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Greater Reston Arts Center to Expand Classroom Art Experiences

Greater Reston Arts Center will expand its classroom arts immersion program in the coming months after receiving a grant from ARTSFAIRFAX. Fairfax County’s designated local arts agency.

Funding will help the organization boost its Emerging Visions program, which provides opportunities for K-12 students to directly engage with contemporary art in their classroom.

ARTSFAIRFAX, legally known as the Arts Council of Fairfax County, is a nonprofit organization that is funded by the county, corporations, foundations, individuals, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. It seeks to foster a dynamic and diverse local arts community.

“Over the years GRACE has become known and loved for its GRACE Art and Emerging Visions art enrichment programs,” said GRACE Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel. “With the generous support of ARTSFAIRFAX we are now able to take the best parts of our existing programs, expand those in close conversation with FCPS, and make a greater impact on more young artists.”

GRACE offered the following information about Emerging Visions:

Emerging Visions provides art enrichment content to educators based on a GRACE exhibition. Focusing on one exhibition a year, GRACE–working directly with Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) art educators–will develop content and supporting concepts to integrate into classroom curriculum for each stage of schooling, K-12. Previously, the program was only available at the high school level and GRACE-produced content was more limited. The selected exhibition for 2018-19 is Green Is the Secret Color To Make Gold, featuring new work by Caitlin Teal Price, currently on view.

Student artwork will be exhibited as part of the Emerging Visions exhibition at GRACE in March 2019.

Photo by Charlotte Geary

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Reston Historic Trust & Museum Seeks Funds to Reinstall Lakeside Pharmacy Icons

The Reston Historic Trust & Museum has launched an online campaign to raise money to reinstall the lakeside pharmacy icon. Designed by Chermayeff and Geismar, a New York-based graphic design firm, the icons were inspired by 1960s pop art and Reston’s founder Bob Simon’s wish for whimsical art at Lake Anne Plaza.

The icons, which served as advertisements for the Lakeside Pharmacy, were removed in July to make way for new businesses to open up in the pharmacy’s former location.

The fundraising target is $15,000 to repair, clean and reinstall icons in a new permanent exhibit in the plaza. The new exhibit will be unveiled during the organization’s annual Founder’s day event on April 6.

The museum put out the following information about the historical significance of the icons:

The New York graphic design firm of Chermayeff and Geismar (now Chermayeff, Geismar & Haviv), was hired by Whittlesey & Conklin, the architects of the plaza, and together they created the storefronts on the plaza. While the main purpose of the Lakeside Pharmacy icons was advertising, the icons are characteristic of the 1960s Pop Art aesthetic and reflected Reston’s Founder Bob Simon’s wish for whimsical artwork on the plaza.

The building was a pharmacy for 44 years, closing in 2014. Since the building will soon be occupied by new businesses, the icons were donated to the Reston Historic Trust & Museum in order to preserve them. Currently, the icons are in storage until they can be cleaned and reinstalled. The installation is being designed by Jeanne Krohn of Krohn Design.

Photos by Charlotte Geary and Krohn Design

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Washington West Film Festival Kicks Off On Thursday in Reston

The eighth annual Washington West Film Festival returns to Reston and other nearby locations this Thursday through Monday. This year’s theme is “Story Can Change the World.”

The festival showcases new films from around the world and aims to bring filmmakers and actors together for conversation in Reston. All net box office proceeds will go to Kids in the Spotlight and the Robert Duvall Children’s Fund.

Opening night on Thursday kicks off with a 7 p.m. screening of My Indiana Muse, a story about an artist who tackles a project that will take more than a decade to complete. The screening at Bow Tie Cinemas (11940 Market Street) will be followed by a reception with light appetizers and drinks.

The festival was founded in 2011 by Brad Russell, who sought to bring films to the area that focus on creating inspiring stories, not just watching them.

To view the full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit the film festival’s website. Other screenings are planned in Arlington, Sterling and Stone Ridge.

Photo via Washington West Film Festival

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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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Tuesday Morning Notes

Google eyes Reston Station — Google is considering leasing a block of office space near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. The Mountain View, a California-based company, is in talks to lease about 100,000 square feet from Comstock Cos. at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza, the building designed by architect Helmut Jahn. [Washington Business Journal]

If you’re coming to the football game — At South Lakes High School’s football game, don’t forget to bring a donation for the school’s food pantry. They’re looking for cereal, toothpaste, deodorant, canned veggies, applesauce, and/or beans. [SLHS Food Pantry via Twitter]

An artful run and a run in the arts — Three runners who also happen to be artists will show off their work beginning today at Reston Community Center. The exhibit ends on Nov. 5. [Reston Community Center]

Photo by Bako Glonti

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New Exhibit with Floating Figures Featured at Signature

A new body of work will be on display at the Greater Reston Art Center’s satellite gallery at Signature (11850 Freedom Drive), the new residential building in Reston Town Center.

Virginia-based photographer Rahshia Sawyer‘s newest work, “What I Haven’t Told You,” that depicts figures floating in water and draped in gossamer silks.

GRACE issued the following description about the exhibit, which opens tomorrow (Sept. 28) and ends on Jan. 8.: 

…the artist endeavors to illustrate the tension between emotions expressed and emotions repressed.Sawyer received her MFA from George Mason University. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and she was included in the 2012 Inaugural Dublin Biennial.

She was the 2012 recipient of the Contemporary Talents Award from France’s François Schneider Foundation and received a 2016 Honorable Mention from the International Photography Awards and Prix de la Photographie (Px3). Her work is in the permanent collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, François Schneider Foundation, and Radford University Museum.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. It is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A reception for the artist is set for Oct. 25 from 6-8 p.m.

Photo via GRACE

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Tonight: ‘Art Reveal’ at Founding Farmers in Reston Station

Artists behind the artwork of Founding Farmers in Reston Station will offer explanations of their work at an “Art Reveal” tonight from 6-8 p.m.

The interior of the restaurant includes work by local and regional artists, all centered around the theme of Thomas Jefferson and Monticello. Featured artwork includes a North Dakota Farmers  Union Laundry line, which hangs from the restaurant’s ceiling.

The piece was made from pieces of cloth from farm owners that were hardened into place with glue and paint.

Other pieces include colorful farm animals dispersed on the wall of the restaurant and an image of Sally Hemings, an enslaved women who had a relationship with Jefferson.

Co-owner Dan Simons and creative director Leah Frankl will be on-site to answer questions about the art in the restaurant. Tickets are available online.

Photos via Gina Carroll

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Reston Community Center’s Knitting Circle Kicks Off on September 17

Attention, knitting lovers: Reston Community Center’s Knitting Circle will begin its fall session this month.

In this instructor-led group at RCC Hunters Woods, attendees will learn how to knit on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The series will run from September 17 through November 21.

Registration is $50 for Reston residents and $75 for all others.

Participants can share ideas on knitting projects and work on new or existing projects. Knitters at all skill levels are invited to attend. Registration is available online.

Photo via RCC

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Monday Morning Notes

Attempts to introduce new evidence in Nabra Hassanen trial — According to recent court filings, prosecutors plan to introduce evidence during a capital murder trial suggesting the man accused of killing Nabra Hassanen, a Reston teenager, was suspected of being a member of the MS-13 street gang. Darwin Martinez Torres’s brother-in-law believed the 23-year-old alleged killer was affiliated with the gang. [The Washington Post]

What’s the state of the arts — Fairfax County government is conducting a survey to understand how to better meet the visual and performing arts needs of its residents. All responses will remain anonymous and confidential. [Fairfax County Government]

The Great American Read book club tonight — Join book lovers for a discussion about “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. The discussion is open to adults only. [Reston Regional Library]

Viewpoints from Herndon residents — Local residents offer their thoughts on their experiences living in Herndon, including the best places to go, events to check out and lingering concerns. [The Connection]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Friday Morning Notes

Weekend road closures canceled — Closures scheduled for the eastbound Dulles Access Highway between Centreville Road and Fairfax County Parkway this weekend have been postponed to next weekend. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Tickets for Professional Touring Artists series now available — Anyone can purchase tickets for Reston Community Center’s professional touring artists series. Presenters include activist DeRay Mckesson and opera diva Elizabeth Bishop. [Reston Community Center]

If it floats your boat — Don’t forget: The cardboard boat regatta at Lake Anne Plaza is on Saturday. Teams will make their own life-size cardboard boats, which will then take to the water for an eventful race. [Reston Historic Trust & Museum]

Summerbration concert tonight — Enjoy modern country rock as part of the weekly “Summerbration” concert series. Parking is free from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tonight’s event also includes free dancing instruction. [Reston Community Center]

 

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Creative Response by Marine Biologist Response Set for Thursday

Heather Spence, a DC-based marine biologist, cellist and gamist will lead this month’s creative response at the Greater Reston Arts Center on Thursday (August 2) at 7 p.m.

Spence performs internationally as a soloist and with Arabic, Sephardic and world music ensembles. Locally, she has performed at George Washington University and has a Ph.D. in bio-acoustics from the City University of New York. She has also designed and taught courses on animal behavior, personality and motivation, and perception.

The Greater Reston Arts Center invites a creative professional to respond to work on view in the gallery one Thursday of each month. Spence will give a short presentation and lead an open conversation. The event, sponsored by Reston Community Center, is free and open to the public.

Video via YouTube

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Tuesday Morning Notes

For Dulles Toll Road users — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is seeking public comments about proposed rate increases on the road. The online commenting period is now open and ends on August 3. [MWAA]

Local teen wraps up Nickelodeon show — Sissy Sheridan, a 14-year-old Restonian, wrapped up the first season of the “DIY With Me” web series for Nickelodeon. In the show, Sheridan teaches viewers how to make crafts. Next year, she’ll be attending a performing arts school in Virginia to work on her acting career. [The Washington Post]

Plotting a garden — Want to grow your own veggies, flowers and fruit? Reston Association’s community garden plots have spaces available in two of their five locations. [RA]

A quiet ascent — LeaseAccelerator, a Reston-based accounting software firm, is deepening its own pocketbook. The company expects to quadruple its revenue this year. [DC Inno]

Photo via Twitter user @MrErrett

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Here’s a Breakdown for This Weekend’s Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival

The 27th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is returning this weekend, and this year the festival is a day longer.

The festival will run Friday (May 18) through Sunday (May 20) at the Reston Town Center. The event encourages attendees to make a $5 donation, which comes with $200 worth of restaurant coupons.

The festival hosted by the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) brings in 30,000 to 50,000 attendees each year, the festival said in a press release.

For the first time, this year’s festival also includes a participatory performance “The Illuminated Fountain of Extinction” by Laure Drogoul both Saturday night during the Festival Party and on Sunday afternoon. Another festival first, is that GRACE members are given a free ticket to the Festival Party. Cost for membership for artists is $40 and $50 for other members.

Rain or shine the festival will go on, so long as a major storm does not hit, one of the organizers told RestonNow.

Below is a breakdown of the three-day event:

Friday (May 18) 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.:

  • All day — More than 200 artist booths from across the U.S.on display
  • Festival Friday — There will be specials all day among retailers and restaurants in Reston Town Center

Saturday (May 19) 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.:

  • All day — More than 200 artist booths from across the U.S.on display
  • Family Art Park — Free art making activities for all ages in the Pavillion
  • Festival Party (7-9 p.m.) — A celebration for sponsors, Adopt-an-Artist donors, GRACE members and artists. The party includes an award ceremony and first look into “The Illuminated Fountain of
    Extinction” by Laure Drogoul.

Sunday (May 20) 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.:

  • All day — More than 200 artist booths from across the U.S.on display
  • Family Art Park — Free art making activities for all ages in the Pavillion
  • “The Illuminated Fountain of Extinction” by Laure Drogoul (1-3 p.m.) — an immersive, interactive artwork in the Pavillion that is a tableau of natural and post-natural creatures inspired by manuscripts. Viewers are encouraged to participate in the performance that shows off a pageant of creatures from the past, present and future.

Garage parking is free during the festival. No registration is required.

Photo Courtesy of Carol Nahorniak

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Thursday Morning Notes

NII Holdings hangs on — The Reston-based company is trading above the minimum share price to retain its place on the NASDAQ. But it hasn’t fully steered clear of financial trouble yet. [Washington Business Journal]

Hunting down traffic — For years, county officials have mulled plans to tackle backups on Hunter Mill Road near the Dulles Toll Road. A county commission is set to vote on a new solution tonight. [Fairfax County Government]

A shoutout to Ms. Anne — In honor of Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, the employee at Lake Anne Elementary School was selected as one of the top six crossing guards in the state. [Lake Anne Elementary School]

Honoring young artists — The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers selected 14 students from South Lakes High School for the annual Scholastic Art Awards, one of the most prestigious scholarships for creative teens. [The Connection]

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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Marvin Gaye Inspired Dance Performance to Come to Reston

The award-winning dance performance titled “What’s Going On – The Marvin Gaye Project” will be coming to the Reston Community Center tomorrow.

Choreographed by Vincent Thomas, Ralph Glenmore and Sylvia Soumah, the show will feature modern, jazz and West African dance looking to incite “thoughtful engagement with audience members,” according to Reston Community Center’s website.

“What’s Going On” also won Best Dance Performance in Baltimore magazine last year. For the award Baltimore magazine said, “Thomas found the perfect muse in Marvin Gaye, bringing this legendary soul singer to life in a breathtaking production.”

Tickets for Reston residents will cost $20 and $30 for all others.

Photo Courtesy Dance Place

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