A new 50-foot steel sculpture by artist Sue Wrbican is on track for installation in the fall.
For more than a year, the Greater Reston Arts Center has been working on the project, which is inspired by American surrealist Kay Sage. Construction began a little over a year ago. The sculpture is intended to encourage viewers to think about the themes of urbanism and landscape, environmentalism and natural resources, feminism, and community, said Lily Siegel, GRACE’s executive director and curator.
“Through her project, Wrbican is not just bringing attention to Sage’s life and work, she is making it relevant to our contemporary lives by introducing forms inspired by Sage into our present urban landscape,” Siegel said, adding that Sage’s work was overlooked during her time and that she lived in the shadow of her celebrated artist-husband and associates.
Siegel hopes the sculpture will be a gathering point and topic of conversation.
GRACE turned to crowdfunding to help finance the construction of the project, as well as ongoing programming scheduled for the sculpture. While the organization did not release the cost of the project, Seigel said the project has received “incredible support.”
A talk about the project, which will be installed in Town Square Park, is set for August 22 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at GRACE. The event is free and open to the public.
Community partners include Reston Town Center Association, Reston Community Center, ARTSFAIRFAX, Public Art Reston, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, MacMullan & Associates, Architecture Incorporated, Commercial Concrete, ECS Mid-Atlantic, PaintTech, and a number of individuals.
Photo by Sue Wrbican
(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:
- Leila Abdelrazaq
- Lorenzo Cardim
- Larry W. Cook
- Leigh Davis
- Helina Metaferia
- Matt Storm (Editor’s Note: Link is not safe for work.)
- Julie Wolfe
- Homie House Press
- Red Sand Project
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
Our weekend pick is Taste of Reston — Northern Virginia’s largest outdoor festival — which kicks off today and runs until tomorrow (Saturday).
Here’s a recap off the festival, which will bring food vendors, local restaurants, and others together for two days of food-related fun.
Parking will be free during the event.
Tomorrow (June 15)
- Family Fun Entertainment Series (10-10:45 a.m.) — Enjoy the Uncle Devin Show, an interactive musical experience, that takes kids on a magical journey through the land of percussion. Parking is free on weekends at Reston Town Center.
- Stop-motion animation workshop (1-3 p.m.) — Exhibiting artist Stephanie Williams will lead workshop participants on stop-motion animation at the Greater Reston Arts Center. Registration is $30 and all materials are included.
- Trip to Nationals vs. AZ Diamondbacks Baseball Game (2:15-8:15 p.m.) — Reston Association is organizing a trip to Nationals Park. Registration is $54 for RA members and $62 for all others.
- Bookworms Club (11 a.m.) — Young readers will dive into “PAR-TAY!: Dance of the Veggies” at this weekly bookclub. Younger readers are welcome to join at any time.
- Summerbration Fun Brunch (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Enjoy flow circus at the Reston Station Plaza in this free event for all ages. Parking is free on weekends in the Metro Parking garage.
Sunday (June 16)
- Bird Walk (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Beginner and expert birders are invited to scout for birds in this walk, which is cosponsored by Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and The Bird Feeder store. Registration is not required and the walk is for adults only.
- Summerbration Fun Brunch (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Meddle in mad science during this free event at Reston Station Plaza. Parking is free on weekends in the Metro Parking garage.
- Chess Club for Kids (2-3 p.m.) — Learn tactics and end game strategies at Reston Regional Library. Players of all strengths are welcome to join.
- How to Stand Out in the College Admissions Process (2-3 p.m.) — InGenius Prep will give a presentation on how to standout in the admissions process, and Susan Shifflet, a former assistant director of admissions at Yale, will also offer her insights.
Photo by Don Renner
Herndon Festival Kicks Off Today — The first day of the four-day festival begins today from 6-10 p.m. at Northwest Federal Credit Union (200 Spring Street). China Grove will perform at the Herndon Family Medicine Stage and transit Vocal Band will perform at the Parkway Stage from 7:30-9 p.m. [Herndon Festival]
Police Seek Help to Connect Annandale Man to County Burglaries — Local police believe Stephen Anderson, 55, of Annandale, could be responsible for other burglaries throughout the county. He faces burglary charges and is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Creative Response Led by Co-owner of Bad Saint Set for Today — Genieve Villamora, co-owner of the buzzy Filipino restaurant in the District, will respond to the work of Stephanie William. The presentation will be followed by open conversation. The event starts at 7 p.m. [Greater Reston Arts Center]
A Recap of Reston Live — “The first Reston Live was held at Lake Anne Plaza on Sunday afternoon. This inaugural music festival featured a Children’s Area, a talent competition, a raffle, vendor booths, and special guest performances by Reston band, Catchin’ Toads, and Reston’s own singer/songwriter, Lindsey Hershfeld.” [The Connection]
Flickr pool photo by vantagehill
Williams’ work includes animation, sculptures and costumes and “explores themes of identity through omission and inclusion,” GRACE says. Williams’ recent Instagram posts showcase pink, animated objects with meat-esque appearances.
“Things That Don’t Have Names” opens next Saturday (April 20) at 12001 Market Street, Suite 103. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, April 27, from 5-7 p.m.
Photo via Facebook
(Updated at 5:05 p.m. on March 4) Starting Saturday (March 2), a student art exhibition will be on display at the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE).
The exhibit features art by students at Fairfax County public schools, who are participating in GRACE’s education program called “Emerging Visions.”
GRACE reworked the program to include grades K-12, inviting elementary and middle schools to participate for the first time, according to a press release from the arts center.
“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,” Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel said in the press release.
In addition to the three longstanding participating FCPS high school schools — Herndon, Oakton and South Lakes high schools — the exhibit includes student art from Dogwood, Hunters Woods and Hutchinson elementary schools and Rachel Carson Middle School.
The exhibit is based on Caitlin Teal Price’ exhibit last year titled “Green is the Secret Color To Make Gold.”
GRACE worked with art educators at the schools to develop content and concepts to include into the curriculum, according to the press release. After educators, students and their families had the chance to view the exhibition and meet the curator and artist, students were able to respond to the theme by creating their own artwork.
FCPS released additional information about the students and their art on March 4:
One student, who is non-verbal, experiences art and, primarily painting, as a ritual or routine, according to this teacher. He makes repetitive marks with varying color and layers them to refer to different subject matter, such as a landscape. Another student has made at least one artwork a day for multiple years on topics from space-like environments to designs that involve flags of the world. South Lakes students shared their artist statements, explaining the process for creating their works.
[Another] student described the artwork as expressive of the mental illness she has been diagnosed with and says her work shows “that I’m locked inside myself and can’t get out of the emotions in my head.” She uses symbols indicative of psychological and emotional states. A team of two students uses found objects to which they apply paint, glue, and other materials, embracing their sense of humor and love of experimentation to provoke a sense of play and curiosity in their audience.
A third student uses her art to define herself through her own values and beliefs, not through the culture of her home country. She uses layering as a metaphor for memory and experience relevant to her life today. One student used a found piece of wood to which she responded with color and brush strokes ranging from tumultuous to more gentle; another uses her responses to daily events, observations, and feelings to create her paintings. One student submitted a photography display using a camera from a bin of broken cameras, kept by his teacher for spare parts, and fabricated a pinhole lens for the camera. Using a 30-second exposure, he took a series of photos that didn’t meet his expectations but he came to like for their abstract quality and colorful texture that “had a kind of painterly approach.”
Several free events are based around the exhibit.
The opening reception for the exhibit is set for tomorrow from 5-7 p.m. GRACE plans to host an open mic for kids on March 16.
The exhibition will be on display until March 30 at the gallery located at the Reston Town Center (12001 Market Street #103).
Photo via FCPS
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]
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
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
For those interested in arts or crafts, there’s plenty to do around Reston this weekend.
The Greater Reston Arts Center will host a grand opening tomorrow of the new exhibit STRETCH, featuring work of artists responding to the prompt “if you could do anything, what would that be?”
Five local artists were selected to display work in the new exhibit.
The opening reception from 5-7 p.m. is free and open to the public. The exhibit will run until Feb. 9.
Tomorrow (Dec. 15)
Workshop: Handmade Holiday Ornaments (9:30-11 a.m.) — The Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market Street) will be hosting a class on building creative holiday ornaments. Tickets are $10 for Reston residents or $20 for non-Restonians.
Reston Town Center Winterfest (10 a.m.-9 p.m.) — The all-day Winterfest celebration at the Reston Town Center will include a carousel at the ice skating rink, face painting, a gingerbread man and more.
Balloon Twister (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) — A balloon show will be held in the Reston Regional Library, open to the public and for all ages. Balloon artists will be creating hats, giant birds and other creations as part of a holiday celebration. The library will also be hosting an open house from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. the same day with light refreshments, music and entertainment.
Christmas from Ireland (2 p.m.) — The Irish musical group Lúnasa will be hosting a performance at the Reston Community Center blending spoken word, dance and traditional Irish music. The performance is sold out, but those interested in the show are encouraged to come to the box office at 1 p.m. to see check and see if extra tickets are available.
Sunday (Dec. 16)
From Here to There (7 p.m.) — The Reston Community Center will host an opera performance by mezzo-soprano and Restonian Elizabeth Bishop. Tickets are $15 for Reston residents or $20 for non-Restonians.
Photo via Greater Reston Arts Center
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
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 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
Wegmans cements deal in Reston Crescent project — The supermarket chain will set up shop by Reston Parkway. [Washington Business Journal]
Try out American mahjong — Drop in to try out the game using tiles instead of cards for free at the Reston Community Center. [Reston Community Center]
“Green is the Secret Color to Make Gold” — There are only a few days left to see the photography exhibition by Caitlin Teal Price. [Greater Reston Arts Center]
Keep an eye on the Metrorail’s schedule — Riders can expect reduced hours and track work tomorrow and over the weekend. [WTOP]
Photo by Bill Burton
If you’re looking for somewhere fun and outdoorsy to take the kids this weekend, Saturday afternoon is Kids Day at Reston Town Center.
From 3-5 p.m., a children’s band, Rocknocerous, will be performing, with face painting, balloon animals, treats and costumed character appearances.
For something more indoors, author Laura Renauld will host a morning story time to read from her first children’s book “Porcupine’s Pie”. The event will be held at Scrawl Books at 11911 Freedom Dr. on Saturday at 11 a.m.
(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)
- This weekend is the last chance to catch The Diary of Anne Frank performed by Herndon High School’s theatre class in the school’s Black Box Theater. Performances are tonight and Saturday, from 7-9 p.m. and a matinee performance on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults and can be ordered at the door or online.
- Saturday afternoon, Dorothy Moss, a curator of the National Portrait Gallery, will be hosting a discussion at the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market Street). The event starts at 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
- Saturday evening, the YMCA Fairfax County Reston (12196 Sunset Hills Rd) will be hosting its 19th annual community gala. The event starts at 6 p.m with a silent auction and cocktails, with dinner at 9 p.m. and dancing until 11 p.m.
- On Sunday, the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and The Bird Feeder store are cosponsoring a free bird walk through Reston. The group will meet at Glade Drive and Twin Branches Road for a tour along the Glade Stream Valley Trail. The walk runs from 7:30-10:30 a.m.
- If you’re feeling less outdoorsy, Professor Harry Butowsky will host a lecture on the History of World War II from 2-4 p.m. in the Reston Regional Library.
Photo via Reston Town Center
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