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by RestonNow.com October 13, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Artist applications are now being accepted for the 27th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, scheduled for May 19-20, 2018 at Reston Town Center.

The festival is the largest annual fundraiser for the Greater Reston Arts Center. The competitive, juried event is consistently rated as one of the best outdoor art festivals in the country, both for the quality of the artwork presented and for its artist hospitality.

The 2017 festival raised about $275,000 for GRACE’s operating budget, executive director and curator Lily Siegel told Reston Now. It attracts an estimated 30,000 visitors a year, GRACE says.

Anyone interested in applying to submit art for the festival can do so online. Applications can be submitted in 16 different categories, including painting, photography, ceramics, jewelry, glass, sculpture and more.

File photo of 2017 festival courtesy Megan Myers

by Dave Emke May 25, 2017 at 2:45 pm 5 Comments

This past weekend’s Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival was a major success for Greater Reston Arts Center, its executive director says.

“I can tell you that not only is the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival a marquee cultural event for the area, it is GRACE’s largest fundraiser,” said Lily Siegel, GRACE’s executive director and curator. “We, again, successfully raised half of our operating budget for the year.”

Siegel said the annual operating budget for GRACE is about $550,000.

She said that while attendance for the event cannot be accurately measured because of the numerous entrance points to Reston Town Center, casual counts have organizers estimating between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors over the course of the weekend.

Those thousands of visitors gave a lot of positive reaction to the cultural event, Siegel said.

“Response from the public and the artists was overwhelmingly positive,” she said. “We repeatedly heard that this year’s festival had the highest quality of work on display yet [and] it continues to get stronger every year.”

Siegel also said the festival’s jurors were “consistently impressed” by the excellence of the work at the show.

“This is one of the most competitive fine arts festivals in the country to gain acceptance to and it shows,” she said. “This all goes hand-in-hand with the mission of making the festival an extension of the gallery experience available to the public throughout the year at the Greater Reston Arts Center.”

Photos by Megan Myers and Carol Nahorniak

by RestonNow.com May 19, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

The big event this weekend is the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, which will bring tens of thousands to Reston Town Center  beginning tonight. The kickoff party is from 6-9 p.m. tonight; tickets are $50. The event itself is the next two days, with admission a $5 suggested donation for adults. It will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

But there is plenty else going on in the area this weekend too. Here is just a sampling of what’s available to you, your family and friends in the coming days:

  • Reston’s Relay for Life event will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). The luminaria ceremony is set for 9 p.m. Saturday, with the event to continue through the night and wrap up at 7 a.m. Sunday.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center. The Pink Armoire Fashion Truck will be in attendance this week.
  • Lake Anne is also hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August.
  • The Habitat Heroes program seeks volunteers to cut back the large invasive bush honeysuckle that has taken over the field edge at Sunrise Valley Rec Area (10805 Oldfield Drive), Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
  • There will be a bird walk Sunday from 7:30-10:30 a.m. at Stratton Woods Park. Meet at the Polo Fields Recreation Area.
  • Reston Association will host an open house at The Lake House on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon.
  • The 18th annual Teachers and Students Exhibit remains on display at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center-Lake Anne (1609 Washington Plaza N.) through June 5.
  • Live music at Reston Town Center this weekend will include a performance from 6-10 p.m. tonight at Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) and both tonight and Saturday from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.).
  • Lucky Dog Animal Rescue will have an adoption event at PetSmart (11860 Spectrum Center) from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.
  • This week at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive), Frying Pan Farm Park will visit Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon; and “First Ladies and Scandals in the City” will be presented Saturday from 1-3 p.m.
  • The My Health Matters 5K/1-mile Walk and Free Health Fair is slated for Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at the 505 Building at Herndon Square (505 Huntmar Park Drive).
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., from Medicated Sunfish. DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits Saturday night.
  • Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) has live music from 7-10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night.
  • Matt Waller will play at The Tasting Room Wine Bar (1816 Library St.) from 8-11 p.m. Saturday.

by RestonNow.com May 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm 2 Comments

Organizers of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, slated for this weekend at Reston Town Center, are expecting a big crowd.

According to information provided by Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE):

“The festival is the largest annual fundraiser for GRACE and attracts over 30,000 visitors from across the region. Participating artists uniformly view the event as one of the ‘top five’ outdoor art festivals in the country, extending high praise to the level of hospitality they receive from volunteers and involvement from a community that appreciates the high quality of the art presented.”

The festival is an honoree in the America’s Best Art Fair Awards competition, which recognized it as one of the top juried art fairs in the country.

Around 200 exhibiting artists will be filling the streets to show off their wares during the 26th annual event. All interior streets of the Town Center will be reserved for pedestrians only, leaving an 11-block art walk.

The event will begin with a kickoff party Friday from 6-9 p.m., featuring complimentary food and wine along with the opportunity to mingle with artists and other dignitaries. Tickets are $50. The festival itself will follow the next two days, with admission a $5 suggested donation for adults. It will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Boston Properties’ parking fees will be waived during the event, including during the kickoff party Friday. The festival is one of three special events throughout the year during which this will happen. The others are the Taste of Reston (June 16-17) and the Reston Holiday Parade (Nov. 24).

The weather will be decidedly cooler this weekend than it has been in recent days, with forecast highs in the low 70s.

by Dave Emke May 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm 5 Comments

Reston businesses, services and events were the recipients of nearly two dozen honors in Virginia Living magazine’s 2017 Best of Virginia awards.

According to the Eden Stuart, the magazine’s assistant editor, the awards issue, which is on newsstands today, is a “statewide guide to all that is ‘best’ in Virginia — from dining to shopping to doing.” More than 50,000 ballots were cast in a reader survey to find the honorees in 106 categories, Stuart said.

Lake Anne Plaza was particularly honored, with five businesses selected as being among the best of the best in the Northern Virginia region. Those winners include Lake Anne Brew House (first place, Best Local Craft Brewery); Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar (first place, Best Locally Owned Coffee Shop); Reston’s Used Book Shop (second place, Best Book Store); Small Change Consignments (first place, Best Children’s Clothing Store; second place, Best Consignment Shop); and Chesapeake Chocolates, Wine, Gifts and More (third place, Best Chocolatier).

“Please join us in saying congrats to these awesome Plaza merchants,” reads a post on Lake Anne Plaza’s Facebook page celebrating the honors.

In addition, the Reston Farmers Market at Lake Anne Plaza was honored with a second-place award for Best Farmers Market.

The full list of honorees from Reston in the 2017 Best of Virginia awards are:

FIRST-PLACE HONOREES

Taste of Reston
Best Food Festival

Edibles Incredible Desserts (11917 Freedom Drive)
Best Bakery
Best Chocolatier
Best Dessert Menu

Bacon N’ Ed’s
Best Food Truck

Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W.)
Best Local Craft Brewery

Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar (1612 Washington Plaza N.)
Best Locally Owned Coffee Shop

Life Time Fitness (1757 Business Center Drive)
Best Gym

CST Group (10740 Parkridge Blvd.)
Best Accounting Firm

Small Change Consignments (1629 Washington Plaza N.)
Best Children’s Clothing Store

Austin-Weston, The Center for Plastic Surgery (1825 Samuel Morse Drive)
Best Cosmetic Surgery Practice

The Eyewear Gallery at Reston Town Center (11900 Market St.)
Best Eye Care Provider

Miye Wire LLC (1818 Library St.)
Best Financial Planning Firm

AKG Design Studio
Best Kitchen Design Firm

Davelle Clothiers (11921 Freedom Drive)
Best Men’s Clothing Store

Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center (1831 Wiehle Ave.)
Best Physical Therapy Group

SECOND-PLACE HONOREES

Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival
Best Art Event

Cornerstones
Best Charity

Reston Farmers Market
Best Farmers Market

Small Change Consignments (1629 Washington Plaza N.)
Best Consignment Shop

Reston’s Used Book Shop (1623 Washington Plaza N.)
Best Book Store

THIRD-PLACE HONOREES

Chesapeake Chocolates, Wine, Gifts and More (11426 Washington Plaza W.)
Best Chocolatier

Trader Joe’s (11958 Killingsworth Ave.)
Best Grocery Store

The Wine Cabinet (1416 North Point Village Center)
Best Wine Shop

Image courtesy Virginia Living magazine

by RestonNow.com May 4, 2017 at 11:30 am 4 Comments

Locally based Gin Dance Company will perform at the 26th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, celebrating a public art installment at Reston Town Center.

The dancers will perform “Hello! Goodbye!” at 11 a.m. both days of the festival, May 20 and 21, at Mary Ann Mears’ “Reston Rondo” sculpture in Hyatt Park. The performance was created by the company’s artistic director, Shu-Chen Cuff.

From a press release:

“Just as the Mears sculpture shows a clean organic form which brings a feeling of lyricism and whimsy. Shu-Chen Cuff explores through her choreography of ‘Hello! Goodbye!’ to bring a high energy of joy, grace and humor. Shu-Chen will bring in her Gin Dance Company Dancers that will transform the Hyatt Park into a living theatrical experience not to be missed.”

The free festival will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 20; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 21. All interior streets of the Town Center will be reserved for pedestrians only, leaving an 11-block art walk. Boston Properties’ parking fees will be waived during the event, including during a kickoff party Friday.

Photo courtesy Gin Dance Company

by RestonNow.com April 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm 3 Comments

Hundreds of volunteers are needed for the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival next month.

Organizers are recruiting 500 people to help with essential tasks such as artist hospitality, greeting festival visitors, promoting Greater Reston Arts Center, encouraging creativity at the Family Art Park and more. Time commitments range from a few hours to an entire day.

Information about volunteer opportunities is available at the Greater Reston Arts Center website.

Volunteers will receive a festival T-shirt and a program with restaurant coupons. Students may also receive community service hours. Individuals, teams of co-workers, friends and families are encouraged to participate, organizers say.

The event at Reston Town Center will begin with a kickoff party Friday, May 19 from 6-9 p.m., featuring complimentary food and wine along with the opportunity to mingle with artists and other dignitaries. Tickets are $50.

The festival itself will follow the next two days, with admission a $5 suggested donation for adults. It will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 20; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 21.

All interior streets of the Town Center will be reserved for pedestrians only, leaving an 11-block art walk. Boston Properties’ parking fees will be waived during the event, including during the kickoff party Friday.

Photo courtesy Greater Reston Arts Center

by RestonNow.com April 10, 2017 at 4:00 pm 9 Comments

The 26th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is just a little over a month away.

Thousands of people are expected to enjoy the festival, which will take place May 19-21 at Reston Town Center. The event is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.).

Around 200 exhibiting artists will be filling the streets to show off their wares during the event. The festival is an honoree in the America’s Best Art Fair Awards competition, which recognized it as one of the top juried art fairs in the country.

The event will begin with a kickoff party Friday, May 19 from 6-9 p.m., featuring complimentary food and wine along with the opportunity to mingle with artists and other dignitaries. Tickets are $50.

The festival itself will follow the next two days, with admission a $5 suggested donation for adults. It will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 20; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 21.

All interior streets of the Town Center will be reserved for pedestrians only, leaving an 11-block art walk. Boston Properties’ parking fees will be waived during the event, including during the kickoff party Friday.

File photo

by Karen Goff May 20, 2016 at 11:30 am 4 Comments

Market Street will be lined with works by painters, sculptors, jewelry makers and other artists as the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival returns to Reston Town Center May 21 and 22 its 25th year.

More than 200 festival artists from across the nation have been selected by jurors to exhibit and sell their works.

Complete list of festival artists.

Among the artists: 28 artists from the D.C. metro region, including Reston-area artists Ann Barbieri, Laura Edwards, Dana Ann Scheurer, and Connie Slack.

Festival organizers say about 30,000 visitors are expected to check out the festival this year, though the forecast is for lots of rain on Saturday. Here is what you need to know:

Hours and Prices — The festival is open from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, and 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 22 at Reston Town Center, 11900 Market Street, Reston, VA 20190. A gate donation of $5 to GRACE is suggested and provides a festival program and dining certificates for local restaurants. Parking is free.

Launch Party — There will be a Festival Launch Party in the Reston Town Center Pavilion on Friday, May 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The party will feature fun food and beverages and a silent auction. Tickets are limited, so purchase soon if you want to attend. Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased online. (more…)

by Karen Goff May 18, 2015 at 11:30 am 0

Reston Town Center was turned into equal parts extensive gallery, performing arts stage, and craft room as the 24th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival came to town Saturday and Sunday.

More than 200 artists from across the nation had booths at the show, which attracted tens of thousands of visitors. The event was fun for the whole family, as kids could get crafty at the Family Art Park set up in the pavilion.

by Karen Goff May 13, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival party 2013/Courtesy GRACEKick off the 2015 Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival at the festival launch party Friday at Reston Town Center Pavilion.

The party gets the 24th annual festival underway with music, a silent auction, and a raffle. The $75 admission also includes food and beverages. Attire is creative cocktail. Party time is from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Visit the event site to purchase tickets.

Money raised at the party will benefit year-round educational and outreach programs produced by Greater Reston Arts Center. GRACE currently has programs in 40 area schools.

The festival is open to the public Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, but a $5 donation is suggested.

There will be more than 200 artists and artisans from all over the country on hand for the juried show. There will also be dance and musical performance and a Family Art Tent.

Read this previous Reston Now story for additional festival information.

Photo: Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival party 2013/Courtesy GRACE

by Karen Goff May 4, 2015 at 4:30 pm 1 Comment

Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival 2014More than 200 artists from all over the country will be at Reston Town Center May 16 and 17 at the 24th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.

The event is the premier arts festival in Northern Virginia, attracting tens of thousands of visitors to Reston.

Here is what you need to know:

Arts festival booths will be open rain or shine from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 16 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 17. Admission is free, but a voluntary donation of $5 is suggested (and will get you a festival map and town center dining discounts).

There will be a festival launch party on Friday, May 15 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the pavilion. Admission is $75 and will benefit Greater Reston Arts Center programs. There will be food, drinks, entertainment and a silent auction.

There will be a Family Art Park with hands-on activities such as making two-dimensional and three-dimensional art, a collaborative community art project and face painting.

There will also be music and dance entertainment on two stages.

Volunteers are still needed. Fill out this form on the Festival website to inquire.

Reston Limousine will provide free shuttle bus service from the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station to Reston Town Center. The shuttle will operate from 9:45 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and from 9:45 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Passengers can board the bus on Reston Station Boulevard on the north side of the Metro station, west side of the Kiss and Ride garage entrance. The shuttle will depart every 20 minutes.

2014 Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival/file photo 

by Karen Goff May 20, 2014 at 11:30 am 1,336 1 Comment

Song of Heart by Cindy GrisdelaReston artist Cindy Grisdela hoped that her weekend at the Northern Virginia Fine Art Festival would result in sales of her brightly colored art quilts.

Instead, she wrapped up the weekend by filing a police report.

Some time between the show’s 8 p.m. closing on Saturday and the morning opening on Sunday, six works were stolen from Grisdela’s booth on Market Street at the Reston Town Center festival. The pieces ranged in value from $125 to $1,675, she said.

“I just would like the work back,” said Grisdela. “It means a lot to me.”

It also means a lot to her bottom line. Artists are in the midst of festival season. Grisdela said she has commitments for other festivals and will have to go with much less inventory.

“I am a fiber artist,” she said. “My process takes a long time. I just can’t make more work [in time].”

Grisdela describes the works on her blog:

When I last saw them as I closed up my tent last Saturday night, all of the pieces were mounted on artist’s canvas painted black. Geranium, below left, is 16″ w x 12″ h. Song of the Heart, below right, is 20″ h x 20″ w. City Streets, at the bottom of the page, is two panels from a triptych and each panel is 20″ h x 20″ w. They are all signed on the back of the canvas and my name, Cindy Grisdela, is free motion stitched onto the front of each piece.

The two other pieces were smaller. Peacock Drive is 12″ x 12″ in pastel colors. It has an improvisational stripe including two small house shapes running horizontally, an upper blue border and a lower green one. Tropicana is 8″ x 8″ with an orange-red central block and blue borders.

Grisdela has notified festival organizers and the Fairfax County Police.

Geranium by Cindy GrisdelaFestival organizers strongly recommend that artists take their works home with them at night, says Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) Executive Director Holly McCullough. The booths zip up but they do not lock. GRACE pays for FCPD officers to do security overnight by the pavilion and to rove among the 200 booths around the town center.

McCullough said GRACE does not have liability for theft as it would be impossible for the nonprofit to obtain an insurance policy large enough to cover the value of all the works. Artists are encouraged to carry festival insurance, she said.

“This is an extremely distressing incident,” said McCullough. “Theft is not something that is common at the festival.”

Grisdela, who has been on the festival circuit for three years, said most artists do not remove everything from the booths.

“It is just not feasible to take them out and bring them back,” she said. “You risk damaging the work every day. The only people I know who do that are jewelers with small, portable works.”

There has been theft at the festival before. Ten years ago, someone walked off with a life-sized statue of a woman in the middle of the afternoon. The piece was valued at $38,000. It was found two months later in a Herndon man’s home.

Also on Saturday, someone walked away from an artist’s booth with a handmade bowl, said McCullough.

If you have any info on the stolen quilts, contact Grisdela at [email protected]

Photo: “Song of the Heart,” by Cindy Grisdela; “Geranium,” by Cindy Grisdela

by Karen Goff May 19, 2014 at 4:30 pm 0

Thousands of art patrons — or at least art spectators — flocked to Reston Town Center over the weekend to take in the 23rd Annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.

The festival, which had the good fortune to have perfect weather this year, brings together more than 200 artists from across the country for a juried show.

Visitors also enjoyed street performers, live music and a kids tent that incorporated science and engineering with art.

by Karen Goff May 14, 2014 at 4:30 pm 0

Fun for Kids at Fine Arts Festival/file photoFamilies visiting the 23rd annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival this weekend will have a place to cool their heels and create at the Family Art Park.

Reston Town Square Park (at Market and Explorer Streets in Reston Town Center) will be transformed into a Family Art Park that will include a Children’s Art Tent, a Public Art project, face painting, and a family “Chill-Out” tent, among other activities.

The theme in the Children’s Art Tent is “Art and Science STEAMing Along Together. The theme combines art with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Children of all ages can explore the intersection of art and science, and learn how the two can work together to create exciting art, organizers say.

Among the art activities: Magnetic Painting, Wacky Mobile, Fun Architecture and Spinny Tops.

Also in the park, a Public Art project sponsored by the Initiative for Public Art-Reston (IPAR) and the Reston Town Center Association. Visitors of all ages are welcome to participate.

The Family Art Park is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and is free to the public.

Festival entry is a suggested $5 donation on Saturday and Sunday, which will entitle patrons to a program, featuring over $50 in discount coupons to Reston Town Center restaurants.  Children 18 and under are free.

Pre-sale Festival entry can be purchased online at a 20 percent discount.

For complete Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival details, visit the festival website.

Photo: Kids create at Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival/Credit: GRACE file

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