Public Art Reston/Hunters Woods at Trails Edge/Community Workshop with Artist Ben Volta

You are invited to participate in an intergenerational community workshop led by Ben Volta, the artist selected to create a permanent public artwork at the Colts Neck Road underpass. This is the culmination of workshops Volta led in May and June with students and seniors at Dogwood Elementary School, Hunters Woods Elementary School, Southgate Community Center, and Hunters Woods Fellowship House.

All are welcome to join us for art making and ice cream at Hunters Woods at Trails Edge. Drawings created during the workshops will be incorporated into the final artwork that will cover the walls of the Colts Neck Road underpass. The event is also an opportunity to visit the underpass before the artwork will installed in September.

Free and open to all.

The County’s Art Buzz – May

Special to The Fairfax County Times, May 10, 2019

If you ask ARTSFAIRFAX’s recent Artist Grant honorees’ Tom Teasley and Foon Sham, it is through the audiences’ experience that brings their work to life and gives it meaning.

Teasley and Sham, widely known for their individual achievements and their demonstrated history of accomplishment in the art world, received the 2019 ARTSFAIRFAX’s Artist Award in April.

The Artist Grants recognize the talent of individual artists and the diversity of art created in Fairfax County. Teasley, a solo percussionist, composer and collaborator and Sham, a sculptor, take a unique perspective in how they share their artistic vision and story with the audience.

Teasley says, “As a musician I am a multi-dimensional performer and composer, crossing the boundaries of solo performance through the use of instruments from all over the world, cross-pollinating techniques, rhythms and styles from diverse traditions, and combining ancient percussion with digital technology.”

For Sham, a professor and sculptor, his work goes beyond enjoyment, it is reflective of the physical and spiritual aspect of his life.  Sham’s wood sculptures invite audiences into a moment of time and space.

Do You Know?

Fairfax County is home to many talented artists who bring their own unique perspective and interpretation to their art.  Individual artists are at the center of Fairfax County’s thriving creative life.  A few to check out in May include:

Alex Tolstoy, watercolors

Caroline Weinroth, musician & writer

Diane Coburn Bruning, choreography

Francesca Hurst, piano

John Brannon, book artist

Gabrielle Nami, visual artist

Gina Biver, composer

Humayun Khan, musical performance

Hyun Gi, visual arts

Judith Peck, visual arts

Jesse Stanchak, micro flash fiction

Julia Dzikiewicz, visual arts

Maremi Andreozzi, visual arts

Paula Saneaux, visual arts

Sarah Hardesty, visual arts

Sean Heely, multi-genre violinist and fiddler

Sean Pfueger, bass-baritone and composer

Travis Childers, visual arts

Plan your art outing

Vienna Choral Society presents “There is Always Plan B,” a concert May 18 at the Providence Presbyterian Church that tells the story of music from Bach to the Beatles. 1st Stage explores racism of the rural South in a coming of age story set in 1946 rural Georgia in “The Member of the Wedding” through June 2.  Amadeus Orchestra presents emerging artists in a concert on May 19 at Saint Luke Catholic Church in McLean.  Reston Community Players present the family fun adventure of “Annie” at the Reston Community Center’s CenterStage on May 11 and 18.  The Art Guild of Clifton invites the public to enjoy their 6th annual Plein Air painting event May 16 -19th.  The Northern Virginia Players present the Disney classic, “The Jungle Book,” May 10 -19 at the Northern Virginia Community College Lakeside Theater, and the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra presents “Circus Spectacular” on May 19 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center.

Celebrate the Creative Aging Festival

Fairfax is celebrating adults over 50 with the month long Creative Aging Festival.  Over 60 events are planned at senior and community centers, public libraries and other locations throughout the County.  Participants can learn how to create floating gardens, listen to African drumming, read poetry out loud, try their hand at drawing, and so much more throughout May.  Visit to find an event.

Alex Tolstoy

Alex is primarily a watercolorist, but one who dabbles in acrylics and mixed media.

Alex was born in New York City but grew up in DC. She was a research scientist (mathematician, actually) for over 40 years (specializing in Ocean Acoustics from 1980 until 2012). Water, water, everywhere…

Alex is an award winning watercolorist who has been featured on numerous websites and in magazine articles. She is also a member of the Art League of Alexandria, the McLean Project of the Arts, the Maryland Federation of Art Society, the Yellow Barn Studio, the McLean Art Society, the Washington Project for the Arts, the Potomac Valley Watercolorists, and the American Watercolor Society. She was a also member of the Foundry Gallery from 2013 until 2015. Since January 2013 she has been in over 150 group shows and has had 7 solo and 4 semi-solo shows. She is married to photographer Ron Colbroth.

Influences and inspirations include such classic master artists as J.M.W. Turner, Andrew Wyeth, John Singer Sargent, Whistler, Homer, and more. Contemporary masters who are much admired include Thomas Schaller, Jean Haines, Roger Whitlock, John Lovett, Joseph Zbukvic, Shirley Trevena, Barbara Nechis, and others.

Her work is in private and corporate collections (such as the Ritz-Carlton) and is distributed throughout the US (including Hawaii), Great Britain, Canada, Japan, and the US embassy in Barbados.

Judith Peck

Judith Peck is a Fairfax County area allegorical figurative artist who has made her life’s work to paint about current issues and healing, using a variety of methods and experimental techniques to achieve a diverse range of visual and tactile results that validate a strong narrative. She has been awarded by the Masur Museum of Art, the Alexandria Museum of Art, The Washington County Museum of Fine Art, the Lore Degenstein Gallery Competition at Susquehanna University, The Butler Institute of American Art, and Florida A&M University’s Pinnacle Competition, shown in Context Art Basel in Miami and The Art of Paper show in New York as well as in major galleries and had numerous solo shows. She was awarded the Strauss Fellowship Grant from Fairfax County, Virginia as well as a two-month paid International Artist-in-Residence in Salzburg Austria.

Her paintings have been featured numerous times in American Art Collector Magazine, Poets /Artists, The Artist’s Magazine, iARTisas, Combustus and the books Tradition and Transformation and the Ashen Rainbow, by Ori Z. Soltes, as well as the Kress Project book published by the Georgia Museum of Art.

Judith Peck’s work is collected internationally and can be found in many private and public collections.

Creating Connections in Clay

This ARTSFAIRFAX residency program promotes empathy among peers and the global community by engaging students in storytelling through ceramic projects. Students work in pairs to share stories based on a topic chosen by the teachers such as a transformational personal story, a current event that is of interest to the class, a self-portrait relief or a family history, Classmates conduct interviews to deepen their understanding of each other’s stories. They swap and summarize the stories in first person and express aspects of the stories by incorporating abstract images into clay objects. Teachers may choose the type of functional clay object they prefer their students to make the choice.

Students will generate ideas several ways. They will:

  • Look at ceramic works by recognized artists and by the resident artist.
  • Examine attributes of found, possibly sentimental objects that correlate to emotions evoked by a short story prompt and use them as stamps in clay.
  • Swap personal stories with a partner, ask questions to further understanding and then retell each partner’s story.
  • Interpret and illustrate aspects of the partner’s story in drawings and finally in clay.

As a result, students are encouraged to see beyond themselves and experience the world through the eyes of another by participating in a story swap and creating a work of art to express their understanding of another human being.

Fairfax County’s Hidden Gem – January

Fairfax County’s Hidden Gem

Special to the Fairfax County Times, Jan 11, 2019

Welcome to the first column dedicated to the arts in Fairfax County. It has long been known that the Fairfax County arts scene is a hidden gem treasured by residents, but its talent and vibrant offerings for professional artists, students and patrons make it a destination for everyone’s entertainment.


The Fairfax County arts community is brought together by ARTSFAIRFAX, a nonprofit organization incorporated to be Fairfax County’s designated local arts agency. ARTSFAIRFAX has been the voice of the arts since 1964. The organization rebranded in 2018 from the Arts Council of Fairfax County to better serve Fairfax County – growing exposure to the many arts opportunities in our community, increasing equity, inclusion and access to art for all.

ARTSFAIRFAX serves Fairfax residents and visitors, the arts community, local government and private sector arts supporters. ARTSFAIRFAX is your resource for Fairfax County art information. Our website provides an events calendar and a county arts directory helping you find the arts in your community.

We work to strengthen our arts community by providing professional development workshops, job listings, public arts, and an Artist Residency Program in Fairfax County Public Schools. We aid the County by distributing county funds for the arts and collaborating on a Creative Aging Festival and County Master Arts Plan. Organizations funded in part by ARTSFAIRFAX’s grants offer some exciting events in January. Don’t miss ArtSpace Herndon’s “Three Moves to Divine Exhibit,” NextStop Theatre’s “[title of show],” American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert, Reston Community Players’ “Superior Donuts” or 1st Stage Theater’s “The Brother’s Size” to highlight a few.

Operating Support Grant information workshop, Feb. 22

In Fiscal Year 2018, ARTSFAIRFAX awarded 64 grants in the following categories: Operating Support, Organizational and Professional Development, Project Support, Fast Track and Artist Grants. Fairfax County artists and arts organizations are encouraged to apply for FY20 funding. An Operating Support Grant information workshop will be held on Feb. 22.

Awards nominations from the public are accepted until Feb. 14

The arts are an important part of our community. Each year, ARTSFAIRFAX strives to recognize the hard work, effort and dedication of artists and those who support the arts through its annual Arts Awards luncheon in October. The Arts Awards brings together the arts, businesses, civic communities and elected leaders to celebrate the arts in Fairfax County. This year, ARTSFAIRFAX is accepting nominations from the public until Feb.14 in the following categories: Arts Philanthropy, Arts Achievement, and the Emerging Arts Awards. For more information and to learn how you can participate, visit the ARTSFAIRFAX website or call 571-395-4619.

ARTSFAIRFAX is funded by Fairfax County, corporations, foundations, individuals, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit to learn more about the arts in Fairfax, find an arts event, information on applying for a grant, or submit an Arts Awards nomination.
Make participating in the arts your new year’s resolution and visit our column monthly to learn about the arts in Fairfax County.
Don’t forget to stay connected to the arts by following and tagging ARTSFAIRFAX on Facebook.

Public Art Reston

Public Art Reston’s mission is to inspire an ongoing commitment to public art and create a new generation of public artworks in Reston. It imagines public art throughout Reston that inspires the community and engages the mind and senses. Public Art Reston with its founding community partners to commission temporary and permanent public artworks in Reston. For a complete list of public artworks in the community, visit our online gallery . Public Art Reston presents artist talks and film screenings about public art. Public Art Reston, in collaboration with community partners, presents the annual community festivals Chalk on the Water at Lake and ChalkFest at Reston Town Center.  View our Calendar of Events for more information.


Photo: Connie’s Quit (2018), South Lakes High School STEAM Team.