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New Steel Sculpture in Reston Town Center Delayed Until Spring

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 

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Reston Historic Trust & Museum Begins Raising Funds for Lakeside Pharmacy Icons Exhibit

The Reston Historic Trust & Museum has raised $965 in three weeks with its fundraising campaign to reinstall the iconic, quirky pharmacy icons from the Lakeside Pharmacy.

The GoFundMe campaign launched on Nov. 8, Alexandra Campbell, the executive director of the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, told Reston Now.

The fundraising target of $15,000 will pay for repairs, cleaning and reinstallation of the icons in a new permanent exhibit in the plaza. The new exhibit will be unveiled during the organization’s annual Founder’s day event on April 6.

“We’ve still got a long way to go,” Campbell said. “We have some time to get to the $15,000.”

Most of the 22 donations have been small, individual donations — seven people have given $25, while others have donated amounts between $10 to $100.

The icons served as advertisements for the Lakeside Pharmacy, a legacy Lake Anne Plaza store. Designed by Chermayeff and Geismar, a New York-based graphic design firm, the icons were inspired by 1960s pop art and Reston’s founder Bob Simon’s wish for whimsical art at Lake Anne Plaza.

The Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association donated the icons to the Reston Historic Trust & Museum after they were removed in July to make way for new businesses in the pharmacy’s former location.

“We’re really glad to help preserve and keep them here,” Campbell said about the icons.

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Reston Historic Trust & Museum Seeks Funds to Reinstall Lakeside Pharmacy Icons

The Reston Historic Trust & Museum has launched an online campaign to raise money to reinstall the lakeside pharmacy icon. Designed by Chermayeff and Geismar, a New York-based graphic design firm, the icons were inspired by 1960s pop art and Reston’s founder Bob Simon’s wish for whimsical art at Lake Anne Plaza.

The icons, which served as advertisements for the Lakeside Pharmacy, were removed in July to make way for new businesses to open up in the pharmacy’s former location.

The fundraising target is $15,000 to repair, clean and reinstall icons in a new permanent exhibit in the plaza. The new exhibit will be unveiled during the organization’s annual Founder’s day event on April 6.

The museum put out the following information about the historical significance of the icons:

The New York graphic design firm of Chermayeff and Geismar (now Chermayeff, Geismar & Haviv), was hired by Whittlesey & Conklin, the architects of the plaza, and together they created the storefronts on the plaza. While the main purpose of the Lakeside Pharmacy icons was advertising, the icons are characteristic of the 1960s Pop Art aesthetic and reflected Reston’s Founder Bob Simon’s wish for whimsical artwork on the plaza.

The building was a pharmacy for 44 years, closing in 2014. Since the building will soon be occupied by new businesses, the icons were donated to the Reston Historic Trust & Museum in order to preserve them. Currently, the icons are in storage until they can be cleaned and reinstalled. The installation is being designed by Jeanne Krohn of Krohn Design.

Photos by Charlotte Geary and Krohn Design

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Public Art Reston to Celebrate Birthday, Adoption of Public Art Master Plan

Public Art Reston will celebrate its 11th birthday with an annual ‘PARty!’ on Oct. 18 (Thursday) from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Unlike previous years, limited-edition artwork will be available for sale, with all proceeds benefiting Public Art Reston.

The program will be launched with photographs of sculptures at Lake Anne Village Center by Reston-based artist and photographer Charlotte Geary, according to Chelsea Rao, chair of Public Art Reston’s reception committee.

The 2018 Annual PARty! offers attendees a fun opportunity to celebrate the public art of Reston, the ongoing initiatives of Public Art Reston as well as its sources of inspiration,” Rao said.

This year’s event will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Public Art Master Plan for Reston. The master plan was adopted by the board of Public Art Reston in December 2008, solidifying the organization’s commitment to ensuring the planning process integrated public art in a manner that enriched community life and spirit. Since 2008, a dozen permanent artwork and another dozen temporary installation have been commissioned in Reston.

The event will take place at Comstock’s Reston Station on the 16th floor. It’ll include a cocktail party with catering by Ridgewells and an art installation created by Marco Rando, a local artist, teacher and Public Art Reston board member.

“The installation design is intended to visually play with the raw space of the Jahn building. The geometric forms are created to be an illusion of a three-dimensional space. At first glance, the lines creating polygons are received as correct proportions, but with closer examination, one discovers the optical illusion. The colored lines are intended to enhance the playful and whimsical overall design,” Rando said.

Tickets, which can be purchased online, are $60, two for $100, and $55 for attendees 25 and under.

Photo by Sarah Mccue

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Art Ideas Sought to Transform Colts Neck Road Underpass

It’s no secret that the Colts Neck Road underpass could use some sprucing up. Public Art Reston is looking for artists to create a site-specific artwork to enhance the inside and outside walls of the underpass.

Artists should capture the spirit of the Hunters Woods neighborhood, respond to the cultural diversity of the community and identify the underpass as a “civic facility” within the surrounding neighborhood, according to a description of the call to artists issued by the organization.

Public Art Reston also indicated the following:

The project will promote active use of the underpass that links residential areas, Hunters Woods Village Center, two schools, two senior facilities, and two community centers. At the Colts Neck Road underpass, public art will have the opportunity to enhance the community’s relationship to their infrastructure and encourage active transportation options such as walking and cycling. The artist will actively engage with community stakeholders to develop the concept of the artwork and will give workshops to students.  This project is an opportunity for infrastructure beautification, education, engagement, and inspiration. 

The project is in collaboration with Reston Association and Atlantic Realty Companies.

The deadline for entries is Oct. 26. Entries can be submitted online.

Photo by Public Art Reston

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‘Before I Die’ Display Returns to Lake Anne Plaza

Two bold black and white chalkboards are up at Lake Anne Plaza, challenging passers-by to write down what they wish to do or achieve before they die.

The public art installation, called Before I Die, is a temporary public art installation as part of the run-up to the 12th annual Jazz and Blues Festival at the plaza this Saturday (September 1). The festival is free and open to all ages.

The community project was started by artist Candy Chang in New Orleans. Chang created the project to examine the way “the wall of our cities can help us grapple with death and meaning as a community today.” After undergoing grief and depression following the loss of a loved one, Chang covered a crumbling house in her neighborhood in New Orleans with chalkboard paint and stenciled the prompt, “Before I die I want to.” Since then Before I Die walls have popped up in more than 70 countries, including China, Brazil, Kazakhstan and South Africa.

So far, the display in Reston includes wishes and goals like building a business, climbing a mountain and adventuring all over. It will be on display until September 10.

Photos via Public Art Reston

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Registration Now Open for ChalkFest at Reston Town Center

Artists of all ages and skills levels can now save the date for the annual ChalkFest at Reston Town Center. The annual street art festival invites artists to transform RTC’s Market Street with chalk drawings.

Registration is now open and artists can register in the following categories. Prizes will be awarded for each category, as well as audience chance awards.

This year’s sponsors include Boston Properties, Reston Community Center, Fairfax County Government, Reston Association, Cooley, and Leidos.

File photo

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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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“LOVE” Letters to Return to Lake Anne Plaza This Month

Virginia’s “LOVE” letters are making a comeback to the Lake Anne Plaza from May 31 through June 7.

The letters statue is known for photo opportunities. Lake Anne Brew House is encouraging locals to come to the plaza for the statue and to stay for local events on the plaza including a Pride Night event held at the brewery on June 1 from 4-11 p.m.

June is LGBTQ pride month. It was established to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, during which patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn protested to resist the harassment and persecution of LGBT Americans by the police, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Reston has other events in store for the month, including an inaugural Pride Festival, led by the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston.

File photo

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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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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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Monday Morning Notes

Nominations Open for Volunteer Service Awards — Reston Association is seeking nominations for its annual Volunteer Reston Service Awards which recognize individuals, groups, families and businesses that are contributing to the community through volunteer service. Award winners will be announced at a ceremony at The Lake House on April 19. Nominations are due by Feb. 9. [Reston Association]

Artwork Available for Purchase from Monster Drawing Rally — Greater Reston Arts Center is selling remaining artwork from its live monster drawing valley event and fundraiser. During the program, more than 50 artists created artwork on site.  Pieces are available online. To purchase, email [email protected] or stop by the gallery. All proceeds benefit the center. [Greater Reston Arts Center]

Election Information Session Set for Jan. 3 — Individuals interested in running for an open seat on RA’s board of directors can attend the information session, which will provide an overview of the elections process and candidates’ roles and responsibilities. The session will take place at RA headquarter (12002 Sunrise Valley Drive) from 7 – 8 p.m. [Reston Association]

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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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Celebration to Close ‘A Bird in the Hand’ Sculpture in Reston Town Center Set for Saturday

“A Bird in the Hand,” a nest-like sculpture made from tree saplings in Reston Town Square Park, will get a celebratory send-off on Saturday ahead of its removal next week.

The 14-foot-high sculpture, which rests across from the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St. #103), was created by artist Patrick Dougherty in 2015 using ash, hickory, red maple, oak and willow saplings.

The center will celebrate the art piece’s impact in creating an immersive, magical experience since its installation, according to a release by the center:

“The work’s popularity with adults and children has been manifested in thousands of games of tag and hide and seek played within its woody realm. This project was a communal, participatory experience both through its funding and installation. Sculptor Dougherty spent weeks on-site constructing the sculpture in tandem with a team of community volunteers who contributed enormously to the creation process.”

The celebration is free and will include projects involving sticks and nests, and dance performances sponsored by the Reston Community Center. Artists from Gin Dance Company and GroundShare Arts Alliance will perform dances connected to the sculpture and a documentary film about the sculpture by director Rebekah Wingert-Jabi will play all day in the GRACE gallery, according to the release.

The installation must be removed because it was created from harvest samplings, which typically last for roughly two years, said Erica Harrison, GRACE’s associate curator and festival director. Preliminary discussions are underway to determine what will replace the sculpture in the spring of next year, she said.

The center hopes to bring a new installation that culminates its exhibition of artist Sue Wrbican’s work. Her art, which examines the relationship between time and space, is on display at GRACE through Nov. 18.

Early sponsorships for the future art installation have been secured from the Reston Town Center Association and the Reston Community Center, Harrison said. Final project approval is pending.

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