Tysons, VA

Happy Friday! Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:

Answer to Affordable Housing? — “A unique zoning designation permitted a new duplex to spring up in the heart of the City of Falls Church, but the development may not be a one-off if proposed legislation to upzone all single-family lots to accommodate multifamily structures passes down in Richmond.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Art Center Proposed For McLean Park — “‘MPA envisions an all-inclusive art center which provides a creative respite for the community that is integrated into, yet distinct from, Clemyjontri Park,’ county officials said.” [Inside NoVa]

Falls Church Library Project Moves Forward — “By a split 4-3 vote, the Falls Church City Council gave a “first reading” preliminary approval to a $10.9 million project to renovate and expand the Mary Riley Styles Public Library… The vote on final approval for the plan is scheduled for Feb. 10.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Woman Struck in Falls Church — “A woman was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street at the corner of Little Falls Road and West Broad Street in the City of Falls Church Tuesday afternoon, the City reported.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Fun Fact: The miniature fighter jet sculpture pictured above in Falls Church was made with 14,000 copper coins, according to Atlas Obscura.

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For art lovers across the community, the McLean Project for the Arts will host a talk next week featuring the artists responsible for the latest showcase at the Emerson and Atrium Galleries.

Eve Stockton and Kyujin Lee will be at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue) on Sunday (Jan. 12), sharing stories about their artwork from 2-4 p.m.

Though the showcase opened about a month ago, this event gives visitors the chance to learn more about the process behind “Origin Stories” by Stockton and “Replay and Reshuffle” by Lee.

“Combining the spontaneity of surrealist automatism with refined illustrative skill, Kyujin Lee draws on the world of fairy tale to compose paintings exploring dreams, identity and personal transformation,” a press release said.

Meanwhile, Stockton’s works are inspired by nature and science, according to the press release, which added that woodworking is her specialty.

Admission is free and the event is open to everyone.

Photo courtesy McLean Project for the Arts

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Local author Joe Jamaldinian began writing to inspire the younger generations to follow their dreams and explore new ambitions.

After the success of his first book “Bob Winging It,” he recently decided to write a second called “Bob In A Box.”

So far, Jamaldinian said the feedback has been fabulous.

“Bob In A Box” is about a penguin named Bob who leaves his comfort zone — or metaphorical box — to explore the world and discover the wonders beyond his comfort zone.

Jamaldinian decided to self-publish his second book after being disappointed in the services provided by his former publishing company.

The artist and writer began drawing penguins for fun because he thinks they are fun and silly animals, who don’t seem to take themselves too seriously.

While working at his previous job, people noticed Jamaldinian’s sketches and suggested that he take his creative talents to the next level.

As a parent himself, he said he understands the importance of kids’ passion for reading and exploration. He hopes Penguin Bob, the main character of the books, will allow kids to see themselves in the character and feel free to experiment with new hobbies and passions like writing or art.

Now, he attends craft fairs, markets and events where he can introduce his book to the community and potentially sell a few copies. Jamaldinian also volunteers around the area reading to kids at schools.

Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of either “Bob In A Box” for $18 or “Bob Winging It” for $15 can find the books on Amazon. Or, if purchased on the author’s website, Jamaldinian will personally sign the book and write a message for the recipient.

Instagram users can check out Penguin Bob cartoons on the social media app as well and purchase character prints.

Photo via Joe Jamaldinian

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The McLean Project for the Arts will unveil its latest exhibition on Thursday (Dec. 5).

The latest set of art will feature Eve Stockton with “Origin Stories” in the Emerson Gallery and “Replay and Reshuffle” by Kyujin Lee in the Atrium Gallery, which are both located at the McLean Community Center.

The works will be available for public viewing beginning Thursday at a reception from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue). Attendees may RSVP if they wish to attend the opening event.

Born in Ohio and now an Alexandria resident, Stockton is known for her wooden prints and stone sculptures, while Lee chooses paint as a primary medium, according to the events page.

“Her prints are nature/science-based and have been exhibited at the National Academy of Science,” according to her website.

Lee was born in South Korea and is now based in D.C. Lee’s works have been displayed across the country, according to the artist’s website.

“Lee draws on the world of fairy tale to compose paintings exploring dreams, identity and personal transformation,” according to a press release from MPA.

Admission to the gallery is free, and the works will be on display until Feb. 29, 2020.

Images courtesy McLean Project for the Arts 

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Painted wooden benches raised thousands of dollars for the Vienna Arts Society during a recent auction.

The benches were auctioned off on Saturday (Nov. 2).

“Vienna Arts Society Auction brought in a capacity crowd,” Lu Cousins, the director of the art group, posted on Facebook. “My sincerest thanks goes out to the community for your support and of course to the artists, their families and the team that worked so hard to make this happen.”

Cousins told Tysons Reporter that the auction raised “well over $50,000.”

The funds will go toward the Vienna Arts Society’s Art Center and outreach activities.

Before the auction, the colorful benches adorned local businesses to mark the Vienna Arts Society’s 50th anniversary. Local businesses sponsored the cost of the Amish-built benches.

During the summer, two of the 42 benches were stolen, leading to extra security measures from the arts group and Vienna Police Department. One of the artists was able to paint another bench, letting Vienna Arts Society auction off 41 benches.

Cousins highlighted one bench in particular — Doré Skidmore’s bench, which features books, will honor Abby — “a beloved pup who enjoyed listening to children reading to her,” Cousins said.

“The public interest story goes out to Lamar Collier who — together with The Friends of Patrick Henry Library — had the winning bid for the bench to be placed at the library in honor of her precious dog Abby and the Read to a Dog, Woof and Paws program,” Cousins told Tysons Reporter.

At the Vienna Town Council meeting on Monday, Mayor Laurie DiRocco lauded the Vienna Arts Society, artists and local businesses that helped with the bench art.

“It was fantastic to see the benches all around town for the six months they were there,” DiRocco said, adding that several benches will stay on display in the town.

The mayor added that she also got a bench with her husband. “We’re going to put it by the Freeman Store,” she said.

Photo courtesy Lu Cousins

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Actress Jane Seymour is coming to Tysons to showcase her art.

Seymour will make appearances at Wentworth Gallery’s two locations — Tysons Galleria and the Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda — this weekend.

Known for her roles in “Austenland” and the James Bond film “Live and Let Die,” Seymour has been creating oil and watercolor paintings and sculptures for more than two decades.

Her paintings vary from pastel beach scenes to vibrant flowers, along with many self-portraits and art depicting hearts and angels.

More from the art gallery about the actress and painter:

British born, Jane Seymour most famous for her long-lasting and successful acting career, has evolved into a present-day Renaissance woman. In additon to writing, producing, fashion designing and charity work, Seymour has become an accomplished artist…

Seymour finds sanctuary and peace in her art studio. A lover of culture and nature, she has created exceptional oil paintings, watercolors and limited editions.

Her talent as a watercolorist, in fact, led to the production of a series of greeting cards sold to support her charities. One of her images was featured on a special Discover card, raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, following the work’s charity auction at the Guggenheim Museum.

“The Art of Jane Seymour” art show will include a meet and greet from 6-9 p.m. at Tysons Galleria on Saturday (Oct. 12). She will be in Bethesda on Sunday (Oct. 13).

Photo via Jane Seymour Art Show/Facebook

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

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

Monday (Sept. 30)

  • Mr. Brown’s Park Dedication — 6-7 p.m. at former Downtown Park (100 block of W. Broad Street) —  This event celebrates the transition from Downtown Park to Mr. Brown’s Park, which will now be named after the oldest business in the City of Falls Church. Local officials will be on-site commemorating the renaming.

Thursday (Oct. 3)

  • Tysons Reporter Happy Hour — 5-7 p.m. at the Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — Celebrate Tysons Reporter’s first anniversary. Community members will have the chance to grab a drink or a slice of cake with the journalists behind the site. The first 50 attendees will receive a free drink. Rumor has it that there will also be free swag.

Friday (Oct. 4)

  • Vienna Oktoberfest — 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at Historic Church Street (131 Church Street NE—  This 12th annual event offers visitors a variety of vendors, live music acts, food, kids activities and alcoholic beverages. It is free.
  • WellieWishers™ Friendship Tea Party — 2-4 p.m. at American Girl Store (8090 Tysons Corner) — Kids 5 and up are welcome to gather for an afternoon of dining, crafts and a cupcake-decorating. Tickets are $13.50 per person.
  • Block Party — 3-7 p.m. at Capital One Center (1640 Capital One Drive) Capital One is hosting a block party with City Works Eatery and Pour House to celebrate the new mixed-use development space. There will be live music, games, food and drinks available. Admission is free and includes a free drink. There will be over 90 beers on tap.

Saturday (Oct. 5)

  • Ribbon Cutting for Synthetic Turf Field — 10 a.m. at Larry Graves Park (300 Hillwood Avenue— This event celebrates the grand opening of a field in Larry Graves Park that includes striping for several different sports. All are welcome to attend this free event.
  • Moon Festival – Tet Trung Thu — noon-5 p.m. at Eden Center (6761 Wilson Blvd) This Vietnamese festival invites the community to gather for an afternoon of colorful lantern displays, music, cultural performances and food. It is free and all ages are welcome to attend.

Sunday (Oct. 6)

  • MPAartfest –10 a.m.-5 p.m. at McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd) — This free event invites community members to check out pop-up art galleries, hands-on exhibits, food vendors and live music.
  • Tysons Singles Seated Speed Dating — 7-9 p.m. at Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike)  Singles in the area are invited for an evening of mingling at the Tysons Biergarten. Event organizers request that attendees arrive before 7 p.m. for check-in. Tickets start at $15.

Image via Facebook/Eden Center

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Passers-by may notice some new street art around Vienna.

Four local teens from Madison High School teamed up to paint three storm drains around the town last weekend. The works feature nature scenes and can be found outside the Freeman Store (131 Church Street NE).

Midge Biles, the chair for the Vienna Public Art Commission, said that the group often tries to partner with schools to sponsor art installations. For this project, the commission asked their student representative from Madison High School to recruit volunteers.

“The drains turned out beautifully and are all very different,” Biles said. “We are hoping to bring the message of environment and how it is all connected — what goes in the drain ends up in our oceans and has far-reaching effects on our water quality, sea life and beyond.”

The art should last for about six months, according to a tweet from the town.

The project required 10 gallons of paint which were donated by Vienna Paint (123 Lawers Road), Biles said.

In the future, she said that the group hopes to commission more paintings around town.

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Locals can learn about Turkish coffee at the Tysons Corner Center tomorrow (Sept. 26).

The Turkish Coffee Lady will host a pop-up truck event from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Plaza (1961 Chain Bridge Road) to share Turkish culture, educate the public on travel opportunities to Turkey and allow visitors to sample Turkish delicacies like specialized coffee, a press release said.

At the event, guests can not only taste-test samples but also watch a micro-art demonstration from Hasan Kale and also participate in a workshop led by a gastronomy author.

The truck is stopping by Tysons on part of a month-long non-profit tour around New York, New Jersey, Maryland and D.C.

Gizem Salcigil White is the owner of Turkish Coffee Lady and the director of the cultural initiative.

“Turkish coffee is the world’s first coffee brewing method invented by Turks in the 16th century, and it is recognized by UNESCO’s World Heritage List as a cultural inheritance that was passed on from generation to generation,” White said in the press release.

The project is sponsored by several companies and partners including the American Turkish Association of DC and the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

“The coffee truck will also participate in the 17th Annual Washington DC Turkish Festival organized by American Turkish Association of DC this Sunday and conclude the tour at ‘Study Abroad & Global Citizenship Influencer Summit’ in early October hosted by Hostelling International USA,” the press release said.

Photos via Turkish Coffee Lady

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A community space for textile and fabric arts is now open in the City of Falls Church.

TINT opened last weekend at 417 W. Broad Street, Suite 100, according to a Facebook post.

“TINT is a space for modern makers quilt, sew, knit, spin, crochet, and more,” the website says.  People can also find fabric, yarn and other materials for sale.

TINT plans to offer workshops and classes, and starting next week, people can take part in a lunchtime series of workshops about self-care. Art therapist Jennifer Baldwin is scheduled to stitch a fabric mandala on Wednesday, Sept. 25, from noon-1 p.m.

The space is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturdays, noon-4 p.m. on Sundays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Wednesdays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Fridays, along with appointment-only times, according to the website. TINT is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Photo via TINT/Facebook

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