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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Registration for ChalkFest at Reston Town Center is Now Open

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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Wednesday Morning Notes

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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New Art Exhibit Coming to Jo Ann Rose Gallery

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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New ‘Overlooked’ Exhibit Goes Beyond ‘Polite Conversation’

(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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Herndon HS Students Showcase ‘Mind, Heart and Vision’ in Upcoming Exhibit

Art students at Herndon High School have been busy preparing their senior theses. Some of their work will be on display in an upcoming ArtSpace Herndon exhibit next week.

The 9th annual exhibit, “Mind, Heart, Vision,” will include media like fine art photography, graphics and studio art. The school and ArtSpace Herndon partnered to make the exhibit, which displays juried artwork in a professional gallery, possible.

A reception is set for April 24 (Wednesday) from 6-8 p.m. Art will remain on display from April 23 (Tuesday) through May 11 (Saturday). The exhibit is located at 750 Center Street.

Artwork will be available for purchase.

Image via ArtSpace Herndon

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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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Thursday Morning Notes

Students score art awards — “South Lakes High School students swept the Fairfax County Art Region’s 2019 Regional Scholastic Art Awards, securing 24 honors. Twenty students earned a total of twenty-four awards, eight Gold Key, ten Silver Key and six Honorable Mentions.” [Connection Newspapers]

“Ambient Eye” performance — Ambient Eye is a multimedia collaboration between visual artist Monica Stroik and musician Doug Kallmeyer. They will improvise visual and auditory techniques at 7 p.m. at the Greater Reston Arts Center at Signature. The performance is free. Prosecco and petits fours will be provided by Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market. [GRACE/Facebook]

Run/walk from Reston Town Center — The Reston Runners will spend 50 minutes out and back from Potomac River Running in Reston Town Center starting at 6:30 p.m. [Reston Runners]

Photo courtesy Mark Yates

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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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Muse Paintbar Aiming for Summer Opening

Muse Paintbar didn’t open in the fall or winter. Now the wine and paint bar expects to open in a few months at Reston Town Center.

A spokeswoman for Muse Paintbar told Reston Now that the spot at 11943 Democracy Drive is expected to open this summer. (Reston Town Center also included it in a list of newcomers expected to open this year.)

Reston Now first reported about Muse Paintbar’s plans to come to Reston back in 2017.

Muse Paintbar, which combines painting instruction with a restaurant and bar, has 30 locations along the East Coast from Portland, Maine to Virginia Beach. Muse Paintbar is also “coming soon” to Arlington and Ashburn.

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