Tysons, VA

An upcoming mural in the City of Falls Church recently raised concerns from some residents over its selection process.

The mural is set to be installed near Mr. Brown’s Park — a space that was known as the city’s downtown plaza before it was renamed to honor the city’s oldest business.

The Falls Church Planning Commission noted during its meeting last week that the mural will be paid for with public funds. Because it is located on private property, it doesn’t need to go through the typical approval process for publically commissioned art, Melissa Teates, a member of the city’s Planning Commission, said.

The Village Preservation and Improvement Society, a local group that aims to preserve the city’s history and culture, disagreed with this decision though.

VPIS said in a letter to the Planning Commission that the project should go through a stricter screening process because public funds are being used.

The letter insisted that a new set of artists bring forth a proposal to a “qualified board” which will prioritize images celebrating the history and people of Falls Church.

“VPIS requests that city staff suspend the contract and reconsider the public process for selecting the mural content,” the letter said.

In the future, Teates said that the Planning Commission is working on a plan for public art, but it has not been completed yet.

Image via Google Maps

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Look down and you can spot a new public art piece near the Vienna Community Center.

The Town of Vienna posted on Facebook yesterday that Myles T., the student member of the Vienna Public Art Commission, painted a storm drain with the help of his friends Anneliese B. and Gavin K. “All three students are rising seniors at James Madison High School,” the post said.

The picture of the painting on the sidewalk around the drain shows a turtle swimming through water that is surrounded by yellow, purple and red flowers.

“[Myles] spent last Friday painting a colorful, whimsical design on the storm drain at the bend in the road near the community center on Cherry Street,” the post said.

Vienna Paint donated the paint, the post said.

Photo via Town of Vienna/Facebook

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Fairfax County’s public library system wants to capture people’s COVID-19 experiences for its historical records collection.

The library system is looking for diary entries, photographs, artworks, videos — anything that documents what people’s lives are like during the pandemic.

People can submit material on their pandemic experiences anonymously or with their name attached as a “digital donation” via a Google Form. Submissions will be accepted through June 10.

The information will be used for a project for the Virginia Room, which contains historical records at the City of Fairfax Regional Library.

Image via Fairfax Library/Twitter 

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The Vienna Arts Society recently announced that it is seeking submissions for a new community-wide project.

Called “The Art of Kindness,” the project aims to gather pieces that portray a kind act within the town, according to the art group’s website.

Submissions may be in the form of poems, photographs or illustrations, the website said, but they must be sent in anonymously.

Digital submissions can be emailed to organizers. Hard copy works must not exceed 8.5 by 11 inches in diameter and can be sent to Amy-Jo Hendrix at the Town of Vienna’s Parks and Recreation Department (127 Center Street S.) or dropped off at a list of pre-arranged locations.

Everyone is encouraged to participate, and organizers are working with “Vienna schools and churches to involve as many citizens as possible,” according to the event page.

The submission deadline is Sept. 30 and event organizers plan to debut the finished project at the gallery Oct. 24-25.

Image via Vienna Arts Society

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Many people getting bored self-isolating due to the coronavirus have turned to art reconstructions — including a local art teacher and her greyhound.

Nicole Walter, an art teacher at Marshall High School, has been photographing her retired racing greyhound named Neirin in poses similar to famous pieces of art, according to Fairfax County Public Schools.

Walter, who has taught at Marshall for 17 years, is using her 4-year-old pooch from West Virginia to create art that can engage her students while distance learning is in place, according to FCPS.

So far, they have recreated two dozen famous artworks, including “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer, “American Gothic” by Grant Wood and “Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo.

More from FCPS:

“I saw the challenges being posted by various art museums to recreate master works and to share on social media,” explains Walter. “I was just in the middle of an instructional unit on appropriation in art with my Art 2 students, so I thought this would be a great way for them to make art without the need for special art supplies.”

Students enthusiastically responded to Walter’s project… Neirin is a four-year-old retired racing greyhound from West Virginia who raced for three years…

“Since I teach art, and my goal is to help students connect with their own unique form of creative expression, I try to learn about and appreciate a broad range of art styles,” she states.

People who want to see the greyhound art can head to the Instagram for Neirin.

Photo via Neirinthegrey/Instagram

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Nightlife is zilch in Tysons at the moment due to the pandemic. After a brief hiatus, the “Tysons After Dark” series is back to highlight different online activities from local organizations that keep people busy once the sun goes down. 

McLean Community Center is closed, so the McLean Project for the Arts is shifting its art classes from in-person to online.

MCC announced the Zoom classes in its recent newsletter. Now, people can register for the classes, which include watercolor, painting, drawing and more.

Some classes are in the afternoons, while others are in the evening. The classes are on a set schedule with predetermined time slots on different days. Prices vary from class to class.

Here are some of the upcoming ones:

MPA is also offering a new class on experimental portraiture with former MPA faculty and staff member Arthur Kwon Lee, who is currently in New York City, the newsletter said.

More about the class:

The history of art cannot be told without witnessing portraiture painting in its myriad of forms. This class explores different approaches to creating the human gaze. Through the lens of art history exercises and alternative mark making approaches, artists will discover new ways to excavate the world of portraiture with excitement. Our class will emulate multiple modalities of portraiture from the De Koonings, the cubists and beyond.

The class is on Tuesdays from 7:30-9:30 p.m., starting April 21.

People who are staying at home with small kids can keep them entertained with Abrakadoodle classes.

People who are interested or have questions can contact Briana Clorey at [email protected]

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McLean Teacher Turns to Virtual Art Classes — “McLean art teacher and mom of two Pamela Saunders wasn’t too familiar with online technology before the coronavirus outbreak. But when schools closed for the academic year, the teacher children call ‘Miss Pam’ had the motivation to quickly her adjust small business Young at Art.” [Patch]

Meridian Group Buys Two Tysons Buildings — “The Meridian Group has acquired a pair of Class B Tysons office buildings for a combined $58.25 million, tacking nearly 430,000 square feet to its D.C.-area portfolio. Bethesda’s Meridian, developer of The Boro mixed-use project in Tysons, bought 1951 Kidwell Drive for $24 million and 1953 Gallows Road for $34.25 million, according to public records.” [Washington Business Journal]

West Falls Church Station Closed This Weekend — “In addition to the station closure, Orange Line trains will share a single track between West Falls Church and Vienna, with trains every 36 minutes, rather than every 30 minutes… A free shuttle bus will be available between West Falls Church and Dunn Loring stations for any essential rider affected by the closure.” [Metro]

FCPS Speeding Up Work — “Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) officials are forging ahead briskly with an extensive list of construction, maintenance and repair projects during the COVID-19 pandemic… FCPS officials also have accelerated… expansion of the parking lot at Shrevewood Elementary School in the Falls Church area.” [Inside NoVa]

Obituary for Falls Church Resident — “Thomas (Tom) Duggan, 71, of Falls Church, Virginia, passed away in his home surrounded by his family on April 8, 2020 after battling a very aggressive cancer.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Praise for Local Middle School Student — “Anna Wisniewski, a seventh-grade student at Cooper Middle School, has been named winner of the 2020 STEM Essay Contest, sponsored by the McLean area branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).” [Inside NoVa]

Outbreaks at Falls Church Senior Homes — “Three Falls Church area senior homes are now confirmed to be fighting outbreaks of the coronavirus, with Chesterbrook Residences telling the News-Press today that a total of 17 of its residents and staff have tested positive for Covid-19.” [Falls Church News-Press]

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After suspending its upcoming shows due to the coronavirus, 1st Stage Theatre now has new plans for how the show(s) will go on.

The theater announced on Thursday (April 9) that “A New Brain,” which was set to run March 26-April 19, will be the theater’s next production. New show dates have not been announced yet.

Meanwhile, “The Waverly Gallery,” which was originally going to be produced this spring, will now join the lineup for the 2020-2021 season.

“1st Stage will remain closed in compliance with federal, state, and local guidelines until it is safe to welcome audiences back to the theatre,” the press release said.

Later this year, audiences can expect the new season to kick off with “Mlima’s Tale” in September and then “The Rainmaker” in December.

In 2021, “The Waverly Gallery” will hit the stage in February, followed by “The Nance” in April and “The Phlebotomist” in May.

The theater is cancelling its Logan Festival of Solo Performance for this July, but said it plans for the festival to take place in 2021.

“We are very grateful to the Logan family for their continued friendship. They have pledged to continue their support for the festival and 1st Stage, and we are so appreciative,” Artistic Director Alex Levy said in the announcement.

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The McLean Project for the Arts is looking for artist submissions for its upcoming festival in October.

MPAartfest is a free one-day festival in McLean that features a juried fine art show and sale. Attendees can enjoy the work of visual artists, along with mini art galleries, live music, food from local restaurants and activities.

The McLean Project for the Arts wants interested artists throughout the mid-Atlantic region to apply by June 15. Artists will keep 100% of the sales, according to a press release.

To apply, artists will need to submit an application with a $35 fee. If selected, the artists will pay a $350 participation fee.

While the festival is free, donations and funds raised during the event support MPA exhibitions and programs.

The festival returns to McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd) on Sunday, Oct. 4.

Photo via McLean Project for the Arts/Facebook

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The Studio Movie Grill at Founders Row in Falls Church will likely become more colorful with the installation of a new mural project.

Proposed themes include a collage of the universe, diverse individuals and storytelling images like film, according to the city documents, which added the dimensions will be roughly 128 by 38 feet.

“Rooted in the inclusive spirit of the community and history of Falls Church, the design’s whimsical vignettes illustrate the process of artistic ideation, creation, and interaction,” the city documents said about the art.

The mixed-use development, which is currently under construction at the corner of W. Broad and N. West streets, will include luxury apartments, retail space, the 4,693-square-foot movie theater and a 9,476-square-foot City Works Eatery and Pour House.

Though in the early stages, the proposed mural is tentatively scheduled to come back to the Planning Commission for a public hearing in June.

It is unclear when the mural will be completed.

Rendering via JBG Smith, images (2) via City of Falls Church

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