness and integrity, drawing connections and examining the intersections with the adversity still prevalent today,” according to the event page.

Tomorrow (Jan. 18)

  • Book Launch Celebration for Laura Renauld (11 a.m. to noon) — Children’s book author Laura Renauld will be at Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive) for a meet and greet along with a book signing to debut her new book “Fred’s Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mr. Rogers.” This event is free and open to the public.
  • Wine Tasting (2 to 5 p.m.) — Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market (1871 Fountain Drive) will host a wine tasting with various wines and food. There will be experts on-site to help answer questions and suggest pairings.

Sunday (Jan. 19)

  • Adoption Fair at Just Cats in Reston (1 to 3 p.m.) — Anyone looking for a new furry friend can stop by the Just Cats Clinic (1601 Washington Plaza) to play with adoptable cats and see if they find a good match.
  • Self Guided Painting (3 to 7 p.m.) — Guests will have the chance to work off temples to paint various items during this opportunity for independent creation at Pinot’s Palette (12976 Highland Crossing Drive). The cost for this event is $25.

Photo via Reston Community Center/Facebook

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A new studio to make wooden art is opening early next year in Herndon.

AR Workshop Reston, which currently has a location in Loudoun County, plans to open at the Reston-Herndon Business Park (315 Spring Street) in January.

Co-owners Michelle Shepard and Jacqueline Maglione, who have been friends for more than a decade, said the Herndon location is currently under construction. They hope to create a space where friends and families can come and create together.

Patrons can make home decor like wood signs and centerpiece boxes at the studio. The business offers more than 900 deign options. Bookings for kids parties and other group events are available.

“We empower our guests to be creative and learn how to use power tools. Each project begins with a stencil and raw wood, but leaves as a gorgeous new piece of Home Decor the guest will be proud of,” they said.

The business is currently hiring part-time instructors.

The co-owners met through their children. They look forward to launching the new location in the coming year. An exact opening date has not been set yet.

Photos via AR Workshop Reston

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Seven art organizations across Fairfax County, including the Greater Reston Arts Center, were recently awarded part of a $105,296 grant from ARTSFAIRFAX.

The Greater Reston Arts Center plans to use the funds to display works from Moira Dryer, who currently has a larger selection of works displayed in D.C.

Dryer’s work “Yours for the Taking” is expected to be available for viewing from January to April, and the Reston Greater Arts Center is set to host a reception and curator talk on Jan. 18 from 4-7 p.m.

Each organization will receive a sum of money between $1,000 to $30,000 to assist with a specific project. ARTSFAIRFAX declined to share the specific grant amounts for recipients with Reston Now.

The seven art centers demonstrated factors including enrichment, economic growth for the area, accessibility to art and the ability to foster individual creativity, according to a press release.

“Project awardees presented innovative and creative means to engage the community and bring people together to experience arts in fresh and unusual ways,” the press release said.

Other grant recipients include the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra.

Image via Greater Reston Arts Center/Facebook

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After more than a year of restoration and fundraising, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum has installed new historic icons to honor Lakeside Pharmacy, one of the first businesses to open at Lake Anne Plaza.

The pharmacy, which operated in the plaza for nearly 50 years, closed after owner and pharmacist Larry Cohn retired in 2014. The icons, which were previously used to advertise for the pharmacy, were removed last year to make way for new businesses.

The new icons were installed a few steps away from their original location, despite a cease and desist request from the owner of Kiln and Co., a pottery business that also serves up frozen yogurt and is located next to the exhibit.

Sarah Selvaraj, the owner, said the installation of the icons on the wall — which is showing signs of disrepair — could cause further damage to area businesses. The museum did not formally respond to a Sept. 12 letter from Selvaraj’s attorney and a declined to offer public comment on the issue.

Hirad Najafbagy offered a significant donation in honor of his parents, Hooshang and Farah Najafbagy, who operated Calvert Gourmet Shop at the plaza for many years after immigrating to the United States. The exhibit was installed earlier this week with the help of Krohn Design and Capitol Museum Services.

A ribbon-cutting to celebrate the museum’s 22nd anniversary and the dedication for the new exhibit was held yesterday (Wednesday). More than 80 donors helped make the new exhibit possible.

Photos by Charlotte Geary Photography

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A local artist will debut her floral quilts and fiber art at a new exhibit in Reston next week.

Anne Smyers is the creator of “Sat It With Flowers,” an art installation that embodies her “love of flowers and propensity to work with botanical images,” according to the Reston Community Center event page.

The installation opens Monday, Sept. 16, and runs until Oct. 31 at RCC Hunter Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).

“Her work is informed by interests, including gardening; a lifelong practice of tai chi chuan, which is a Chinese meditative movement series; and her artistic eye that looks for the best arrangement of a given set of elements,” RCC said.

A free reception will be held from 2-4 p.m. next Sunday, Sept. 22, at RCC Hunter Woods. Smyers will speak at the event, where there will be refreshments for attendees.

Photo via Twitter/Studio Art Quilts

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Thursday Morning Notes

Light Shines on ‘Humble Reston Artist’ — “John Charles Koebert of Reston said that when he came home from college in the 1970s, and announced to his parents that he had decided to change his life direction and become an art major, he recalled that they said, “You are making a hard 90 degree turn to nowhere. …You’ll be living with us for the next fifty years.” After college, Koebert embraced his new career teaching art during the day and honing his artistic skills at night.” [The Connection]

ThreatQuotient Banks Millions in Funding — “Reston threat intelligence and security software company ThreatQuotient Inc. has raised $7.86 million in fresh funding — and it aims to double in size in the next year, according to CEO John Czupak.” [Washington Business Journal]

County Companies Top Fastest-Growing Businesses List — “Fairfax County is home to 116 companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 list, which is 37 percent of the 315 companies on the list from the Washington region and more than double the number from any other Washington-area county or city. Fairfax County’s businesses also account for 40 percent of Virginia’s 288 businesses appearing on this year’s list.  [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Artists of all ages and skill levels can now save the date for ChalkFest at Reston Town Center.

The annual event, which challenges artists to create chalk drawings on Market Street, is set for Saturday, September 14 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Registration is open in the following categories:

  • Professional artist: $25
  • Amateur artist: $25
  • Families and kids: $15

Prizes will be given to winning artists in each category. Participants will also get the chance to vote in the “audience choice awards.”

ChalkFest is presented by Public Art Reston and Reston Town Center. All proceeds from the event will benefit Public Art Reston’s projects and programs.

Last year’s event was cancelled due to the forecasted rain, but in 2017, the event drew more than 4,000 people.

Photo by Public Art Reston

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Reston Metro Center II Acquired — Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. has acquired the building, which is located at 12180 Sunrise Valley Drive for $18.6 million. It is currently fully leased to a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corporation, one of the largest defense contractors in the world. [GlobalNewswire]

Rainbow Flag Flies Again — A new pride flag was installed at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston on Wednesday, July 10. The flag, which is on a pole at the entrance of the church, was stolen three times in the last three months. [The Connection]

Creative Response on ‘Overlooked’ — Callie Hawkins, director of programming at President Lincoln’s Cottage, will respond to the exhibition, which is currently on view in the gallery tomorrow. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Greater Reston Arts Center. [GRACE]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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An upcoming exhibit at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery is looking to make a lasting impression on its audience.

The exhibit called “LASTING IMPRESSIONS”  features acrylic and oil paintings and mixed media by Karen Danenberger, a former painting teacher at Reston Community Center at Lake Anne.

“‘LASTING IMPRESSIONS’ is about those images that evoke personal memories,” according to the exhibit’s description. “From depictions of the Reston paths to scenes in the kitchens of friends and family, these paintings represent places that have meaning in my life and show what I have noticed about the world around me.”

Most of the paintings in the exhibit were created in the last five years, according to the description.

The exhibit opens Monday (July 1) and runs through July 29. An opening reception will be held next Sunday (July 7) from 2-4 p.m.

Photo via Karen Danenberger’s website

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(Updated on 06/27/19 at 5 p.m.) Greater Reston Arts Center’s new exhibit “Overlooked” presents the work of an artist who bring awareness to issues that are not a part of “polite conversation.”

The exhibit, which features nine artists, includes work that encourages the viewer to embrace compassion, empathy, critical reflection and healing.

The following artists are part of the new exhibit:

The opening reception is set for Saturday, July 13 from 5-7 p.m. at GRACE. Organizers wrote the following about the exhibit:

Overlooked will present the work of artists who are seeking to bring awareness to issues that are often unnoticed, ignored, or otherwise not part of “polite conversation.” These artists are not necessarily proposing solutions to society’s ills but are alternatively offering an opportunity for the viewer to engage in compassion, empathy, critical reflection, and even healing. Instead of offering a comprehensive exhibition of hot-button issues, Overlooked turns to the artists in our community and beyond to bring awareness to subjects that are important to their lives.

Creative responses are scheduled for July 18 and Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. An expert will respond to work on view by offering a short presentation, which will be follow up by open dialogue. The event, which is sponsored by Reston Community Center, is free and open to the public.

The exhibit will be on display from July 13 to Aug. 31.

Image via Larry W. Cook/Greater Reston Arts Center

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