Newsletter

Tysons Corner Center is getting an up-close-and-personal look at reproductions of Michelangelo’s famous ceiling paintings from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.

An art exhibit that’s made its way through cities across the globe is coming to the mall on Jan. 28 for a month-long showing. Called “The Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition,” it features high-definition photos and printings that emulate the brushstrokes of the 16th century artwork.

“This exhibition gives visitors a chance to engage with Rome’s most iconic treasures in ways that were never possible,” said Martin Biallas, CEO of the Los Angeles-based event planning company group SEE Global Entertainment, producer of the exhibit.

The show will occur from Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., taking place in a 10,000 square-foot space on the mall’s lower level across from H&M.

A timed ticketing system is in place to limit capacity and allow for social distancing, according to a press release.

Visitors have already snatched up all of the dates in January for the first three days of the show.

While visitors to the historic Sistine Chapel can view the artwork from around 66 feet away, that’s reduced to around 13 feet with the show, the company says on its website.

“This exhibition is like a sanctuary; you’re transformed into a completely different world,” said Biallas, who produced the exhibit after seeing the ceiling frescoes in person.

“When I visited the Sistine Chapel in Rome, there were long lines and we were rushed through,” he said. “This exhibit at Tysons Corner Center allows everyone an opportunity to see the amazing art at their pace and up-close, at an affordable price, and enjoy an inspiring and unforgettable experience.”

Tickets generally range from $19 to $23 per adult plus fees, but family bundles and other discounts are available for seniors, students and the military. Visitors can also purchase audio guides.

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A sample of the work in McLean Project for the Arts’ current winter exhibitions (courtesy MPA)

The McLean Project for the Arts will give community members an opportunity later this month to hear from the artists behind its current exhibitions.

Scheduled for 7 p.m. on Jan. 20, the virtual artist talk will include wood sculptors Emilie Benes Brzezinski, Rachel Rotenberg, Foon Sham, and Norma Schwartz, whose work is featured in the exhibit “Give and Take: Building Form” currently on display in the nonprofit’s Emerson Gallery.

Artist Sheila Crider will also participate. Her exhibition, “Intersectional Painting: Works by Sheila Crider,” occupies the Atrium Gallery.

Advance registration is required to receive a Zoom link for the talk.

Here are MPA’s descriptions of its winter exhibitions, which launched on Dec. 2:

Give and Take: Building Form (Emerson Gallery)
Featuring abstract wood sculpture by Emilie Benes Brzezinski, Rachel Rotenberg, Foon Sham and Norma Schwartz

Featuring dynamic abstract sculptural works by four artists who work primarily in wood, this exhibit will explore each artist’s personal vision along with their methodology of making. By employing varying degrees of adding and subtracting material-laminating or carving, sawing and sanding-these artists build form by either giving or taking away. With this mind, process is highlighted, understood and demonstrated with an eye towards clarifying the genesis and emergence of form.

Intersectional Painting: Works by Sheila Crider (Atrium Gallery)
Artist Sheila Crider will exhibit works from an on-going series that combines painting, drawing, braiding, stitching and weaving to create three-dimensional abstract forms. Through these works, which are both beautiful and evocative, Crider has found an inventive and original process that enables her to visually explore multiple intersections between material, place, tradition, race, gender, history, culture, narrative, art, painting, object and picture.

The exhibits will remain available for viewing both in person and online through Feb. 19. The Emerson Gallery is open to visitors from 1-4 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Both galleries are located in the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue), which requires all visitors to wear face masks. The exhibitions are also limited to six viewers at a time to encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to MPA’s website.

MPA is also currently accepting proposals for solo spring exhibitions, and registration is now open for winter and spring art classes.

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Fireworks (via Jorgen Kesseler/Flickr)

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday, Dec. 28

  • Open Mic — 6 p.m. at Settle Down Easy Brewing (2822 Fallfax Drive) — Grab some beer and hear from a mix of musicians.

Wednesday, Dec. 29

  • Outdoor Sharpie Tile Art for Kids — 5-6 p.m. at Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library (7584 Leesburg Pike) — Create a design with Sharpies in a program for kids ages 5 to 10.

Thursday, Dec. 30

  • ‘Make Me Happy’ — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Falls Church Arts Gallery (700-B W. Broad St.) — Check out the works of three dozen artists, centered on works that make people smile. Free. Continues through Jan. 30.

Friday, Dec. 31

  • Countdown to None 5K — 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Old Red Caboose (204D Mill St. NE) — A fundraiser for type 1 diabetes research, the virtual 5K concludes with an in-person race and celebration in the Town of Vienna. There will be music, food, and more, with all proceeds going to the organization JDRF.
  • NYE ’80s Glow Party with DJ D — 8 p.m. at Jammin Java (227 Maple Ave. East) — Get your ’80s-inspired neon outfits out to win prizes and enjoy this retro dance environment. Tickets start at $35. Doors open at 7 p.m.
  • The 8th Annual Grandiose NYE Gala — 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at Hilton McLean Tysons Corner (7920 Jones Branch Drive) — Celebrate New Year’s Eve with three ballrooms of entertainment featuring complimentary lite fare, a champagne toast, and more. Cost starts at $80.

Saturday, Jan. 1

  • Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights — 5-10 p.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens — Enjoy lights and holiday scenes in this annual transformation, which has its last day on Sunday (Jan. 2). Tickets for those ages 2 and over are $18 each.

Sunday, Jan. 2

  • The Gift of Language — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mosaic District (920 District Ave.) — A cultural immersion program shares stories in Spanish, games, and arts and crafts at FRESHFARM’s weekly farmers market.

Photo via Jorgen Kesseler/Flickr

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Meerkats have taken over Tysons Galleria.

The 4-foot-tall, vividly colored replicas of the desert-dwelling critters started to emerge at the mall in mid-October before doubling their presence from 30 to 60 statues on Nov. 1.

The statues belong to a traveling art exhibit from the Italian collective Cracking Art, whose artists create work out of “recyclable” plastic to explore the relationship between the natural and artificial worlds, according to its website.

Tysons Galleria announced the exhibit’s arrival on Oct. 14, saying it hoped the “Meerkat Meetup” display would inspire “a sense of togetherness” and spark “conversation about caring for each other as well as the environment.”

“We wanted to bring this traveling art exhibit to Tysons Galleria as part of our continued effort to evolve our center as a premier spot for not only shopping but also lifestyle and entertainment,” the shopping center said in a statement. “We felt this was the perfect exhibit to present to our patrons because of what it represents — the meerkats standing tall in unison symbolize community and collaboration.”

Launched in 1993, Cracking Art describes itself as a movement of individual artists who share “a strong social and environmental commitment.”

With a dolphin as its first work, the collective uses animal sculptures to convey different meanings. Turtles, for example, represent perseverance and the connection between land and water, while snails’ regenerative abilities make them appropriate symbols of rebirth.

For “Meerkat Meetup,” the group was inspired by the animal’s reliance on teamwork and communication to survive in the deserts and grasslands of southern Africa that are their native habitat.

“The installation intent is to represent the importance of collaboration for dealing with and overcoming the events in our everyday life,” Cracking Art said. “In addition, by using vibrant and bright colours, we want to highlight the relevance of living with an open and positive approach.”

The meerkats will remain on display at Tysons Galleria from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. until the exhibit leaves for its next stop on Monday (Nov. 29).

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Musician David Ryan Harris performs at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, Los Angeles, in 2017 (via Justin Higuchi/Flickr)

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday, Nov. 9

  • On Deck with Mercury — 6-7 p.m. at Great Harvest Bread Co. (136 Church St. NW) in Vienna — For his monthly public forum, Town Manager Mercury Payton will be joined by other Vienna officials to talk about upcoming holiday events and how participating can help the town.
  • David Ryan Harris with Justin Kawika Young — 7:30 p.m. at Jammin Java (227 Maple Ave. East) in Vienna — Accomplished guitarists share easy listening vibes. With Young’s multilingual singing and Harris’ performing ties to John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, and others, the show should delight listeners’ ears. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $15, plus fees, for general admission.

Wednesday, Nov. 10

  • Parking Reimagined (Online) — 7-8:30 p.m. — Weigh in on the future of off-street parking in Fairfax County at this virtual town hall hosted by the Hunter Mill District Office, one of four scheduled town halls with additional dates planned. Community feedback will inform updates to parking rules in the county zoning ordinance.

Thursday, Nov. 11

  • John Lloyd Young’s Broadway! — 8 p.m. at The Barns (1635 Trap Road) — Originally scheduled to perform at Wolf Trap a year ago, the Tony and Grammy Award winner brings together songs from several shows, including “Chicago,” “Dreamgirls,” and “Jersey Boys.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $37, plus fees.

Friday, Nov. 12

  • Tea Okropiridze — 6-9 p.m. at McLean Textile Gallery (6819 Elm St.) — The art gallery holds an open house and reception to celebrate its new exhibit featuring the work of a Northern Virginia artist Tea Okropiridze, who specializes in tapestry, fiber art, and more. The exhibit opens Tuesday and runs through Dec. 7.
  • The Blessing Tour — 7 p.m. at Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Road) — Grammy-nominated singer Kari Jobe and special guest Cody Carnes, both Christian musicians, bring “a full worship experience” to Tysons. Tickets start at $25.

Saturday, Nov. 13

  • The Boro’s Gambit — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sandlot Tysons (behind The Boro at 1640 Boro Place) — Watch Grandmaster Rashad Babaev, who lives at The Boro, play 30 games of chess at once. Proceeds benefit United Charities for Azerbaijan. Cost is $20 plus fees to compete. Free for spectators.
  • 4th Annual Veterans Day Salute — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Falls Church Distillers (442 S Washington St. Suite A) — After going online last year, the distillery’s block party is back in person with live music, alcohol tastings, food, and more. Tickets for food and alcohol are $5 each, and donations are encouraged to support partners Northern Virginia Veterans Association (NoVA Vets) and George Mason University’s Veteran Initiatives.

Sunday, Nov. 14

  • McLean Antiques Show & Sales — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — The final day of a weekend event features a variety of antique dealers. Proceeds benefit the high school arts-focused James C. Macdonald Scholarship Fund. Cost is $10 with a discount available. Free for children age 17 and younger.

Photo via Justin Higuchi/Flickr

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Morning Notes

County to Seek Input on Safe Streets Program — The Fairfax County Department of Transportation will hold two virtual public meetings in November to present draft recommendations for a Fairfax County Safe Streets for All Program. Developed by county’s ActiveFairfax team, the program is “a comprehensive initiative to address systemic transportation safety issues for people walking, biking and using other forms of active transportation.” [FCDOT]

Virginia Among Top States in COVID-19 Vaccinations — “Virginia now ranks 10th among all states for the percentage of its population fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and for the total number of shots administered. More than 82 percent of individuals 18 years and older have received at least one dose and 74 percent of adults are fully vaccinated.” [Office of the Governor]

Local Magnet School Admissions Now Open — “Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology…has opened its application process for admissions for the Class of 2026. This will be the second year that applications for the school’s 550 freshmen seats will be reviewed using the new admissions process which eliminated the standardized admissions test and the $100 application fee, while continuing to maintain the school’s high academic standards.” [FCPS]

Madison Student Launches Art Business — “A business showcasing the art of Madison High School students is looking to build connections with Vienna area businesses by offering professional artwork services. Spectra Artwork is the brainchild of Madison High School senior Colin Crowley, combining his skills in business and marketing with the talents of his artist friends.” [Patch]

McLean Startup Raises Funds for Healthcare Jobs App — “ShiftMed, one of the largest workforce management platforms in health care with over 60,000 credentialed health care professionals, has raised $45 million led by health care investors, Panoramic Ventures and Heathworx…In 2021, the company has already hired more than 10,000 nurses, which provided over 1 million hours of care, and received more than 100,000 app downloads.” [ShiftMed]

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Students with the Traveling Players will perform at Tysons Corner Center on Sept. 26 (courtesy Traveling Players Ensemble)

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (Sept. 21)

  • Indigo Girls with Ani DiFranco at Wolf Trap — 8 p.m. at the Filene Center (1551 Trap Road) — Joined by feminist singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco, the Grammy Award-winning folk-rock duo returns once again to Wolf Trap park. Proof of a vaccination or negative test for COVID-19 is required. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., and tickets start at $45.50.

Wednesday (Sept. 22)

  • Bo-Nita — 8-9:30 p.m. at Boro Park (8350 Broad St.) — Tysons theater company 1st Stage continues its run of its latest play, which runs through Sunday (Sept. 26). The show follows the story of a 13-year-old girl and her mother trying to survive. Tickets start at $20, with discounts for military members and students.

Thursday (Sept. 23)

  • The Avett Brothers at Wolf Trap — 8 p.m. at the Filene Center (1551 Trap Road) — The indie folk band, a Wolf Trap favorite, comes back to the park its knows-no-bounds sound ranging from bluegrass to acoustic rock. Proof of a vaccination or negative test for COVID-19 is required. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., and tickets start at $50. Another performance is scheduled for Friday.
  • (Not) Strictly Painting — 7-8 p.m. at McLean Project for the Arts (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — The opening reception for a juried art exhibit kicks off. Works from over three dozen artists will be featured.

Friday (Sept. 24)

  • Sunset Cinema — 7:45-10 p.m. at Cherry Hill Park (312 Park Ave.) — Falls Church City’s fall outdoor movie series continues with “Cars.” Visitors are encouraged to grab blankets, bring picnics, and/or enjoy snacks, drinks, and popcorn for sale.
  • Parmalee — 6:30 p.m. at The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — Closing out a September concert series is country music band Parmalee, known for its No. 1 Country Airplay hitCarolina.” Doors open at 5 p.m.

Saturday (Sept. 25)

  • Teens on the Green — 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Vienna Town Green (144 Maple Ave. East) — The Town of Vienna highlights teenage artists with a free concert open to the public.
  • Harvest Happenings — 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — Celebrate fall with this indoor and outdoor festival that features a petting zoo, entertainment, crafts, and games. Pumpkins will be available for purchase. Registration is required.
  • Fall Festival — 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Mosaic District (2910 District Ave.) — This two-day outdoor festival features crafts, a beer garden, kids activities, live entertainment from local artists Pop Stereo and Groovalicious, and more.
  • Fall Fest — 12-4 p.m. at The Boro (8350 Broad St.) — The Tysons development ushers in fall with a family-friendly event featuring games, seasonal beverages, doughnut decorating, a hayride photo booth, and more.

Sunday (Sept. 26)

  • The Blue Monster — 1:30-2:30 p.m. at The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — Middle school students with the Tysons-based Traveling Players Ensemble will take the stage to perform the family-friendly fairy tale, Carlo Gozzi’s twist on the “Beauty and the Beast” story.
  • Pimmit Hills Day — 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in Olney Park (1840 Olney Road) — Led by the Pimmit Hills Citizens’ Association, a neighborhood celebration brings together entertainment, food, and kids-friendly activities, including a moon bounce obstacle course.
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Now-closed Container Store at 8508 Leesburg Pike (photo by Michelle Goldchain)

Updated at 10:15 a.m. on 9/24/2021 — The community event venue at the former Container Store will be called The PARC, Celebrate Fairfax announced on Sept. 17.

Earlier: After this weekend, the former Container Store in Tysons will no longer be known as just “the former Container Store.”

The county-owned, 19,260-square-foot site with 95 parking spaces at 8508 Leesburg Pike is being transformed into a community hub and venue for local events through a collaborative effort between Fairfax County, Tysons Partnership, and Celebrate Fairfax Inc.

Tomorrow (Friday), Celebrate Fairfax and participating vendors will host another Tysons Block Party from 4 to 8 p.m., during which a new name will be announced for the venue. The name was chosen based on an online poll that Celebrate Fairfax conducted across its social media accounts.

“Activating this site is part of a multifaceted community building process in Tysons that recognizes the importance of placemaking,” Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said. “Having spaces like the one at 8508 Leesburg Pike in Tysons allows us to build social infrastructure, in addition to the built infrastructure that continues to grow.”

Singer Caz Gardiner is scheduled to perform at the event with a collections of vendors such as Settle Down Easy Brewing Co., Zainy’s Flyin’ Grill and Hangry Panda present.

In addition to a new name, the site will get a facelift in the near future with a mural by artist Rodrigo Pradel. Before work begins on the mural, however, Tysons Partnership is soliciting the community for input on the design with an online survey.

“The upcoming events in this space, including the Tysons Block Party and the mural live painting event, are just two of many opportunities for the Tysons community to share experiences, and make new connections, right here in Tysons,” Palchik said.

“This site can be a leader in facilitating in-person experiences, and a model for placemaking around our county,” she added.

After the Container Store relocated to 8459 Leesburg Pike in 2018, the county acquired the site in 2019 for $16.6 million with an eye toward utilizing it to support community innovation and entrepreneurship.

The county received a variety of proposals for the use of the site prior to the pandemic, including a suggestion from development officials to use it for community events.

However, during the pandemic, the building was adapted for emergency use. Over the past year, it has been used as a storage site for personal protective equipment, and it was designated as a hypothermia shelter from Dec. 1 through April 1.

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The “(Not) Strictly Painting” exhibition will feature painting-related work, such as Julie Wills’s “Midheaven” (courtesy McLean Project for the Arts)

Work by dozens of artists from across the mid-Atlantic region will soon be on display at the McLean Community Center, courtesy of McLean Project for the Arts.

The local visual arts-focused nonprofit announced on Wednesday (Sept. 8) that it will introduce its latest exhibition “(Not) Strictly Painting” to the community center’s Emerson Gallery (1234 Ingleside Avenue) next Saturday (Sept. 18).

This will be the 13th iteration of the juried, biennial exhibition, which will include paintings and other kinds of art that’s somehow related to painting from 37 different artists. MPA says it is “one of the region’s most important painting exhibitions.”

“(Not) Strictly Painting will exhibit works by some of the most interesting and innovative artists currently active in the Mid-Atlantic region,” MPA Director of Exhibitions and Curator Nancy Sausser said in a statement. “The exhibit was expertly juried by Virginia Treanor and Foon Sham, a curator and an artist, respectively. Their choices will be displayed separately online and blended together in the gallery.”

A Virginia-based artist, Foon Sham also teaches art at the University of Maryland at College Park, while Virginia Treanor serves as an associate curator at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in D.C.

Once the exhibition launches, the MPA Emerson Gallery will be open for viewing from 1-4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, though it will be limited to six visitors at a time to allow for social distancing.

MCC currently requires all visitors to wear masks that fully cover their mouth and nose while attending programs at its facilities in accordance with federal and local COVID-19 health guidelines. Fairfax County has been requiring masks for visitors and employees in county government facilities since Aug. 9.

“In addition, patrons are requested to do their best to observe six feet of social distance from other patrons as often as possible and to wash their hands often,” MPA said in its news release.

MPA will host a virtual opening reception for “(Not) Strictly Painting” from 7-8 p.m. on Sept. 23. A full list of the artists featured in the exhibition, which will run through Nov. 13, can be found on the nonprofit’s website.

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Lake Street Dive (via Wolf Trap)

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (Sept. 7)

  • Weird History for Kids — 4:30-5:15 p.m. at Dolley Madison Library (1244 Oak Ridge Avenue) — Learn about mummies through art, games, stories, and skill-building exercises in this month’s entry in the McLean-based library’s history series. Space is limited for the in-person event, which is geared toward kids aged 6-12.

Thursday (Sept. 9)

Friday (Sept. 10)

  • “Aspirations” Opening Night — 5-7 p.m. at Pars Place (2236-C Gallows Road) — Meet the local artists in an opening reception for their new art exhibit hosted by the Iranian-American Community Center in Dunn Loring. Face coverings or masks are required, and advanced registration is recommended.

Saturday (Sept. 11)

  • Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony — 9 a.m. at the Freeman Store and Museum (131 Church St. NE) — The American Legion Dyer-Gunnell Post 180 in Vienna is hosting a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony, marking 20 years since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
  • 45th Annual Falls Church Festival — 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at City Hall (300 Park Ave.) — From children’s entertainment to a beer garden and booths for local crafters and others, the free admission festival will feature food, amusement rides, and entertainment. Visitors are encouraged to wear a mask while not eating or drinking and must wear one when entering the Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls St.).
  • Truck and Toss — 4 p.m. at Grace Christian Academy (3233 Annandale Road) — The food truck, craft beer, and cornhole festival benefits a tuition assistance program for the West Falls Church-based private school, which serves students up to eighth grade. General admission is $40.

Sunday (Sept. 12)

  • Congenital Heart Walk — 9:45 a.m. at Wolf Trap (1551 Trap Road) — The walk supports The Children’s Heart Foundation mission to fund congenital heart defect  research. In-person activities are being held throughout the day, before and after the walk, and there’s also a virtual option. Register online.
  • Tysons 5K — 9 a.m. race start at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — Through a partnership with Tysons Corner Center and Food for Others, the 3.1-mile race and fun run will raise money to provide rice and beans for dozens of families in need. Pre-registration is $35 for running in person or virtually, and walking is encouraged, too.
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