Passers-by might notice a new mosaic art installation outside the Lincoln at Wiehle Station.
After facing delays due to COVID-19, artist Valerie Theberge expects the piece of vibrantly colored glass tiles to be completed by the end of today (May 13).
The project was commissioned in coordination with the Lincoln’s developers and ultimately approved by Public Art Reston. It consists of two pieces — a bench and a 75-foot long wall, according to Theberge.
When designing the geometric art, Theberge said she wanted it to “harmonize” with the surrounding area.
“There are highlights of red on the building so we added red highlights to play with the building,” she said, adding that the geometric shapes also “talk with the architecture.”
For the community, Theberge hopes that people will enjoy the art as they pass by the building on an afternoon stroll or on their commute into work. “I wanted something you could look at over and over,” Theberge said.
Especially since people can’t visit museums during the pandemic, Theberge said that public works of art are more important than ever for people’s mental health and overall enjoyment.
— Public Art Reston (@PublicArtReston) May 12, 2020
Photo courtesy Valerie Theberge
Stay-at-Home Chalk Art Challenge Underway — Public Art Reston is encouraging residents to make chalk drawings on safe, paved spaces. This week’s theme is fantasy. [Public Art Reston]
Local Company Tops ‘Fantastic 50’ List — The Herndon-based B3 Group was named the fastest-growing company in the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 “Fantastic 50” list. The company saw revenue growth of 3,231 percent from 2015 through 2018. [Virginia Chamber]
Leidos Acquires L3Harris Businesses — Reston-based defense contractor Leidos Holdings Inc. announced Tuesday it has officially completed the acquisition of Massachusetts- and England-based L3Harris’ Security Detection and Automation businesses for approximately $1 billion in cash. [Virginia Business Monthly]
Urgent Need for Election Volunteers — The Virginia Department of Elections is currently looking for election volunteers for the June 23 primaries. The election form is available online. [Fairfax County Government]
SLHS art teacher Marco Rando — who has also led a number of art projects in the area — will work with art students on the project. The project will be delivered this spring during the town center’s 30th anniversary year, according to a press release.
“This is a unique opportunity for us to bring project-based learning into the classroom in a very powerful way, and we hope its success this first year will lay the groundwork for a long-term continuation of this wonderful partnership between SLHS and Reston Town Center,” said SLHS Principal Kimberly Retzer.
RTCA and project sponsors reviewed students’ proposals for the project and selected a “lenticular” sculpture that could present four different murals, according to RTCA. The association, Boston Properties, and professionals in design and art, will review two maquettes created by students.
Rando said the approval project will allow students to get a glimpse of the approval process for artwork.
“This is part of the challenge and learning experience for our students, to interact with and respond to the multiple professional interests that would typically be required to get a project like this approved at a dynamic place like Reston Town Center,” Rando stated
In addition to the support of RTC, Boston Properties is providing the school’s funding for the project while the Hyatt Regency at Reston Town Center is offering the location at Hyatt Park and power at no cost. Power Services, Inc. will complete all electrical and lighting work at no charge while KCS Landscape Management will transport the sculpture to the site for free.
RTCA’s executive director, Robert Goudie, said the project is the product of partnerships created by Public Ar Reston, Reston Association, and the school.
“Thanks to our incredible partners – Boston Properties, Hyatt, Power Services, and KCS, who are covering the school budget and more – we can bring that model into the classroom and deliver a community project that furthers an important part of RTCA’s mission: enriching our downtown through the arts.”
Photo by vantagehill/Flickr
Restonians have banded together to launch “Light Up Reston,” a community-wide initiative that aims to encourage residents to support charities and decorate homes for the holidays.
The initiative aims to show residents’ community spirit and raise funds for Public Art Reston, Friends of Reston, and Cornerstones. It draws inspiration from Lake Thoreau Entertainment Associations’ “Festival of Lights,” which raises money for local charities and brings lights to the lake.
This year, residents — some friends and others strangers — decided to spread the initiative throughout the.
“With expanding this effort across Reston, we are hoping to raise holiday spirit as well as awareness of these wonderful Reston based charities by raising $25,000,” said Mary Prochnow, one of the organizers.
So far, $400 has been raised as the initiative kicks off. Last year’s “Festival of Lights” raised more than $8,500 for local charities.
Residents can donate funds to charities by contributing the dollar amount used to put up holiday decorations, the number of homes decorated in your neighborhood, or the number of times residents’ have thought about falling off a ladder while putting up lights.
Melissa Romano, who is also helping organize the initiative, said Restonians involved in lighting up Reston were drawn by their common desire to promote “great events in Reston.”
Photo via Charlotte Geary Photography
Once the Lake Anne Fellowship House is redeveloped, bronze canvas-like art will wrap around the garage that rests below the 240-unit building.
Reston Association’s Design Review Board approved the final design at on Tuesday (Nov. 12).
At the meeting, Suzane. Welch, vice president of the Community Preservation and Development Corp. said the company was considering relocation trees planned in front of the screen.
The concept was approved by Public Art Reston‘s public art committee, which suggested relocating the trees to showcase the artwork more effectively.
Overall, DRB members said they were pleased with the design.
Richard Newlon, chairman of the panel, said the company should consider retaining the trees in order to create a buffer between the sidewalk and the building. He added that he liked the aesthetic of the screen, which consists of a perforated metal panel.
“It’s supposed to be background. It’s not supposed to be canvas art,” Newlon said.
Other members noted that the art would require maintenance due to its design.
The county approved the redevelopment of the fellowship house, which offers affordable housing for seniors, in October 2018.
Once the building is redeveloped, the development team will build 36 market-rate townhouses to the west side of property.
A Guide on How to Handle Peer Pressure — “Everyone has peers. Peers can be your friends who are about your age and have similar interests and experiences. Peers can also be other kids who are about your age and are involved in the same activities with you or are part of a community or group you belong to. You may not consider all of your peers to be friends, but they can all influence you.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]
A Legacy to Live on in Reston — “Commissioned by Public Art Reston, Volta took calculated measures during the production phase of the community-inspired project finalized in 2019 to protect the mural panels against sun and element damage as well as vandalism. A few days before the Oct. 17 unveiling of the Public Artwork at Colts Neck Road Underpass, Volta shared, in a one-on-one interview, key processes and materials essential in the successful creation of the paneled mural, and safeguards he took to protect the investment.” [The Connection]
Volunteers Sought for Halloween House and Trick-or-Treat Trail — Reston Association is looking for volunteers over 15 years of age for its annual event. An orientation Is set for today (Wednesday) from 6-7 p.m. at the Walker Nature Center. [Reston Association]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
The public unveiling is set for Wednesday (October 16) from 6-7 p.m. The free event will also includes ice cream.
The underpass is accessible from Hunters Woods Village Center and from Hunters Woods at Trails Edge. Parking is available at Hunters Woods Village Center.
The piece is titled “Thoreau’s Ensemble.” Ben Volta, the Philadelphia-based artist behind the work, was inspired by poet Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reference.”
Volta asked community members and residents to draw a path and add components that make Reston stimulating and worthwhile.
The final design was by approved by Reston Association’s Design Review Board earlier this year. The project is made possible through a partnership with Public Art Reston, Atlantic Realty Companies, and RA.
Photo via Public Art Reston
The commission is state agency tenant supports the arts by seeking funding from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Goudie is also the executive director of the Reston Town Center Association, where he expanded the RTCA’s programming. He also helped found Public Art Reston and serves on its Board of Directors. He is also a member of ArtsFairfax’s advocacy committee.
GRACE wrote the following about Goudie:
In the six years that Mr. Goudie has served as GRACE Board Chair, GRACE has built out its exhibition and educational content and Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival in service of a new vision to identify GRACE as an important cultural destination along Metro’s Silver Line and grow its voice in the DC metropolitan region’s cultural conversation; added to its board depth and diversity; grown its financial capacity; forged new partnerships with prestigious downtown institutions like the National Gallery of Art and others; built a strong strategic partnership with George Mason University and added collaborations with other educational institutions; added a satellite gallery at the Signature building in Reston Town Center; and was recognized as one of only four visual arts institutions in the entire Commonwealth to receive a VCA 50th anniversary award.
In a statement, Goudie described the appointment as an “institutional honor.”
“We have a very dedicated and talented Board of Directors, a superb staff led by our Executive Director and Curator, Lily Siegel, and fantastic supporters,” he said.
Photo via GRACE
Lunch in the Park Today in Reston Town Center — “Join co-presenters Reston Town Center Association and the Reston Community Center to welcome the GMU College of Visual and Performing Arts for Thursday Lunch in the Park! This week’s performance is NOVATEQ.” [Reston Town Center]
Brush Chipping by Reston Association — RA members can bring their brush for chipping at no cost to Lake Audubon Pool this weekend. Members are reminded not to dump grass clippings, dirt, vines, thorns or other debris. [Reston Association]
Chalking It Up for ChalkFest — “The iconic Public Art Reston sculpture, Mercury Fountain by Saint Clair Cemin, served as the backdrop for the sixth annual Chalk Fest at Reston Town Center on Saturday, Sept. 14. Presented by Public Art Reston in partnership with Reston Town Center, according to Anne Delaney, Executive Director of Public Art Reston, the Festival proved once again to be among the community’s most photogenic events.” [The Connection]
Staff Photo by Jay Westcott
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
Artists of all ages and skill levels can now save the date for ChalkFest at Reston Town Center.
The annual event, which challenges artists to create chalk drawings on Market Street, is set for Saturday, September 14 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Registration is open in the following categories:
- Professional artist: $25
- Amateur artist: $25
- Families and kids: $15
Prizes will be given to winning artists in each category. Participants will also get the chance to vote in the “audience choice awards.”
ChalkFest is presented by Public Art Reston and Reston Town Center. All proceeds from the event will benefit Public Art Reston’s projects and programs.
Last year’s event was cancelled due to the forecasted rain, but in 2017, the event drew more than 4,000 people.
Photo by Public Art Reston
Save the Date: Chalkfest is in Mid-September — Professional and amateur artists will bring the sidewalks of Reston Town Center to life through chalk drawings. The event takes place on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. [Reston Community Center]
County School System Wins Grant for Farm-to-School Program — “The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Office of Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has been named recipient of a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to create a pilot Farm-to-School strategic plan. The $50,000 grant will support the development of the plan with a goal of expanding it throughout the division to provide more students with fresh and locally-sourced food.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Farmers & Makers Market Returns to Reston Town Center — The market is back from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. Artisans and farmers will sell a mix of items. [Reston Town Center]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
New art by South Lakes High School’s STEAM team was installed on the Lake Thoreau spillway this month.
The piece, called “Spectrum,” is composed of five wooden interlocking rectangular prism made of different sizes and colors. Wood, paint and metal brackets were used to create the piece.
Public Art Reston issued the following description about the project:
After two years of creating sculptures with strong conceptual origins that featured minimalist color palettes, STEAM decided to change direction and create a sculpture that prioritized an exploration of aesthetic elements over a representation of a tangible theme. To do so, STEAM started out with one of the most basic geometric forms, the cube, with the intention for the emergence of an infinitely more complex, powerful, and unique form. The end result is Spectrum, a celebration of line, form, and color, unleashing the potential and power in the austerity of the formal elements employed in the sculpture. More specifically, basic line accentuated by its rainbow palette; a conglomeration of neon hues, and soft gradients similar to strawberry sherbets and dusky sunsets. The process of constructing the sculpture became a form of beacon for students who had not been involved in the sculpture thus far. In other words, a congregation of students turned out to collaborate in fabricating the sculpture, students that were not the weekly attendees through-out the year.
The project seeks to represent a “proverbial village.” Students involved in the project — which was created under the direction of SLHS art teacher Marco Rando — come from various racial and social backgrounds.
Rando said the vision of the project is embodied by the mission of the SLHS STEAM public art club:
The way the program has developed over its 7 years, I see as a formal meditation. Most people hearing the word meditation would think of a practice to make one feel better. While that might be a wonderful by product, experienced meditators know it’s the process of discipline, which is demanding and requires commitment. While at the same time, one most journey lightly as not to be self-defeating.
Since this is an art project, creative ego’s are essential, however, students learn quickly and become intuitive to the necessity of team work as key to the projects success. This meditative process is challenging students to exert themselves, using their inquisitive minds as an element of practice. In order to be an effective student, one learns to be highly inquisitive.
Students experience firsthand that information is not a foreign element but just a state of furthering their inquisitiveness. This meditative participation involves revealing 2 factors, it relates to the individual and it relates to their world. Their training becomes synchronistic, discovering, seeing, and living their efforts to have a direct impact in their community. Ultimately students are creatively serving their society by developing and exercising multiple disciplines to achieve a work of art. Like most art work, the student project is meant to foster dialogue. For me, the dialogue is about how to create more public art that affords students the opportunity to perform at a professional level; the meditative process of living and experiencing life.
SLHS, Reston Association and Public Art Reston partnered to bring “Spectrum” to the spillway.
Project sponsors include the Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association, Mary and David Prochnow, MOD Pizza, Hope and Hayes McCarty, Priscilla Miller and E.T. Conrad.
Photo 1 and 2 by Russ Evans; Photo 3 via Public Art Reston
Plans are in the works to install a project inspired by pathways and connection at the Colts Neck Underpass.
The project, which was approved by Reston Association’s Design Review Board this week, is composed of hundreds of sharpie-based drawings created by workshop participants and local students.
On Saturday, June 29, artist Ben Volta will hold his last workshop for the project at Hunters Woods at Trail Edge.
Participants will have a chance to help create the artwork. So far, seniors and students from Dogwood Elementary School, Hunters Woods Elementary School, Southgate Community Center and Hunters Woods Fellowship House have participated in the effort.
Volta will use drawings created by participants to form the overall artwork, which could have more than 30 colors. The concept is inspired by the connections created through pathways.
The workshop runs from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Ice cream will be served and the event is free and open to all.
Public Art Reston hopes to install the project by September.
Photo via Public Art Reston
Reston Association’s Design Review Board approved Philadelphia-based artist Ben Volta’s vision to transform the Colts Neck Road underpass into public art.
At a Tuesday meeting, the DRB approved a conceptual design of the project. The final version will use between 600 and 1,000 designs created by seniors from Hunters Woods Fellowship House and more than 800 students from Southgate Community Center and Hunters Woods and Dogwood elementary schools.
Inspired by Reston’s 55 miles of pathways, Volta asked participants to use sharpies to draw a path that invokes joy, love and reference. In a proposal to the DRB, he describes the project as a “colorful connector that reverberates collective energy and rhythm.”
The DRB reviewed a conceptual rendering of the project with just 10 drawings replicated over and over again to give the panel a feel for the direction of the design.
During the meeting, Richard Newlon, the DRB’s chairman, said the project was “stunning.”
“You take something as mundane as a tunnel and its almost too bad that tunnels weren’t designed with more fun in mind,” Newlon said.
Panel members briefly considered asking Volta to return to the DRB for final approval once the design was near finalization. Instead, Volta will submit a final rendering of the project as a courtesy to the DRB.
However, W. Neal Roseberry, a DRB member, questioned the need to transform underpasses into public art.
“I’ve never fully enjoyed that we use our infrastructure for our artwork,” Roseberry said.
Public Art Reston hopes to install the project by September. Anne Delaney, Public Art Reston’s executive director noted that the master plan for public art in Reston envisions transforming the community’s underpasses into art.
Volta says will use colors selected by workshop participants, but anticipates tweaks to the color to ensure the piece is balanced. A strip of LED lighting will line both ends of the tunnel.
“I’m kind of along for the ride as well,” Volta said, adding that he’s open to collaborating more with the community for piece of art created through collaboration.
The artwork begins six inches above the ground in order to prevent splattering from dirt and mud. Because of its location, the underpass has drainage issues.
The project is made possible with a proffer commitment by Atlantic Realty Companies to improve the exterior of the underpass as part of its development at Hunters Woods at Trails Edge. The developer is pitching in $60,000 for the art.
Other community partners include ARTSFairfax, Reston Community Center, JBG SMITH, Virginia Commission for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Pat & Steve Macintyre, and Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association.
Renderings via handout/Reston Association