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Friday Morning Notes

Updated at 9:05 a.m. — “STRETCH” closes Saturday (Feb. 9).

“STRETCH” closes today — GRACE’s third biennial exhibition closes today with a curator’s talk at 3 p.m. Co-curators Erica Harrison and Don Russell will discuss the process of organizing “STRETCH” and its major themes, followed by a Q&A. The talk is free. [GRACE]

Black History Month exhibit — The Reston Museum is celebrating Black History Month with a new exhibit showcasing how the Reston community combated racism during the 1960s and celebrated African American arts and culture with the creation of the annual Black Arts Festival. [Reston Museum]

RA is hiring — Want to join Member Services at the Reston Association? Check out the recently posted job openings. [Reston Assocation]

Cupid’s arrow hits Great Falls restaurant  — OpenTable recently unveiled its “100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America” ahead of Valentine’s Day next week. French restaurant L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls made the list. [Cision]

New bank for Great Falls — “The founder and former CEO of a prominent Reston bank is building a new one. Meet Trustar Bank.” The bank, which is awaiting FDIC approval, will be based in Great Falls. [Washington Business Journal]

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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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Friday Morning Notes

Open mic poetry — Virginia Poet Laureate Henry Hart and Bill Glose will kick off an open mic at 7 p.m. at ArtSpace Herndon. Then anyone can take the mic from 8-9 p.m. [ArtSpace Herndon]

Herndon business acquisition — Government contractor CACI recently announced it struck a $750 million deal to acquire Herndon-based LGS Innovations, which provides network infrastructure for the Defense Department and the intelligence community. CACI, which is based in Arlington, has major operations in Chantilly, Herndon, Lorton and Reston. [Washington Business Journal]

“For the Love of Art” — The League of Reston Artists will debut a new painting and photography exhibit at RCC Hunters Woods. While RCC programming is canceled today due to the snow, locals can check out the exhibit this weekend. It runs until Feb. 28.  [League of Reston Artists]

Photo via Patty Rollin

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NPR’s Abby Wendle Reviews Greater Reston Art Center’s Art Tonight

Abby Wendle, the producer of NPR’s “Invisibilia,” will spill her thoughts on art as a part of Greater Reston Art Center’s “Creative Response” events.

One Thursday of each month, GRACE invites an expert in their field to respond to the work on view in the gallery with an open discussion. Presenters may range from poets to dancers, from writers to musicians.

Wendle was a farm reporter for Harvest Public Media in rural Illinois and helped launch This Land Radio in Tulsa, Okla. Her work has appeared on NPR News, the BBC, CBC and ABC in Australia.

In her spare time, she enjoys creating experimental sound art, according to GRACE. In fact, she has an ongoing collaborative sonic experience called “~1652Hz (the howling dome)” in which people are invited to make noises they associate with a pain or grievance in their life.

Maryam Ovissi, the chief executive officer and founder of Beloved Yoga in Reston, will provide a “sonic introduction.”

The free monthly event is sponsored by Reston Community Center. The event starts at 7 p.m. tonight (Jan. 17) at 12001 Market Street, Suite 103.

Photo via Greater Reston Arts Center

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‘IRL’ Exhibit Debuts Tomorrow at the Greater Reston Arts Center

Updated at 11:05 a.m. — Corrects location of the exhibit

Art is imitating life — especially in an increasingly digital world.

Monica Stroik’s “Cyber series” opens tomorrow (Jan. 17) at the Greater Reston Arts Center at Signature (11850 Freedom Drive).

The series titled “IRL” — shorthand for “in real life” — explores “being present and disconnected simultaneously and how the natural world is entangled in our digital lives” by investigating he intersections between the organic, man-made and virtual worlds, according to the arts center.

Stroik, a Virginia-based painter and video artist, uses a combination of video and paintings for her ongoing series. Her website shows some of the colorful oil on canvas paintings, which depict buildings and nature juxtaposed with blocks and geometric designs.

Stroik’s artist statement says that her paintings depict the natural organic world in relation to the human architectonic influence.

“By standing in the ideal position, the paintings as a group serve to alter the viewer’s perception of space by providing the illusion of a continuous horizon line, which expands despite the confines of the physical architectural environment,” she wrote.

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The exhibit runs until April 23.

Photo via Greater Reston Arts Center

This story has been updated

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New Guide Profiles the Public Art of Reston Town Center

Updated at 5:30 p.m. — Clarifies the project as part of a series of guides and includes Phoebe Avery.

Locals may find Reston Town Center to be a difficult place to park a car or open a business, but it’s apparently a popular spot to view public art.

Charlotte Geary, a local photographer, worked on commission by Public Art Reston to photograph every public art piece for an upcoming guide.

“Finding the artwork was half the fun,” Geary said on her website. “It was like a scavenger hunt around town. Of course I knew the most prominent sculptures, like Mercury Fountain, but some of the other artwork was unfamiliar to me and thrilling to discover.”

Geary provided a glimpse behind the photographs on her blog, like her use of a fisheye lens to capture the curve of the buildings.

Phoebe Avery, who is also contracted for the project, is writing the text. Both Geary and Avery contributed to Public Art Retson’s first “Public Art Tour Series” guide, which highlighted public artworks at Lake Anne Village Center.

The second guide of the series is slated for a release sometime in 2019, Anne Delaney, the executive director of Public Art Reston, told Reston. “The purpose of the series is to create greater awareness about Reston’s public art collection — the community’s cultural assets — available to all at all time and free of charge,” she said in an email. 

While some of the artwork is prominent, others are more obscure, like troll sculptures hidden under a bridge and half-concealed in undergrowth.

Photo via Charlotte Geary

This story has been updated

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Polls open for the special election — Voters will decide today who will replace Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton for the 33rd District seat in the State Senate. Democrat Del. Jennifer Boysko, currently representing the 86th District, is running against Republican Joe May, who represented the 33rd District as an Independent delegate from 1994 to 2014. [Virginia Department of Elections]

Bollywood dance class — Get in shape with a fitness class from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Reston Regional Library. [Reston Regional Library]

“Invisible Listeners” exhibit ends — Today is the last day to see Rahshia Sawyer’s photography at the Greater Reston Arts Center at Signature before it closes. [Greater Reston Arts Center]

But a new exhibit opens — The “Three Moves to Divine” exhibit opens today at ArtSpace Herndon to provide a photographic memory of Ghana by Randy Preston, along with written and read work from guest poets. [ArtSpace Herndon]

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‘Variety — The Spice of Life’ Exhibit Opens Tuesday at Jo Ann Rose Gallery

What is the spice of life? One artist delves into that topic with a new exhibit of paintings titled “Variety – The Spice of Life.”

Lassie Corbett, a Reston artist, will have her paintings on display at RCC Lake Anne’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609-A Washington Plaza) starting tomorrow (Jan. 8).

“Corbett captures a mood, glowing light, subtle color and — above all — the chi, or spirit, in her paintings,” the Reston Community Center posted. Corbett draws on nature and outdoor scenic locations for her art with watercolor as her main medium, the post says.

Inspired by a two-year stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines, Corbett’s art has taken her around the world — from painting in Greece to sketchbook journaling in Turkey. She has taught painting workshops in Ireland, England, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Peru and Hawaii.

She has also taught locally with acrylic painting, collage, Chinese brush painting and watercolor painting classes at the Herndon Community Center.

The exhibit runs until Feb. 4. A reception will be held on Sunday, Jan. 27, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Images via Reston Art Gallery

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New Steel Sculpture in Reston Town Center Delayed Until Spring

The Greater Reston Arts Center has pushed back the completion of a new 50-foot steel sculpture in Reston Town Center from this fall to spring 2019. 

Reston Now previously reported the installation and an opening ceremony were expected in August.

Now, the sculpture’s anticipated unveiling is set for spring after the project faced construction delays, Lily Siegel, executive director and curator of the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), told Reston Now.

“As we embarked on [the project], things have shifted and got a little bit delayed,” she said.

Titled “Buoyant Force,” the sculpture by artist Sue Wrbican is inspired by the work of Kay Sage, an American surrealist who was known for her paintings of scaffolded structure and furled fabric in barren landscapes. GRACE previously featured Wrbican’s work last fall.

Currently, the sculpture is being fabricated by two fabricators. The main 50-foot piece is getting welded together at one fabricator’s shop in Rockville Md.

Siegel said that the GRACE team has dropped in several times on the fabrication, describing the tall piece as reminiscent of scaffolding or the inside of a skyscraper. Even though the 50-foot piece is lying on the ground, “it’s very impressive,” she said. “The impact is pretty powerful.”

A second fabricator is making other steel structures that will get attached to the sculpture. Both sourced preexisting, pre-fabricated materials at Wrbican’s request. 

While the main work on the pieces is “pretty much done,” technical details still need finishing before installation. Once the pieces are on site, the installation will require a crane and boom lift, she said.

“Buoyant Force” marks Seigel’s first public sculpture — an undertaking that has taught her quite a bit throughout the process. For starters, the project initially planned to have one fabricator, before she decided the work required two people, she said.

“It’s taking a whole team of professionals to get this done,” Seigel said That team includes architects, inspectors, a concrete team, engineers, movers and — of course — the artist.

Seigel also took a new approach to fund the sculpture. For the first time, GRACE started a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs. Locals can donate online.

So far, the campaign raised about $50,000 — nearly half of the required funds — in roughly five months, she said. The Reston Town Center Association, Reston Community Center, ArtsFairfax and Public Art Reston are some of the places that have donated.

Seigel said the “slow” fundraising efforts are not causing the delay.

Additionally, the architect, engineer, concrete company and transportation company are providing pro bono work — a donation of its own kind, she said.

Siegel said a community celebration to mark the grand opening will happen.

After that, she plans to host programming, including dance, poetry and education, around the sculpture, which is expected to be on view for five years. “We’re looking for different ways to bring the community back around the sculpture” with different perspectives, she said. “We are incredibly excited about this project.”

Images via Greater Reston Arts Center 

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‘STRETCH’ Exhibit Coming to Greater Reston Arts Center

If you could do anything, what would that be?

The Greater Reston Arts Center selected five artists based on their answers to that very question for an upcoming exhibit called “STRETCH.”

The exhibit, slated for Dec. 15 through Feb. 9, will present new work by James Huckenpahler, Monroe Isenberg, Katie Kehoe, Melanie Kehoss and Harry Mayer.

The website provides a glimpse into what some of the artists plan to create.

Huckenpahler, a D.C.-based artist who works mainly in digital media, will make large digital prints of a three-dimensional landscape of his X-rayed laptop.

Isenberg, a sculptor and installation artist who mostly uses wood and steel, will create an immersive installation that “investigates the relationships that become apparent in the space between the spirit world and ourselves.”

For the exhibit, Kehoss, who focuses on light boxes, plans to explore the “origins of food-related phenomena related to the history of sugar.”

While specifics for the exhibit are not available yet, the website says Kehoe is currently diving into ecological concerns in places that are expected to go underwater due to climate change. Kehoe, who works in performance, interdisciplinary sculpture and drawing, documents herself carrying or wearing hand-made life-jacket, life ring, bodyboards and buoys made from salvaged materials.

Lastly, Mayer, who draws upon mundane experiences and humor to create his sculptures from construction materials, “proposes to give the viewer a visceral experience that encourages a sense of playfulness.”

“STRETCH” is curated by Don Russell, a guest curator, and Erica Harrison, the associate curator and festival director of the art center. This exhibit marks Greater Reston Arts Center’s third biennial exhibit with a guest curator supporting local artists.

The Greater Reston Arts Center plans to host a reception — free and open to the public — from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Photo via Greater Reston Arts Center website

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Save the Date: Monster Drawing Rally Set for Dec. 1

For the second time in two years, Greater Reston Art Center‘s gallery will be transformed into a public performance space for the Monster Drawing Rally, a live drawing event, and fundraiser.

The event, set for Dec. 1 from 1-5 p.m., draws artists from the Greater Washington area and challenges them to create artwork on-site using their preferred medium. The artwork is hung on the wall and available for purchase for $75 each. If more than one person wants to purchase the artwork, a draw of cards determines the winner.

In a new addition this year, Jessica Stafford Davis, founder of The Agora Culture, a national online multicultural arts platform, and the team at STABLE, a DC-based studio complex, will help event organizers select and invite participating artists.

All proceeds benefit exhibition programming at GRACE.

Here’s more from organizers about Davis and STABLE:

Jessica Stafford Davis is the founder of The Agora Culture LLC (TAC), a national online multicultural arts platform that supports emerging artists of color and collectors at all level through educational programming, art salons, and the annual Art on the Vine exhibition in Martha’s Vineyard. Art on the Vine is one of the only contemporary African-American art fairs presenting critically-acclaimed, institutional level work in the United States, and features a four-week residency created by Ms. Stafford Davis to give young artists of the African diaspora a space to continue to explore their practice.

Ms. Stafford Davis is the 2018 and first recipient of the Arena Stage Emerging Leader Award. She currently serves on the board of The Smith Center for Healing in the Arts, is a member of the George Mason University School of Art Advisory Board and ArtTable. She previously served as a member of the board of Washington Project for the Arts. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science from George Mason University. Jessica resides in McLean, Virginia, with her two sons.

STABLE is a DC-based studio complex that provides visual artists with an active, affordable workspace to pursue their profession. STABLE’s mission is to strengthen DC’s contemporary visual arts community by providing sustainable studio space, fostering an engaged, diverse community, and extending access to local, national, and international audiences through partnerships, programming, and exhibitions. STABLE was co-founded by  Tim Doud, Linn Meyers, and Caitlin Teal Price.

Photo via GRACE

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‘Three Artistic Runners’ Bring Batik Work to Reston Community Center

Three runners united by their common interests in running and art will display their work at Reston Community Center next week.

The exhibit, titled “Three Artistic Runners,” will run from Oct. 9 through Nov. 5. It features the watercolor, acrylic and crayon batik work of Jerry Lewis, Bob Lambert and Mohsen Alashmoni.

Lewis and Lambert are members of Reston Runners and have run together for more than 25 years. They have also participated in triathlons, exhibited their work at RCC open art shows, and taken art classes together over the past 15 years.

Alashmoni, who lives in Cairo and founded his own company, Maadi Runners, met Lewis at weekend running club meetings during running club events in Cairo, Egypt. Their friendship grew stronger as Lewis took part in Alashmoni’s company, which offers a platform for Egyptians and expatriates to train, social and travel to marathons.

Alashmoni and Lewis have run marathons together and had a month-long, two-man art show at RCC Hunters Woods called “Side by Side in Europe.

Photo via RCC

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New Exhibit at Hunters Woods Features Art by Older Adults

A new exhibition featuring the work of artists age 55 and above is coming to Reston next week.

The exhibit, “Young at Art,” opens on Oct. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the showroom of Hunters Woods at Trails Edge (2254B Hunters Woods Plaza).

Attendees can meet the artists behind the event and enjoy local wines paired with desserts. RSVP by emailing [email protected] or by calling 703-708-4047.

Hunters Woods at Trails Edge is an independent living and assisted living facility expected to open by the spring of 2019. The $72 million project is the first Virginia location for IntegraCare.

Photo via Marion Myers

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Take a Tour of Lake Anne Plaza’s Public Art

Aside from several stand-out pieces, there are a lot of art displays to explore around Lake Anne Plaza.

On Friday, Oct. 10, art historian Phoebe Avery will offer a walking tour of art around the plaza. The tour begins in front of Lake Anne Coffee House.

The event is presented by Reston Association and Public Art Reston. Registration is $5 for Reston Association members and $8 for all others. The tour will run from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Other tours are also planned by RA, including a newcomers’ bus tour on Saturday and a Hunter Mill Road historical tour on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

File photo

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