New art in Reston envisions a scenario in which the U.S. Capitol Grounds is taken over by a swamp and vegetation even entangles the historic building itself.

The exhibit by Andrea Limauro, a D.C. city planner who has worked on flood resilience efforts for the district, is being shown in Reston Town Center at the Signature apartment building (11850 Freedom Drive).

“So much of the work in this show is inspired by my daytime work looking at flood plains and sea level rise in the District and imagining a not so far fetched future scenario where the capital is taken over by water and a new tropical fauna and flora,” he said in an email. “I do not believe these are inevitable outcomes but I like for my paintings to provide the alarm.”

The artwork started being on display earlier this month, and an opening reception will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 22. An in-person reception and brief artist talk will be held at the outside courtyard, noted Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art, which hosts and selects exhibits in its satellite gallery at Signature.

Tephra described the art with the following:

Through his attentive and laborious process of screen printing and careful painting, Limauro’s works bring into focus the looming nature of disasters due to the effects of climate change. Through the employment of striking color combinations, metal leaf, patterns, and minute details, the illusion to a dystopian future of the DC region entices the eye.

D.C’s Office of Planning further notes that Limauro has served as the point of contact on “sustainability and climate planning for the Neighborhood Planning Division.”

The centerpiece of the show, “A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats,” is a 12-foot-long “dystopian painting about the increased risk of flooding due to climate change in Washington, D.C.,” the artist notes on his website, where rising water affects historic sites from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial and beyond.

Visitors can view the paintings Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Face masks are required but reservations aren’t.

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Morning Notes

Northam Advocates for Vaccine Requirements — Gov. Ralph Northam urged business leaders to follow the public sector in setting COVID-19 vaccination mandates at a Capital Region Business Forum in D.C. yesterday (Thursday). His comments came hours before President Joe Biden announced that all businesses with more than 100 workers must require the vaccine, among other new rules. [Inside NoVA]

Feds Use Reston Company’s Data Against Facebook — The Federal Trade Commission revealed user data on Wednesday (Sept. 8) that officials said supports their antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, which argues that the social media company has a monopoly. The FTC cited data from Reston-based market research firm Comscore that it says Facebook uses to prepare materials for CEO Mark Zuckerberg. [Bloomberg]

Tephra Sculpture Celebration Kicks off Art Festival — The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival starts today (Friday) with a long-awaited celebration of artist Sue Wrbican’s surrealist-inspired Buoyant Force sculpture in Reston Town Square Park. Now in its 30th year, the festival will continue through the weekend with live performances and more than 200 artists present to share and sell their work. [Tephra ICA]

Smithsonian Creates Archive of 9/11 Memories — “The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is gathering written and recorded memories of 9/11 for the 20th anniversary of the attacks. You can submit your written memories, photos, or a video to the Smithsonian’s ‘9-11: An Evolving Legacy’ website. You can also read what has been submitted so far.” [DCist]

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Herndon’s NextStop Theatre is one of the organizations to receive a grant from ArtsFairfax (courtesy NextStop Theatre Company)

ArtsFairfax has awarded grant funding to 40 nonprofit organizations in Fairfax County, the arts agency recently announced.

This year, ArtsFairfax received requests for over $937,000 in funding and allocated a total of $441,900.

The Operating Support Grant program is designed to assist local, nonprofit arts organizations with funding to support their basic operational needs.

In recognition of the challenges that the arts community has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, ArtsFairfax says it increased the minimum grant amount to $1,000 and waived a requirement that recipients match the funds they receive.

ArtsFairfax President and CEO Linda S. Sullivan says the program was also modified to place more emphasis on equity and how organizations are considering issues of diversity, access, and inclusion in their operations, programs, and services.

“The past year has created an unprecedented hardship for arts organizations and artists,” Sullivan said. “The Operating Support Grant provides arts organizations with critically needed funding for basic operations — funding that helps keeps the doors open — as they develop artistic programming for audiences return.”

The Reston and Herndon organizations that received grants are:

“Fairfax County residents benefit from a dynamic and diverse arts sector,” Sullivan said. “To sustain and grow our cultural capital over the long-term requires a consistent source of public and private funds. ArtsFairfax’s Operating Support Grants are a direct investment in our community ensuring that the arts remain centerpieces and economic engines in our community.”

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Morning Notes

A bicycle and swing seat by Lake Anne (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Metro Changes Coming Next Month — A host of service changes, including more rail and bus service, longer hours, free bus transfers, and a flat $2, one-way train fare on weekends, will take effect starting on Sept. 5. Approved by Metro’s board of governors in June, the alterations are intended to lure riders back as students return to school and more white-collar workers return to offices. [WTOP]

Virginia Prepares to Welcome Afghan Refugees — Gov. Ralph Northam said on Twitter yesterday that he is coordinating with the federal government to accept “thousands more” Afghan citizens and their families at Fort Lee. 8,650 refugees from Afghanistan have settled in Virginia over the past six years. [DCist]

NoVA Fine Arts Festival Roster Revealed — The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival has unveiled a lineup of more than 200 artists who will compete in 10 categories from Sept. 10-12 at Reston Town Center. After last year’s cancellation, this year’s festival will have several health precautions in place, including hand sanitation stations, vaccination requirements for volunteers, and encouragement of social distancing and face mask-wearing in artist booths. [Tephra ICA]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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3AM: Time Sensitive, a new exhibit at Tephra in Reston (courtesy Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art)

A new exhibit at Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art in Reston is set to highlight how great art can still be created even in the midst of intense political and social upheaval.

The Reston Town Center-based local arts organization, which re-branded earlier this year from Greater Reston Arts Center, is debuting “3AM: Time Sensitive” next month, a collection of performance-based works from a Myanmar artist collective.

“There’s a lot that we can learn about how people express themselves, how people create art, and how people organize in their communities in the face of volatile political times,” says show curator Adriel Luis. “Often times what can be missed is how much we can learn about…these issues happening in the United States when we actually look at things from a global lens.”

The exhibit will feature three video-based works showing lived-in experiences of the artists, particularly the impact of globalization, political turmoil, and the complexities of queer life in Myanmar.

This is the first time that work of the three artists that make up 3AM — Ma Ei, Ko Latt, and Yadanar — is being shown in the United States. The exhibit at Tephra will run through early January 2022.

One piece, says Luis, features still images of the artists holding objects that are commonplace in Myanmar, some traditional and some clearly imported from the west.

“There are places in this world that are actively going through civil war, but yet art persists and people continue to express themselves,” Luis says.

The exhibit is in-person only at the moment, but the display will also be shown out the windows of Tephra’s gallery at 12001 Market Street for those who are not comfortable coming inside.

Despite a pandemic, Tephra has had several notable exhibits and displayed works over the last few months including Quantum Shift, which is still on display until August 7, as well a monolith sculpture that was erected in D.C. back in May.

Luis says he and Tephra as a whole made it a priority to work with international artists not only to grow as an institution, but also to provide a look into what’s going on in other parts of the world.

Luis, who is also a curator at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, says his career has been about bringing artists from across the world to local galleries and communities.

“The hope is to demonstrate how showing an international artist can actually resonate deeply within a local community, as opposed to sticking out like a sore thumb,” he says.

He believes Reston’s size will give community members a closer connection to the message that these artists are trying to make.

“There’s a lot of reasons why somewhere like Reston is so much more similar to the environment that these artists are used to than a bigger city like D.C.,” he says.

Under normal circumstances, the artists would be here to introduce and answer any questions about their work, but between the COVID-19 pandemic and upheaval in the wake of a military coup in Myanmar, that isn’t possible for 3AM. Luis and Tephra are still trying to figure out a way to have the artists be available for a conversation about their works.

Either way, the message that Luis hopes audiences take away from this, no matter the circumstances, is one that is universal.

“The message is ‘what does it mean to be true to ourselves?’,” Luis asks. “We’ll definitely see how it lands once it’s shown, but that’s the hope.”

Courtesy Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art

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Morning Notes

Gun Discharged in Torrey Pines Court — Employees of a building in the 1700 block of Torrey Pines Court discovered bullet holes around 1:18 a.m. on June 17. Fairfax County police officers who arrived at the scene found cartridge cases nearby, but no injuries were reported. [FCPD]

Judge Considers Dismissing Charges in Taser Case — A circuit court judge is considering dismissing charges of brutality against a Fairfax County police officer who faces three misdemeanor counts for punching and using a Taser on a Black man in the Mount Vernon area in June 2020. The judge criticized the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney on Friday (June 25) for making statements that seemed misleading and failing to disclose evidence to the defense. [The Washington Post]

Tephra Institute Hiring — The Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art, formerly the Greater Reston Arts Center, is hiring an education and public programs manager who will be responsible for planning and implementing programs, including family activities for the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. The institute is also seeking interns to assist with its Summer Art Camp. [Tephra ICA]

In-Person Dating Returns to D.C. Area — “With 70% of people in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia at least partially vaccinated and all remaining pandemic restrictions now lifted, in-person dating is picking back up in the D.C. region. But the dating landscape has changed dramatically since March 2020 — as have people’s expectations of what dating should look like.” [DCist]

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Morning Notes

Reston Pride banner (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Fundraiser Launched for Family of Homicide Victims — “A family member of the mother and two children killed over the weekend in Herndon has launched a GoFundMe campaign to pay for funeral expenses…As of 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the campaign had raised more than $3,600 toward its goal of $30,000.” [Patch]

Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art Reopens Gallery — “We are pleased to announce that Tephra ICA at Signature, our satellite gallery space highlighting work by local and regional artists, has reopened for visitors. The gallery is located at the Signature apartment building in Reston, VA, and visitors are welcome Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm.” [Tephra ICA]

Leidos Lights Up HQ for Pride Month — Leidos will light up its headquarters building at Reston Town Center in rainbow colors today “as a tribute to PRIDE Month and the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots,” the information technology contractor says. This is the second year that the company has put on the display, which will run around the clock through June 30. [Leidos]

Nearby: Person Arrested at Loudoun County School Board Meeting — “The Loudoun County School Board shut down a public meeting Tuesday on a new policy involving transgender students after people at the meeting reportedly started speaking over public commenters and refused to cooperate. One person was arrested and there was at least one person injured, authorities say.” [NBC4]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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The Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art is expanding its reach to downtown D.C., where it is installing a sculpture by California artist Gisela Colón.

Titled “Parabolic Monolith Iridium,” the sculpture will be located at the top of James Monroe Park near the National Mall, and it will be on view starting this Saturday (May 8). It is Colón’s first public sculpture by  in the D.C. region.

“We’re thrilled to bring Gisela’s work to Washington,” Tephra ICA Executive Director and Curator Jaynelle Hazard said. “The Parabolic Monolith Iridium is an object that speaks to the future, to transformation, and especially to hope. It’s symbolism is very much aligned with how we aim to position ourselves and our perspective as an institution.”

Tephra, which was previously known as the Greater Reston Arts Center, is currently hosting Colón’s D.C.-area debut solo exhibit, which features acrylic and carbon-fiber artwork made using “advanced aerospace technology,” according to the institute’s website.

The Quantum Shift exhibition will remain on display at Tephra’s gallery in Reston (12001 Market St.) through May 29. In-person visits are limited to 30-minute appointments made in advance, but it can also be viewed through a virtual tour.

The monolith that will be on display in D.C. was part of the solo exhibit. A native of Puerto Rico who currently works and lives in Los Angeles, Colón says she wanted to explore the relationship between humans and the earth through her sculptures.

“While their outward appearance is high-tech, space-age, and futuristic, [my Monoliths] are also visceral, primitive, and reminiscent of ancient cultural artifacts,” Colón said.

The “Parabolic Monolith Iridium” project is being sponsored by Leidos and the civil engineering firm Charles P. Johnson & Associates. Tephra partnered with the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District on the display.

As part of its sponsorship, Leidos has committed to making a donation to the Puerto Rican nonprofit Hogares Teresa Toda, which provides shelter, education, and other supports to adolescent girls.

“As a leading science and technology company, creativity drives our pursuit of knowledge and solving problems for our customers,” Leidos Senior Vice President Melissa Lee Dueñas said. “We are excited to team up with Ms. Colón on this new exhibit and we look forward to partnering with her to help empower girls and young people in Puerto Rico.”

Photo courtesy Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art

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The Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art will welcome its first new exhibit under new branding tomorrow.

The institute, formerly known as the Greater Reston Arts Center, will present the work of light and space artist Gisela Colon. The exhibition, which is on display through May 30, is the artists first solo exhibit in the DC area.

The exhibit features artwork that is made from carbon fiber using aerospace technology. Here’s more from Tephra on the exhibit.

Gisela Colón (b. 1966) introduces mutable, transformational qualities in her practice using a unique sculptural language of Organic Minimalism. Colón produces objects that are seamless, featuring little to no edges, lines, or place for the viewer to rest their eye, nodding towards an energy of constant fluctuation and growth. Made from carbon fiber material using advanced aerospace technology, the “Pods,” “Monoliths,” and “Elliptoids,” are light weight yet durable objects, both from this earth and not of this earth, birthed from a symbiosis of high art and high science. 

An opening reception and artist talk is set for March 18 at 6 p.m. In addition to in-person viewing, the exhibit can be visited via an online viewing room, a video walkthrough and a series of public programs. More information on these offerings is expected soon.

Photo via Tephra

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A new art exhibit titled “Fleeting Moments” is officially on display at the Signature apartment’s satellite art gallery for Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art through April 20.

The exhibit features the work of DC-based artist Amanda Outcalt. A multimedia artist who was born in North Carolina in 1985, Outcalt explores the social and psychological connections to momentary experiences.

The institute, which rebranded itself from its previous identity of the Greater Reston Arts Center, issued the following statement about the exhibit:

Outcalt’s intensive process of combining intaglio printmaking and the embellishment of works on paper results in a narrative that appears playful at the outset but carries significant weight. Large, unwieldy mammals, including bears, bison, camels, elephants, and walruses are seen positioned on precarious objects, such as circus balls and ice floes while adorned in party hats and tethered to jewel-hued balloons. Outcalt’s visual vocabulary and diverse use of media reflect emotions, such as anxiety, contentment, and longing paired with optimism, growth, and an eagerness for a return to normal during this extraordinary moment.

Her work is inspired by personal struggles with natural pregnancy loss and infertility, as well as challenges associated with memory recall.

“Outcalt’s distinctive compositions and diverse use of media reflect optimism, growth, and an eagerness to return to normal during this extraordinary moment,” according to TICA.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, access to the satellite gallery is only permitted for Signature residents only. However, a virtual artist talk with Outcalt is planned for Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. Participants should registry by emailing [email protected] for Zoom link and password. The event is sponsored by Reston Community Community Center.

Image via Amanda Outcalt/TICA

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