Tysons, VA

A few of the painted wooden benches auctioned off are set to return to spots around Vienna for community use.

Earlier this year, the Vienna Arts Society showcased the benches painted by artists around the town to celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary.

The auction on Nov. 2 sold the benches for roughly $50,000. Of the 41 sold, eight of them will find permanent homes around prominent public areas including the Patrick Henry Library and the Vienna Community Center, according to Vienna’s newsletter.

At the auction, Mayor Laurie DiRocco and her husband purchased “Church Street, Vienna VA USA” and plan to place it at the Freeman Store and Museum, the newsletter said. DiRocco was one of seven buyers who donated benches.

Sylvia Spengler, a community member, also donated two benches, the newsletter added.

“We’re so grateful to the Vienna Arts Society for sharing its cumulative talent with the community and we’re thrilled that several of the benches will remain in the public domain,” Leslie Herman, the director of parks and recreation, said.

Other benches which can soon be found around town include:

  • “Sit” and “Play Time” at the Vienna Dog Park
  • “Creative Kids” at Cunningham Elementary School
  • “Pleasures of Vienna” at the Town Green, near the fountain
  • “The Kaleidoscope Cats” at the Vienna Community Center
  • “Unlock the Cosmos” at the Patrick Henry Library

Image via Town of Vienna

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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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Morning Notes

Fatal Pedestrian Crash on Route 50 — “Officers responded to the report of a hit-and-run crash involving a pedestrian on Arlington Boulevard near Summerfield Road, at approximately six [Friday] night. The pedestrian was crossing Arlington Boulevard, not in a crosswalk, and was hit by a dark colored mid to full-size pickup truck with an open bed. The truck did not stop and drove away from the scene. The pedestrian, 93-year-old Pericles Apostolou, from Falls Church, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.” [FCPD]

Road Closed Due to Downed Trees — Amid high winds and power outages, Spring Hill Road in McLean was closed for an extended period of time Sunday due to downed trees and wires. [Twitter]

Tegna Auctioning Office Fixtures — Broadcast conglomerate Tegna is moving from its current Tysons home to the Boro development. As part of the move, it’s auctioning off furniture, TVs and other items of value from around the office. Bids close Thursday. [Washington Business Journal, Rasmus Auctions]

Local Hackers Gather in McLean — “All day Monday, the NoVa Hackers held their SchmooCon Epilogue in McLean… Over 150 members attended topical lectures, competed in MetaCTF challenges, and participated in discussions about cyber and information security between insider groups.” [WDVM]

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