Chalkfest 2014There are still spaces open for artists — young, grown, amateur and professional — to enter the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR’s) 2016 ChalkFest.

ChalkFest, where artists create murals on the pavement on Market Street, takes place at Reston Town Center on Sept. 9 and 10.

There will be prizes for professional artists, amateur artists, families and kids, in addition to the “Audience Choice Awards.”

Want to work on your skills before the event? IPAR will host a free chalk workshop with artist Patrick Owens on Saturday, Sept. 3 from 11 am to 1 pm. The workshop will be in front of the Mercury Fountain.

Registration fees start at $15. To reserve your space, visit IPAR online.

ChalkFest/file photo


ChalkFest 2015/Credit: Chip McRea

Calling all artists — the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR’s) ChalkFest comes back to Reston Town Center Sept. 9-10.

ChalkFest — in which artists of all ages and levels create murals on the pavement on Market Street —  is open to professional artists, amateur artists, families, and kids of all ages.

There will be prizes for professional artists, amateur artists, families and kids, in addition to the “Audience Choice Awards.”

Want to work on your skills before the event? IPAR will host a free chalk workshop with artist Patrick Owens on Saturday, Sept. 3 from 11 am to 1 pm. The workshop will be in front of the Mercury Fountain.

Registration fees start at $15. To reserve your space, visit IPAR online.

Photo of ChalkFest 2015 by Chip McRea


"Simon" Sculpture

The Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR), scheduled to formally dedicate this year’s South Lakes High School public art work, “Simon,” has canceled tonight’s unveiling due to the extreme heat. The dedication of the work had been scheduled for 7 p.m. No word on when new ceremony will take place.

This is the third year in a row SLHS students’ — the STEAM team — have merged art and science to turn a concrete slab into a temporary work of art. The sculpture is expected to remain for several months.

The students said they wanted to honor Reston founder Robert Simon, a supporter of public art, who died last year at 101. The students’ mission statement said “Inspired by Robert E. Simon’s Seven Principles of Community, the temporary public artwork shows that beauty, both structural and natural, is a necessity of a good life and should be fostered.”

“The house structure represents how the hospitality of Reston draws people into the community, its warm colors creating an inviting atmosphere, and the curtain and window illustrating Reston’s welcoming nature. Reston is our home, and the house serves as a representation of such.”

The students worked with SLHS art teach Marco Rando on the project for a year, presenting design concepts to the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) Public Art Committee for recommendation on the design to develop for the spillway, as well as presenting and receiving approval from the Reston Association Design and Review Board (DRB).

The sculpture was first fabricated by students in the school parking lot to formalize the engineering process. It was then deconstructed and given to RA construction staff to reconstruct on the concrete spillway of Lake Thoreau.

2 Comment

The bricks at Reston’s historic Lake Anne turned into a colorful display of art over the weekend at the third annual Chalk on the Water Festival.

Professional, amateur and school-age artists drew murals, and the place winners received cash prizes.

The event was presented by Lake Anne and the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR).

Check out some of the top murals in this photo gallery courtesy of Charlotte Geary at Modern Reston.


Public art at Dogwood PoolReston Association will be giving the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) its support, a land use policy and in-kind donations.

It will not be giving the nonprofit a $65,000 donation, which the board discussed in March.

The RA Board of Directors voted at its regular monthly meeting last week to:

  • Direct staff to prepare for review by the Board of Directors no later
    than its regular meeting on July 28, 2016 a new Land Use policy resolution that delineates Reston Association’s commitment to public art and collaboration with IPAR.
  • Authorize the donation of in-kind support to IPAR’s operations in
    the form of administrative assistance (office/meeting space).
  • Direct staff to include as part of the Association’s Strategic Capital
    Planning process maintenance/reserve funding for the future installation and upkeep of public art on RA Common Area.

Read More


Bike rack on M St. NW in DC/Credit: Golden TriangleA bike rack can be a work of art.

That’s the message the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) is hoping to convey. IPAR is holding a call for artists through the end of May to design artistic bike racks for several Reston locations.

Says IPAR: “Winning bike rack designs will be both imaginative and functional, enhancing the community’s public art collection. The organizations (IPAR and Reston Association Multimodal Transportation Advisory Committee) seek to develop a series of site-specific bike racks that will represent Reston’s unique aesthetic, natural, and cultural identities. The goals of the project are to provide safe bike parking for cyclists throughout Reston and to weave art into the fabric of Reston’s infrastructure.”

Bike rack on L St. NW in DC/Credit: Golden TriangleFive designs will be selected, and the design should reflect the surrounding site. IPAR plans installations at Walker Nature Education Center, the Lake House, the Pony Barn, and Hunters Woods Village Center.

Artists must be from the Maryland-DC-Virginia-West Virginia area. Selected artists will receive $1,000. Winning designs will be selected by a committee and ultimately approved by IPAR.

Winning entries will be chosen in June. Installation of the racks is expected by August.

See much more information and design specifics on this Call for Entries.

Photos: Artistic bike racks in downtown DC/Credit: Golden Triangle BID


Public art at Dogwood PoolReston Association Board members will revisit in May the idea of allocating $65,000 this year for public art.

At-Large Director Ken Knueven had made a motion to take the money from the operating cash reserves to support the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) as it plans its budget for 2017.

There are 18 development projects in the pipeline for Reston, and about half those projects are on land that falls under Reston Association covenants, said Knueven.

Public art also is one of the principles of Reston, and working with IPAR is in the proffers for most developers, he added.

RA will be working with IPAR before the end of 2016 to commission public art for the Pony Barn Recreation site and the new Lake House (formerly Tetra) property, according to Knueven’s motion. In 2017, RA will likely also be planning public art at other RA facilities such as the Central Services Facility, Hook Road Recreation Area, and the Autumnwood Recreation Area, among others.

Knueven said that increasing the donation from RA’s typical $10,000 to $65,000 will go beyond just art. Knueven hinted it could provide leeway for RA to have greater influence on development.

“It allows us to have a louder conversation and a much broader presence in those conversations” with developers, he said.

That did not sit well with several RA Board members, who asked why this could not have been brought up late last year when RA was formulating its 2016 budget.

“Where is the line on how we are going to spend our money?” said At-Large Director Ray Wedell. “We don’t have enough information, and we are trying to buy our way into influence. Reserves should be for emergency situations. You need to prove it to me that we need to spend the money.”

Hunters Woods/Dogwood Director Lucinda Shannon said the public art discussion should wait a year.

“I am against the whole idea,” she said. “It is irresponsible for us when we have the exposed sewer line, we have kids in school in trailers — and [RA] has $65,000 for public art?”

Added Wedell: “It is not our money. It is the people’s money. It’s not IPAR’s money. I don’t see how we can possibly justify this.”

Photo: Public art at RA’s Dogwood Pool 


 Reston Association’s Board of Directors will discuss at its monthly meeting tonight a motion to donate $65,000 in 2016 to the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR).

The motion, presented by At-Large member Ken Knueven, seeks to allocate the $65,000 from the Operating Cash Reserves.

RA currently donates to IPAR, but a $65,000 donation is nearly six times the current amount of $10,000 in annual giving from RA.

The donation fulfills “the Association’s obligation to uphold its design and planning foundation principle, “Commitment to the Arts” as an Essential Element of Reston,” the motion said.

From RA documents:

Currently there are nine (9) residential and/or mixed use development projects that are being planned on Reston Association (RA) covenanted properties and at least nine (9) additional projects in the Corridor.

Each of these 18 development projects has a proffer obligation to work with the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) to install public art on the properties.

Since “Commitment to the Arts” is one of the Association’s Essential Element design and planning foundation principles, and as RA works to enhance its own amenities and consider the multitude of new development and/or redevelopment projects in the community, greater attention and resources must be allocated by the Association to Reston’s public art initiative.

Time is of the essence as IPAR will be setting its 2017 Budget in April 2016 and the Association’s current level of support ($10,000) in implementing the Reston Art Master Plan will not enable the Association to work with developers to select and commission artists to install public art on RA common areas and covenanted properties.

Additional annual funding is needed to provide the Association with adequate design management control and oversight of these public art projects.

The Association will be working with IPAR before the end of 2016 to commission public art for the Pony Barn Recreation site and the new Lake House property.

In 2017, it is anticipated that public art will also need to be planned for other RA facilities including but not limited to the Central Services Facility, Hook Road Recreation Area, and the Autumnwood Recreation Area.

As such, it has been recommended by IPAR’s President and Executive Director that the Association increase its support by $65,000 in 2016 and 2017 to assist with artist selection and commissioning.

BUDGET IMPACT It is recommended that that $65,000 be allocated from the Association’s Operating Reserve for this effort so as not to impact the Board-approved 2016 Operating Expense Budget.

Photo: IPAR statue at Reston Town Center/file photo


Reston’s latest public art piece is being installed at the new Fairfax County North Governmental Center.

Crews have been busy the last two days installing a metal sculpture by Washington, DC, artist Matt Duffy near the entrance of the building, which houses the Fairfax County Police’s Reston District Station and the offices of Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, among others.

The project was commissioned with help from the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR), which also funded the artwork outside the Hyatt Regency Reston.

Duffy was selected from a call for submissions. IPAR said it was looking for a design that reinforced the idea that public art is of value to the community; that public art helps define a community; and that this piece should be an icon or landmark that makes the Governmental Center Building and surrounding area a memorable place.

Duffy, 37, is a graduate of the University of Maryland and holds and MFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Photos courtesy of IPAR


"We Make Reston" (Courtesy of RCC)More than 150 black-and-white photos of Reston residents will be exhibited around the area as part of a larger discussion about diversity.

The photos are part of “We Make Reston,” an INSIDE OUT project, brought to Reston by the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) and Reston Community Center. The photos will be officially unveiled during the Reston Multicultural Festival, with an accompanying discussion about diversity on Sunday.

Photos are exhibited around Reston at the Lake Anne sea wall, Comstock Partners’ fencing wall at the Wiehle-Reston Metro Station and South Lakes High School. There is also an exhibit inside the Jo Anne Rose Gallery.

“It [“We Make Reston” wall] is diverse, playful, and exudes adventure and love – all crucial parts of the essence of Reston,” said Leila Gordon, the executive director of the Reston Community Center.

The Initiative for Public Art Reston and the Reston Community Center received more than 300 photos of Reston residents. Of the 300, 169 were selected to be displayed on the three walls.

“A book of all the submissions that met criteria will be made available to the public at the festival and online,” Gordon said.

To be considered, all photos had to be a black and white, vertical portrait. Comstock Partners, who joined in with IPAR and RCC to provide the Metro station and banner locations, also had a team of photographers take portrait shots of Reston residents.

“People should be intrigued and delighted [about the wall],” Gordon said. “And yes, I am sure there will be some surprises.”

Photo courtesy of RCC


ChalkFest 2014

Reston Town Center’s Market Street will once again be turned into a colorful mural when ChalkFest, sponsored by the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR), returns for its second year.

Organizers say ChalkFest, to be held Sept. 11 and 12, is a special opportunity to express your inner artist.

Market Street will be divided into 4-foot by 8 foot spaces where professional and amateur artists, as well as businesses, families, and kids can create street art.

There will be prizes awarded in various categories, including “Audience Choice Awards.”

The two-day ChalkFest opens Friday (Sept. 11), noon to 11 p.m. to professional artists, company team-building groups and sponsors. On Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., it will be open to participants of all ages and artistic

“IPAR’s ChalkFest has opened my eyes to a whole new — at least new to me — world of art,” said Penny Hauffe of Leesburg, the first-prize winner in last year’s professional artist category. “We are all enriched by each other’s imaginations and efforts.”

IPAR also is offering a free chalk workshop with artist Patrick Owens on Saturday, Sept. 5, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in front of the Pavilion. All are welcome to try their hands at chalk drawing and to register for ChalkFest.

To register (registration fees vary) and for more details on participation fees, prizes, rules and sponsorships, visit IPAR’s ChalkFest website.

Photo: ChalkFest 2014


INSIDE OUT Toronto project/Credit: INSIDE OUTComstock Partners has teamed with the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) and Reston Community Center for the upcoming We Make Reston public art project.

The project will feature portraits of Restonians in order to reflect Reston’s diversity. Originally slated for display at Lake Anne Plaza in September, Comstock will also participate by providing a second location for the exhibit.

We Make Reston will now also be featured on Comstock’s 140-foot fencing wall at the Wiehle-Reston Metro Station and on a seven-story banner visible from the Dulles Toll Road, Comstock says.

All displays will open Sept. 26, in conjunction with the Reston Multicultural Festival.

Comstock will have a “street team” of photographers on the Reston Station plaza near the north entrance to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Wednesday from noon to 7 p.m.

On Tuesday, photographers will provide more info to Reston commuters and residents and invite them to add the photos to the project, says Comstock spokeswoman Maggie Parker.

On Wednesday, interested participants can return with their signed release and be photographed, said Parker.

We Make Reston is part of the INSIDE OUT project – a global initiative with 200,000 participants from more than 112 countries.

Residents are still encouraged to submit their own portraits for the project. The deadline for submission in Aug. 9. Photos must be black and white and vertical in orientation. For more submission details visit RCC’s website.


INSIDE OUT Toronto project/Credit: INSIDE OUTA large-scale public art display featuring photos of Restonians will make its debut at Lake Anne Plaza this fall.

The Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) and Reston Community Center are teaming up on the We Make Reston, an INSIDE OUT Project.

We Make Reston will feature large-scale photographic portraits representing the diverse faces of Reston. The outdoor exhibit will be unveiled at the Reston Multicultural Festival on Sept. 26 at Lake Anne Plaza.

The photos will remain on display for up to four weeks, depending on weather.

RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon says that the project will contribute to a diversity dialogue that began when Reston was founded as one of Virginia’s first racially integrated communities more than 50 years ago.

“This public art project kicks off community discussions occurring over the next months,” says Gordon. “RCC and our partners hope these dialogues will help us reconnect to and sustain our founding values and how we live them,

Want to be a part of the project? Reston residents and employees are invited to submit black and white photos to be considered for inclusion. Submissions will be accepted from July 15 through Aug. 9.

To submit an image and application for inclusion in “We Make Reston,” please visit between July 15 and Aug. 9.

For submission guidelines and more information, please visit RCC’s We Make Reston page.

Guidelines include:

  • All photos must be at least 1MB at 100 dpi or greater. Acceptable files include .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, or .bmp. PNG and PDF files will not be accepted.
  • All portraits must be black-and-white with vertical orientation.
  • One person per portrait.
  • Each person may enter up to three portraits.
  • The person featured in the portrait must live or work in Reston.
  • Portraits should be of yourself or anyone who has given you permission to share their image.
  • The portrait must be of just a face, with no additional body parts, disguises, or pets. Let the story of you inspire your expression.
  • No brand names, product placement, or copyrighted material may be in the image. You may not use the project for any commercial purpose. You may not promote yourself, a product, or brand in the portrait or through this exhibit. You may not publicize an organization.
  • All liability waivers/copyright release forms must be signed and submitted with each portrait.
  • Each entry must be accompanied by a seven-word bio about the photographer.
  • Employees of Reston Community Center or Initiative for Public Art – Reston are not eligible.

We Make Reston is part of the INSIDE OUT project – a global initiative with 200,000 participants from more than 112 countries and territories.

The INSIDE OUT project is a creation of the artist JR, recipient of the 2011 TED Prize. INSIDE OUT says in its mission statement that “everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. “

INSIDE OUT Toronto project/Credit: INSIDE OUT

2 Comment

Joe RitcheyProspective, Inc., a Reston commercial real estate brokerage company, and its founder, Joe Ritchey, have been named a BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honorees for 2015.

Prospective, Inc. has worked on large-scale mixed-use developments in Fairfax County for more than 30 years. The Arts Council of Fairfax County says the thriving arts scene in Reston Town Center is part of Prospective’s brand and integrated into marketing and business development activities.

Ritchey is the driving force behind Prospective’s commitment to the arts. He has donated more than $1.1 million over the past 23 years to arts-related nonprofit organizations.

He is currently serving as chairman on the Board of Directors at the Arts Council of Fairfax County and the Initiative for Public Art – Reston (IPAR).

Ritchey founded IPAR in 2007, and his company underwrote IPAR’s initial funding and the cost for a consultant team to aid with the creation of the Public Art Master Plan. This resulted in Reston in 2008 becoming the first non-incorporated jurisdiction in the United States to complete a public art master plan. The plan is now a part of Fairfax County’s Master Development Plan for Reston.

IPAR has helped bring the Reston Rondo sculpture to Reston Town Center, as well as the temporary Patrick Dougherty installation that opened last month.

Ritchey has also served on the arts boards of the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), Wolf Trap Foundation, and multiple committees including as Co-Chair on the Fairfax County Master Art Plan Task Force.

“I believe that a community’s economic vitality and quality of life are directly proportionate to its commitment to and investment in arts and culture,” Ritchey said in a statement. “Pedestrian-friendly and aesthetic public spaces, permanent and temporary public art, galleries, concerts, arts festivals, and theatre all enrich communities.”

“Frequently under-recognized but equally important is the impact of the arts on demand for office, retail, and residential real estate, resulting in higher valuations of commercial and residential properties and increased tax revenues to local, county and state government.  Based on my urban development experience, I have seen firsthand how investment in the arts provides a powerful economic return.”

Presented every year by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), part of Americans for the Arts, the BCA 10 awards honor 10 U.S. companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships, and board membership.

The national BCA 10 Awards will be presented by Americans for the Arts on Oct. 6 at a black-tie gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City.

The 2015 honorees are:

Ameriprise Financial (Minneapolis, MN)
AutoZone, Inc. (Memphis, TN)
BNY Mellon (New York, NY)
Corning Incorporated (Corning, NY)
GE’s FirstBuild (Louisville, KY)
NV Energy and the NV Energy Foundation (Reno, NV)
Prospective Inc. (Reston, VA)
Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods (Houston, TX)
The Trust Company of Kansas (Wichita, KS)
U.S. Bank (Minneapolis, MN)

Joe Ritchey/file photo


The Initiative for Public Art Reston formally dedicated sculptor Patrick Dougherty’s public art installation at Reston Town Center’s Town Square Park on Saturday.

North Carolina-based Dougherty and a crew spent two weeks constructing the building-sized artwork out of saplings.

The work is already a kid favorite. On Sunday, groups of youngsters played hide-and-seek and chased each other through the adjoining structures. They peered from the “windows,” which give the structure an overall fairy tale cottage in the woods feeling.

The art work will remain on site for at least a year, IPAR says.

Learn more about Patrick Dougherty in this CBS Sunday morning piece.

2 Comment

Subscribe to our mailing list