Reston, VA

Monday Morning Notes

Maryland Man Arrested in Connection with Robbery — Police believe Ronald Smith, 46, assaulted a man while he was walking along Sunrise Valley Drive on May 14 at around 8:30 p.m. Smith, a Maryland resident, was charged with robbery and possession of marijuana. The victim had minor injuries. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Masks Required on Metro Starting Today“Face coverings or masks be required when traveling on Metro effective Monday, May 18. The move strengthens Metro’s position on the matter, which has ‘strongly recommended’ the use of face coverings since early April.” [WMATA]

Greater Reston Arts Center Exhibit Reviewed — “For those looking for an introduction to the book art space, The Velocity of a Page covers ample ground. Others will be compelled to search out the book-makers for more. In fact, the way to get the most out of this exhibition is to leave it. This is something the curator seems to understand, and is perhaps why The Velocity of a Page is marketed as multi-platform.” [Hyper Allergic]

Photo by vantagehill/Flickr

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Along with a myriad of other events, the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival in Reston has been rescheduled for later this year.

Event organizers made the call yesterday (March 24) to postpone the festival, which brings together a variety of handcrafted art pieces, until September due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release.

Now, the festival is set to take place from September 11-13, according to the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE).

“Our first priority is the health and well-being of our artists, volunteers, sponsors, and patrons,” GRACE’s Associate Curator and Festival Director, Erica Harrison said in the press release.

This annual event draws more than 30,000 guests from around the D.C. area, according to a press release.

As originally planned, the festival will still take place at the Reston Town Center.

Photo via Northern Virginia Arts Festival/Facebook

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Greater Reston Arts Center has selected a new executive director and curator after former head Lily Siegel resigned earlier this year.

Jaynelle Hazard will lead the organization as it rebrands and repositions itself in the community as a cultural force, according to a press release.

“I intend to expand GRACE’s already critically engaged practice by introducing new methods to advance scholarship; extend its reach in interdisciplinary experimentation of contemporary art and ideas; and engage audiences of all backgrounds and identities,” Hazard said.

Here’s more from the release:

Hazard received her BA in Fashion Design & Merchandising from Virginia Commonwealth University and her MA in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York (she is currently DC Chapter Co-Chair for Sotheby’s Institute of Art Alumni). For the last two years she has been the Director of Exhibitions for the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia, where she oversaw five main gallery spaces, six artist-run galleries, outdoor installations and community-related projects (including a highly regarded outdoor mural project and festival), produced 75+ exhibitions, provided opportunities for 200+ artists, bolstered a new base of over 700 visitors, and grew social media presence by more than 2,000 followers. Before that she lived in New York working as Art Collection Administrator for the important UBS art collection (supporting an inventory of 30,000 modern and contemporary art works). She also spent four years in Cape Town, South Africa, a time that included serving on the team at Blank Projects Art Gallery. She is the Chair of the Faith Flanagan Fellowship and Co-Chair of the State of Art 5/DC conference for the DC Chapter of ArtTable, Inc. (the foremost professional organization dedicated to advancing the leadership of women in the visual arts).

“Jaynelle differentiated herself from a strong list of candidates with her inspiring contemporary curatorial vision and aesthetic since, first and foremost, we are a content organization dedicated to delivering the very best contemporary cultural experience,” said Robert Goudie, GRACE Board Chair. “And at a time when we are growing the strength of our voice in the regional and national cultural conversation, Jaynelle also brings strong connections to art networks in the DC region and New York. There are a lot of very talented people in our region, but Jaynelle, I think, is someone who can really establish for herself and GRACE pretty special and distinguished territory.”

Siegel left GRACE to become the new executive director of Hamiltonian Artists in the District as its fellowship program and exhibit transitions into a nonprofit organization.

Photo by Prathibha Polapragada

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Crafters can now enjoy AR Workshop, a new do-it-yourself studio that opened in Herndon today (Thursday).

A grand opening party is set for 6-9 p.m. at the new location, which is located at 315 Spring Street. Attendees can take part in a free mini project and enjoy drinks, sweets, giveaways, and raffles. Guests must register online and like the Facebook page of the business.

Here’s more about the studio from co-owners Jacqueline Maglione and Michelle Shepard:

Workshop participants can construct custom wood plank signs, framed signs, canvas pillows, round signs, trays, Lazy Susans, centerpiece boxes, cake stands, canvas items, specialty projects and more utilizing raw materials, a variety of non-toxic stain and paint colors, and stencils. Attendees can also create textile items such as chunky knit blankets as well as seasonal or holiday keepsakes.  

“We’re so excited to share our new do-it-yourself space with the Reston community,” Maglione said. “Everyone is always on the search for something fun to do and we have a huge variety of projects to make.”

The business has eight other locations across the country.

Photo via AR Workshop

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The Greater Reston Arts Center is welcoming a new exhibit featuring the work of artist Moira Dryer this month. 

Dryer’s work, which features large abstract paintings on wood panel, will be on display from Jan. 18 through April 18. The exhibit, which was curated by GRACE’s executive director and curator Lily Siegel is titled “Yours for the Taking.”

Here’s more from GRACE on the exhibit:

This exhibition will provide an intimate look at the artist’s practice through works given as gifts to friends and family, many never previously shown publicly. Her work has been exhibited extensively across the United States in institutions such as Boston’s Institute for Contemporary Art; Whitney Museum of Modern Art; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Dryer’s work is included in the permanent collections of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Museum of Modern Art, New York

Dryer was educated at the School of Visual Arts. Her first solo exhibition debuted in 1986 at John Good Gallery in New York. She was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1957 and died in New York City in 1992.

The exhibit is supported by ARTFAIRFAX and Robert and Theresa Goudie, as well as the Exhibition Circle.

A curator’s talk and opening reception is set for Jan. 19 from 4-6 p.m.

Photo via Moira Dryer/GRACE

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The upcoming “Gifts from the HeART” fair in Reston will let community members shop for handmade crafts and unique items during the holiday season.

The 21st annual fair will take place at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne (1609 N. Washington Plaza) from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 7). It is free for all to attend.

Items vary in price, according to the event.

“Beautiful original artwork, remarkable ceramics, stunning jewelry and many other one-of-a-kind items will be sold by the artists themselves,” according to the event website.

People may email Gloria Morrow with any questions.

Photo via RCC/Facebook

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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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State Gov. Ralph Northam has appointed Robert Goudie, board chair of the Greater Reston Arts Center to take part in the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

The commission is state agency tenant supports the arts by seeking funding from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Goudie is also the executive director of the Reston Town Center Association, where he expanded the RTCA’s programming. He also helped found Public Art Reston and serves on its Board of Directors. He is also a member of ArtsFairfax’s advocacy committee.

GRACE wrote the following about Goudie:

In the six years that Mr. Goudie has served as GRACE Board Chair, GRACE has built out its exhibition and educational content and Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival in service of a new vision to identify GRACE as an important cultural destination along Metro’s Silver Line and grow its voice in the DC metropolitan region’s cultural conversation; added to its board depth and diversity; grown its financial capacity; forged new partnerships with prestigious downtown institutions like the National Gallery of Art and others; built a strong strategic partnership with George Mason University and added collaborations with other educational institutions; added a satellite gallery at the Signature building in Reston Town Center; and was recognized as one of only four visual arts institutions in the entire Commonwealth to receive a VCA 50th anniversary award.

In a statement, Goudie described the appointment as an “institutional honor.”

“We have a very dedicated and talented Board of Directors, a superb staff led by our Executive Director and Curator, Lily Siegel, and fantastic supporters,” he said. 

Photo via GRACE

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Farmers and Makers Market at Reston Town Center — Every Tuesday until November, a market at Reston Town Center will feature local farmers and artisans selling a variety of items. The market is open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. today. [Reston Town Center]

Sprouts Hiring Fair in Herndon — From 8 a.m.-6 p.m. today and from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday), people interested in working at Sprouts can attend a hiring fair at the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport Hotel (2200 Centerville Road). Interested applicants should bring copies of their resumes. Positions open include cashiers, clerks, department managers and administrative coordinators. [Facebook]

ARTSFAIRFAX Welcomes New Board Members — “New board members include Cathy “Smitty” Smith, a Realtor with Long & Foster; Scott Cryer of DLR Group; Jennifer Owen with Sandy Spring Bank; and d’Andre Willis of HGA. The 2020-21 board president will be Michele “Shelly” Hazel.” [Inside NoVa]

Herndon Police Department Seeking Detective — The police department is looking to hire an experienced detective to join the Criminal Investigation Section. “We have a great incentive package for those who qualify.” [Twitter]

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As photographer Nate Larson’s work on centroid towns goes on display at the Greater Reston Arts Center later this month, the nonprofit organization is challenging students to create artwork inspired by its overarching theme and supporting concepts.

The new Emerging Visions program is part of GRACE’s efforts to take “its mission beyond the center walls” and create opportunities for students to interact with contemporary art in the classroom, according to its website.

GRACE worked with Fairfax County Public Schools to create an educators’ packet that relays the messages and themes explored by the artwork.

Larson’s upcoming exhibit — which is on display from September 28 through January 4 — explores centroid towns, which the U.S. Census Bureau classifies as the mean center of a population as it moves steadily west and south.

Students can respond to a theme by creating their own artwork in any medium. GRACE’s staff will select student artwork to be exhibited in the Emerging exhibition at GRACE from June 6 through June 27 next year. An opening reception is set for June 5.

For more information about the program, contact education and public programs manager Sarah Benz.

Photo via GRACE

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The Candle Bar, a Nashville-based store that allows customers to craft candles, plans to open in Reston Town Center soon.

The business allows patrons to pick from fragrances and pour wax into a vessel of their choosing.

Company representatives did not return multiple requests for comment from Reston Now. 

County permits indicate that the business plans to open on 1816 Library Street. Rappaport, an accredited management organization, has also reporting on the company’s planned expansion to Reston Town Center and Georgetown.

It is expected to take over space previously occupied by The Tasting Room Wine Bar and Shop, which closed in February.

Photo via The Candle Bar/Facebook

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Reston Community Center‘s Jo Ann Rose Gallery will display “Finding Home,” a collaboration between two artists who explore what home means to them, next month.

The exhibit, which features former Reston resident and visual artist Morgan Johnson Norwood and Reston resident and poet Sally Toner, runs from July 30 to Aug. 24.

Both artists will also explore loss and women’s lives today in the exhibit. Norwood draws from her experience after a divorce forced her to relocate and Toner reflects on a breast cancer diagnosis that influenced her writing. Her first book, “Anansi and Friends,” will be released this summer.

Norwood and Toner, who were neighbors and are educators, look forward to sharing their work with the community. Norwood’s paintings feature circular forms, which symbolize “nurturing small spaces within seed pods,” she told RCC. Toner’s poetry features “flipping around”of romantic concepts inspired by William Blake’s “The Tyger” and “The Lamb.”

RCC interviewed the artists, who said the following about the exhibit:

“Much of my auditory sensibility with spoken language comes from my grandfather — his Georgia accent, smooth syntax, and the audacious storytelling to which I always had a front-row seat,” said Toner. “Finding Home transcends the man-made elements of both Reston and Arlington to find truth in nature and energy in the urban sphere.”

“Sally has gone through cancer and faced fear and reevaluated her priorities, and I have gone through divorce and loss and also faced fear and reevaluated mine,” Norwood said. “I see our conversation as a universal one of transformation and upheaval and then finding that sense of safety and love.”

A reception and special reading is set for Saturday, Aug. 3 from 12-2 p.m. at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery.

Photo via Morgan Johnson Norwood/Reston Community Center

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A new pottery studio is coming to Reston at the end of the month.

TealNest Pottery will host a grand opening on Saturday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 11704 Bowman Green Drive.

The owners — Heidi Pommer of Reston and Charlotte Knight of Fairfax — learned the art of pottery after taking classes at Reston Community Center at Lake Anne.

Now, they hope to pass on what they’ve learned through Scandinavian-style, boutique pottery. Their work is characterized by clean lines and calming colors.

The studio will host lessons on wheel and hand-building pottery techniques.

Here’s more from the owners:

TealNest Pottery offers potters at all levels, with seven wheels, large hand-building area, wall-slab roller, oval kiln, and beautiful glazes. “We encourage everyone to bring their unique talents and imaginations to create personalized and high-caliber pottery pieces that treasure and share! And we invite our ceramics community to join us as we collectively raise our skills to the next level.

Guests who attend the grand opening will receive a $25 gift certificate for a future class.

Photos via Heidi Pommer

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Mystery in Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Race Revealed — “The initially anonymous memo alleging that the front-runner for Fairfax County, Virginia’s top office had ethical issues originated from a challenger’s campaign. [Tim] Chapman said his campaign for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chairman hired a law firm to compile a timeline that claims Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay improperly got a discount on his house from a friend.” [WTOP]

Rescue Reston Responds to Sale of Reston National — The community organization plans to fight the redevelopment of the golf course if the new owners plan to develop it. Their entire response can be found online. [Rescue Reston]

ArtsHerndon Recognizes Students for Excellent Artwork Using Technology — “Thirty Fairfax County Public Schools students from 14 high schools were recognized by ArtsHerndon for outstanding artworks created using technology in the 15th annual Technology and the Arts competition… the artwork is on display through Saturday, June 1, at ArtSpace Herndon, 750 Center Street in Herndon.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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A force behind more than 150 performances at South Lakes High School’s Theatre Arts program is leaving the program. Maria Harris, the program’s theatre arts director, plans to retire after 30 years of coaching students, putting on productions, and watching the program grow over the last three decades.

Harris is now turning toward what she calls her final act: her own acting career and production company, Rising Star Productions, and spending more time with her family and aging parents.

“It’s been a good career, but it’s not over yet,” Harris said. She commutes two hours daily from her home in Loudoun County to SLHS.

After teaching for a few years in Michigan — where she was born — and two other Fairfax County schools, Harris landed a full time job at SLHS. She’s worked as the performing arts chair and taught speech, english, theatre and film — watching the program grow from two shows required per year to an around-the-year program. The job has given her the opportunity to travel with her students — including the prestigious American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland where the school was selected to represent Virginia. Her students have also won two state championships in the Virginia High School League’s film competition.

Over the years, she said she has most enjoyed watching her students grow. “I’ve really enjoyed my time here at SLHS. I love, love, love my kids and I’m going to miss them the most.” Before shows, she assembles her students into a big circle and leads them through breathing exercises, passing a squeeze of good wishes down the chain of linked hands until they reach her.

Ryleigh Line, one of her students, told Reston Now that Harris has helped many students realize their full potential.

“The most important thing that she does for us is support us and she pushes us to be the best we can be by having high expectations and constructive feedback for us after every assignment and production,” Line said. “The South Lakes community will miss Mrs. Harris very much and are forever thankful for her.”

For Harris, who calls herself a “Motown girl,” the arts were ingrained in her lifestyle since she was five. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from Wayne State University.

While she was working in the school’s program, she launched Rising Star Productions in Reston in order to fill the lack of “cultural theatre” in the community. For years, she worked with her team to bring African American Theatre to Reston Community Center. She has appeared in films including Broadcast News and Accidental Tourist.  Her stages roles include Addapearle in The Wiz, Bloody Mary in South Pacific, Asaka in Once on This Island, and Myrna Thorn in Ruthless! The Musical.

“I wish my students the very best, whether they take their careers into theater or whatever they endeavor to do.”

Photo via Maria Harris

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