And the art keeps getting better and better every year.Â The Punch has been involved with the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival for three years now, proudly, partly because Reston was my old stomping ground (my has it changed), but also because it has been interesting to see how the festival has evolved over time.Â This year, the annual event which benefits educational and community programs for Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) showcased 200 out of 600 juried applicants all weekend throughout Reston Town Center.Â Over the course of Friday night and Saturday morning, we stopped by almost every single booth and yes, we bought art. I would have purchased a lot more if I’d had the time.
The Opening Night party was held in the Town Center Pavilion area across from the fountain, next to Clyde’s aka “the ice skating rink” to the locals.Â Here, guests had wine from Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and Honest Tea, food from Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro, bid on Silent Auction items, and picked up a freshly rolled cigar from Cigar Town while listening to our friend Ted Garber play Americana blues.Â Then the program began with remarks from emcee Jummy Olabanji (ABC7/WJLA-TV), followed by GRACE former president & CEO John Alciati and current Executive Director Damian Sinclair, who both co-chaired the party, then Karen Sommer Shalett, Editor in Chief of media sponsor DC Magazine took to the podium, stating the publication’s appreciation of the Reston community and its support of artists, even though they are District-based.Â Special guests Congressman Gerry Connelly (D-VA) and Virginia Senator Janet Howell commented, then it was time for one of the more interesting performances to take place.
International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) did their world premiere of “Reston Bells” and that incorporated people’s cell phones, wandering bell ringers and the leader on the stage making various sounds with bells and percussion instruments.Â It echoed all throughout the Town Center, creating a unique meshed unit between those outside the enclosed event and the party guests.
Later, others took to the stage, sponsors were recognized and then it was time for Ted Garber to rock out.Â We left to meet some of the artists before they closed up for the night.Â We returned Saturday to make more purchases from these artists from all over the country.Â From mixed media, to oil, to acrylic, to photography, to wearable art, to small and large sculptures, there was no art left behind.
My favorites:Â Bruce Jefferies Reinfeld photography, Signe & Genna Grushovenko (contemporary figurative oils inspired by vintage found photos), Art Designs by Yongqun Guo (paintings), Reston-based Brenda Belfield, whose stain glass work is found in the National Cathedral, David Burton Artwork (his sculptures drew a huge crowd, he takes toys and spray paints them then connects them to flat black painted frames and backgrounds), and MoMo SoHo, who in from NYC and had gorgeous wearable art, some of which you could spot on Sarah Jessica Parker, Sex and the City, and other stars on the red carpet.
Next year’s festival can’t come soon enough. Learn more about GRACE.
Photos by Punch Paparazzo Jason Kampf
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.