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Art Project by South Lakes High School Students Installed on Lake Thoreau

“Connie’s Quilt,” an art project by students at South Lakes High School, now blankets a portion of Lake Thoreau.

The structure was created by the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) club. It is made of galvanized metal, airplane cables, tubing, connectors and cable ties.

The project aims to represent community connections and the notion that the self-made man does not exist, according to Public Art Reston. Reston Association, Public Art Reston and SLHS partnered to make the project possible.

A series of videos about the project are available online:

Photos via Public Art Reston

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Funds Sought for New Steel Sculpture in Reston Town Center

The Greater Reston Arts Center is seeking funds to help finance a new 50-foot steel sculpture in Reston Town Center.

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.

Wrbican’s work was previously featured by GRACE last fall. Installation and an opening ceremony are expected in August. Donations can be made online.

Less than half of the required funds needed to make the project possible have been raised from Reston Town Center Association, Reston Community Center, ArtsFairfax and Public Art Reston.

Photos via Greater Reston Arts Center

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Photos: Chalking It Up at Lake Anne Plaza

Artists, professionals and amateurs alike, descended onto Lake Anne Plaza over the weekend for Public Art Reston‘s annual “Chalk on the Water” event.

During the two-day street art festivals, participants created drawings on the plaza. Proceeds from the event benefit Public Art Reston, a non-profit organization that aims to promote the arts in Reston.

More than 180 people participated in the event, which drew roughly 1,725 attendees.  

“The event went extremely well despite the weather forecast. Artists in all categories created amazing chalk drawings. Most artists came prepared with a sketch or image they planned to realize in chalk,” said Anne Delaney, executive director of Public Art Reston.

The winners for three categories — professional artists, amateur artists and families and kids — are below and pictured above:

Professional Artist

  • 1st Place: Penny Hauffe
  • 2nd Place: Erica Fallin
  • 3rd Place: Brianna Camp

Amateur Artist

  • 1st Place: Maxine Prudhomme & Samantha Burgess
  • 2nd Place: Jennifer Griffith
  • 3rd Place: Tongman Yang

Families & Kids

  • 1st Place: Faisal Chaudry
  • 2nd Place: John Byron
  • 3rd Place: Elia Jarrett

All of the artwork from the weekend’s festival will remain visible on the plaza until it wears off naturally, which could happen today given the forecast of rain.

Photos by Public Art Reston

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Art Project by South Lakes High School Students Planned Over Lake Thoreau

An art piece by students at South Lakes High School will be suspended over Lake Thoreau this month. The project, called Connie’s Quilt, is made of rings of white tubing strung together to convey one central theme: community is defined by the connections we have with those around us.

Students from the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) club created the sculpture, with help from the school’s photo, art and design teacher Marco Rando.

Public Art Reston offered the following description of the work:

Connie’s Quilt, is made from rings of white tubing strung together to create an organic and kinetic sculpture suspended over the lake. The artwork, comprised of many parts, is representative of our societal fabric and the importance of connectivity between people. Connie’s Quilt sets out to dispel the myth of the “self-made man” and identify the reality that nobody gets where they are without support from family and friends. Interdependence is crucial to the survival and prosperity of any community, which is represented by the supportive and holistic nature of the rings.

In testimony submitted to Reston Association’s Design Review Board, some residents said that while they appreciated the student’s efforts, the art sculpture was not a welcome addition to the lake.

The proposed sculpture at first glance looks sinister and immediately brought memories of jails and detention centers to my mind – quite the opposite of a peaceful lakeside collection of communities,” wrote Teri-E Belf, a Reston resident.

Echoing similar concerns, Reston resident Najwa Margaret Saad wrote the sculpture evoked unpleasant images that were not appropriate “at a time when our current American public narrative is about refugees, deportations and such.”

“The design size and aspect are not in harmony with the expansive, peaceful, natural, flowing environment of our Lake Thoreau,” Saad added.

On Thursday (June 14) at 6 p.m., the artwork will be on display before it is installed at the Lake Thoreau Spillway. Students will also offer their thoughts on the project. The reception will be held at SLHS in Room 367. RSVPs are requested at [email protected].

Photos via Public Art Reston

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Chalk on the water — Unleash your creativity this weekend as Lake Anne Plaza’s ground becomes a canvas for amateur and professional artists alike. [Public Art Reston]

Stateside: June 12 — The primary elections in Virginia and Fairfax County are on Tuesday, June 12. All 243 precincts will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

Happening nearby: motorized partitions — “Schools in Fairfax County, Virginia, will be allowed to use motorized panel doors again after a little boy died in a “tragic accident” at his elementary school. Wesley Lipicky was killed on May 18 after he was crushed between a motorized panel and a wall.” [NBC4]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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‘Chalk on the Water’ Returns to Lake Anne Village Center in June

Mark your calendars: Chalk on the Water, the fifth annual street-art festival, returns to Lake Anne Village Center in early June.

Hosted by Public Art Reston, the two-day festival challenges artists to create chalk drawings on Lake Anne’s Washington Plaza. This year’s event will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 9 and 10.

Artists can register in three categories, including professional artists, amateur artists, and families and kids. Participants have a chance to earn a prize. Face painter Becky Nelson will be on-site to paint faces and snow cones and popcorn will be available for purchase by Reston Association.

Last year’s festival sold-out for the first time. Organizers expect a high turnout this year as well.

“It’s a challenge to come up with a compelling drawing for the event, and a little intimidating to draw in public, but it’s always worth the effort. It’s also fun watching the reactions of people walking by, especially kids, and hearing their comments about the drawings,” said Bruce Wright, last year’s winner in the amateur category.

Online registration is open and closes on June 8 at 5 p.m. Participants can also register on-site on the day of the event. Fees range from $10 to $20 depending on the category.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks. For more information, contact [email protected].

Sponsors include Lake Anne Coffee House & Wine Bar and Reston Association Camps.

Photo via Facebook

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New Public Art Installed at Reston Station Plaza

A cast bronze sculpture inspired by the power of Mother Nature was installed at Reston Station Plaza this month.

The piece, “The Force of Nature,” is by artist Lorenzo Quinn and is located on the north side of Wiehle-Reston East Station.

A statement from the artist is below:

“We humans think of ourselves as supreme beings, above all others and in absolute control of our destiny and our surroundings. We live with a false sense of security only to be awakened by Mother Nature’s fury, almost as if she needs to remind us of her presence and our responsibility towards her child (The Earth).

After having seen the ravaged coast of Thailand and the Hurricane that affected the Southern States I decided to create a sculpture dedicated to Mother Nature. This would be reminiscent of the early statues made as peace offerings to the Gods in the hope of quenching their anger.  

In essence, people are not very different today from the people who lived thousands of years ago. We still devote ourselves to symbols in order to escape our destiny.”

Photos via Public Art Reston

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Founder’s Day Set for April 14 at Lake Anne Plaza

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum is hosting the 54th annual anniversary of Reston’s founding.

Founder’s Day is set for Saturday, April 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will include moon bounces, children’s activities and face painting.

Musical entertainment will be provided by Terrasset Elementary School, Langston Hughes Middle School’s jazz ensemble, Aldrin Elementary School, Lake Anne Elementary School and other local groups and schools.

At noon, local elected officials like state Sen. Janet Howell, state Del. Ken Plum, and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova will deliver remarks. Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins is also scheduled to speak.

Public Art Reston is also hosting a public tour around Lake Anne. The event will also include a book-signing event in the afternoon by local authors  LaVerne Gill, Donna Andrews, and Samantha Mina. Artist Zachary Oxman will also provide commentary the impact of Reston on his art.

Founder’s Day is also supported by Reston Community Center and co-sponsored by Reston Association and Public Art Reston.

A complete program is available online.

Photos via Reston Historic Trust and Museum

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Spiraling Glass Sculpture to Debut at Signature Park in Reston Town Center

A spiraling tower of glass created by American glass artist Danny Lane is under construction next to the newly-opened Signature, Boston Properties’ 508-unit apartment building.

The artwork consists of stacked, iron glass on a granite plinth that can also be used as seating. The twisting form is placed at the center of the convergence point between three pedestrian paths.

The art piece is the “focal point” within Signature Park, which contains widened bike path, a play area for children and stairs leading to town center, according to Richard Ellis, Boston Properties’ vice president of development.

The site is under construction as work on landscaping continues, according Anne Delaney, executive director of Public Art Reston.

Here’s more about the piece and the artist from Public Art Reston:

The goal of the artwork is three fold. From macro to micro, our objective for the new Danny Lane sculpture site is: to enrich the civic life of greater Reston; to contribute a permanent sculpture to the Reston Town Center development that introduces a unique and elevating experience and to specifically form a connection between the new Signature residential tower that both harmonizes with the building’s elegant design and serves as a welcoming transition from the adjacent public green space.

Danny Lane is an American glass artist currently living and working in London. He is best known for his large scale glass and steel sculptures. Through his work, he contrasts the seeming fragility of glass as a material with the sturdiness of steel to create sculptures that are at once commanding and elegant. His work can be found in collections around the world, from London, to Hong Kong, to the United States.

Photo via Public Art Reston and Danny Lane

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Public Art Reston to Celebrate 10th Anniversary With Birthday Party

Public Art Reston is growing up! The organization will celebrate its foray into double digits by celebrating its 10th anniversary with a birthday party this Thursday night, and the public is invited.

The nonprofit organization, which aims to celebrate the fine art through starting a dialogue about public works and bringing more of them into existence throughout Reston, got its roots in 2007 as the Initiative For Public Art – Reston. As the group turns 10 years old, representatives say they are experiencing a rebirth of sorts, including changing the name to Public Art Reston.

The group has helped introduce many public works of art throughout the Reston community over the past 10 years, including sculptures, statues and other works, as well as hosted many art-inspired events that engage people of all ages and encourage them to create their own works of art.

“This year’s community’s events like ChalkFest at Reston Town Center and the Annual Reception will celebrate this milestone year and the impact that public art has made on the Reston community, and the future of public art in Reston,” representatives say.

The organization is currently hosting an exhibit about the legacy of public art in Reston, entitled “Reston: The Art of Community Exhibition,” through Nov. 26 at the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, 1639 Washington Plaza.

The birthday party this Thursday will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Aperture, 11410 Reston Station Blvd. The cost is $25 per person and includes light food and drinks. A string quartet from South Lakes High School will perform, as well as a DJ. A public art activity will be available for participants to take part in, as well as raffles and a silent auction. Tickets can be purchased online. Donations to the organization can also be made through Public Art Reston’s website.

Image: Convergence sculpture at Aperture apartments, sponsored by Public Art Reston / Credit: Reston Now.

Image: ChalkFest event hosted by Public Art Reston / Credit: Reston Now.

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reception to Celebrate Exhibit About Public Art in Reston Tonight — Public Art Reston and Reston Historic & Museum will co-host a reception to celebrate the exhibit Reston: The Art of Community at the museum (1639 Washington Plaza North) from 5:30 – 7 pm. The reception will be followed by a screening of Peabody Award winning director Rebekah Wingert-Jabi’s Fun, Beauty, Fantasy: Reston’s Public Art and A Bird in the Hand – Patrick Dougherty’s Sculptural Installation in Reston, VA  from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center Lake Anne (1609 Washington Plaza North). Attendance is free. RSVP by emailing [email protected] [Public Art Reston]

Virginia Officials Push Hard on E-ZPass Awareness for I-66 Tolls — State officials plan to encourage more drivers to get an E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex. Around half of drivers using Interstate 66 do not have the devices, even though new tolls lanes will open in less than two months. [WTOP]

Meet Marion Baker at CenterStage Tonight — Baker, who has been the principal cellist of the Fairfax Symphony for several years, will be featured in this event at Center Stage (2310 Colts Neck Road) from 2:15 – 3:30 p.m. tonight. All ages are welcome. [Reston Community Center]

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Creative Response Set for Thursday at Greater Reston Arts Center

Philosopher Rachel Jones, choreographer Britta Joy Peterson and visual artists PLAKOOKEE will present a creative professional performance in response to work on view in the gallery of the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) on Thursday from 6 – 7 p.m.

The event, called as a creative response, allows presenters to comment on work they have viewed through an innovative presentation. The performances are followed by an open discussion.

October’s creative response is held in conjunction with the Now Be Here project. The event is free and open to the public.

Jones, whose background is in philosophy, is interested in using art and literature to explore the intersection of feminist philosophy, queer theory and critical race theory.

Peterson is a dance artist who specializes in contemporary dance. She is also the director of dance at American University.

PLAKOOKEE is a creative collaboration between Justin Plakas and Rachel Debuque, designers and artists who combine sculpture, installation, constructed realities and new media to create art.

For detailed descriptions of the presenters and for more information, visit GRACE’s website.

Photo via GRACE

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Fairfax County Police Department’s Citizens Advisory Committee Meets Tonight — Join the committee for its monthly meeting at the Reston Police District Station (1801 Cameron Glen Drive) at 7 p.m. The body is designed to improve communication between residents and local police officers. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Film Screening, ‘Art of Community’ Reception on Thursday — Public Art Reston and Reston Historic Trust & Museum will co-host a reception to celebrate the exhibit “Reston: The Art of Community” at the Reston Historic Trust & Museum (1639 Washington Plaza) from 5:30 – 7 pm. The event is free and open to the public. [Public Art Reston]

VolunteerFest Begins On Saturday — Volunteers can participate in volunteer projects throughout Fairfax County from gardening to painting. Last year, more than 500 volunteers participated in the project, donating more than 1,600 hours of their time. [Volunteer Fairfax]

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New Reston Museum Exhibit Showcases Community’s Legacy of Public Art

A new Public Art Reston freestanding exhibition, developed in collaboration with the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, celebrates the community’s wide collection of outdoor sculptures and other public artworks.

Reston: The Art of Community” opened at the museum (1639 Washington Plaza N.) on Saturday in conjunction with the 16th annual Reston Home Tour and in celebration of Public Art Reston’s 10th anniversary. It will remain on display through Sunday, Nov. 26. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, and is free to enter.

A reception to celebrate the exhibit is scheduled for 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26. The reception will be followed by free screenings of Peabody Award-winning director Rebekah Wingert Jabi’s “Fun, Beauty, Fantasy: Reston’s Public Art” and “A Bird in the Hand — Patrick Dougherty’s Sculptural Installation in Reston, VA” at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery of Reston Community Center Lake Anne (1609 Washington Plaza N.). A question-and-answer session will follow.

Reservations are encouraged for the exhibition reception and film screening. To RSVP, contact the Reston Historic Trust at 703-709-7700 or [email protected].

The programs are supported in part by the Reston Community Center. All proceeds benefit the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the past, informing the present, and influencing the future of Reston through its educational programming, archives and exhibitions.

Images courtesy Reston Historic Trust and Museum

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Bus Tour Planned To Offer Newcomers to Reston Overview of Community

In an effort to acquaint newcomers with the area’s history and hidden gems, Reston Association is offering free bus tours to residents who have moved to the community within the last six months.

During the tour, which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents will see the Walker Nature Center, Lake Anne Plaza and Reston’s four districts, as well as learning about services provided by RA.

The tour will begin and end at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.). Lunch will be served from 1-2 p.m. there. RA Board members, staff and committee members will be available to answer questions and meet with tour participants.

This year, RA departed from its tradition of holding open houses for newcomers at its main center. The bus tour allows residents to experience Reston in a dynamic way that reveals the area’s hidden gems beyond widely known attractions like Reston Town Center, according to Mike Leone, RA’s director of communications and community engagement.

“People know the main locations but there’s lot of hidden jewels and hidden history,” he said. “We want the community to know more about Bob Simon’s founding principles as well.”

As of Thursday, 17 seats are available for the 40-member bus tour, Leone said.

Bus participants will visit major sights and services like RA’s main facilities, the Reston Farmers Market and the Reston Museum. Ann Delaney from Public Art Reston will give a presentation on the importance of public art in the area.

“It’s kind of like a neighbor-to-neighbor social from start to finish,” Leone said.

To register for the free tour online, visit RA’s website.

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