The County’s Art Buzz – September

Arts Buzz- September

By Dana C. Stewart

September may mean it is back to school for students, but it doesn’t mean an end to creative exploration for all ages.  So, who is ready to play?  This month, residents can explore the intersection of public art with play, learn about creativity in the classroom and celebrate visionaries in the art field.

Public Art and Placemaking

Public Art presents an opportunity to strengthen the connection between residents, stimulate interaction and generate community growth. Placemaking plays a vital role in inspiring people to reimage public space with art, and organizations, including ARTSFAIRFAX, are doing this with playful temporary projects.

On Friday, September 13, 8 – 10:30 a.m., the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia invites the public to an Innovation Breakfast Series discussion of public art and placemaking with Katarzyna Balug, Co-founder of the Department of Play in Boston. The event features panelists Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams, Public Art Project Manager, Arlington Arts, Holly Koons, Executive Director, Arlington Arts Center; Lisa Mariam Director of Grants and Services, ARTSFAIRFAX and Marly McFly, Public Artist. Visit for more information and to register.

Think Like An Artist

ARTSFAIRFAX invites the public to their annual arts education panel, ”Think Like An Artist: Creativity in the Classroom” on Saturday, September 14, 8:30 – 11 a.m. Dr. Kimberly Sheridan, Associate Profession of Educational Psychology at George Mason University and Julie Carmean, Museum Educator and Coordinator of Professional Development at the National Gallery of Art will discuss the arts and critical thinking and collaboration skills in the classroom.  Fairfax County Public Schools, K-12 Theatre and Dance Educational Specialist Tara Taylor will moderate. Visit for more details and to register.

NextStop Theatre, Foon Sham and Stephen Roberts To Receive 2019 Arts Awards

ARTSFAIRFAX announces NextStop Theatre Company as the Emerging Arts Award recipient. The award recognizes NextStop for their continuous broad engagement with the community and for producing quality arts programming.  See NextStop’s latest performance, “Beehive,” through September 22nd.  Also being recognized is internationally renowned visual artist Foon Sham as the Arts Achievement recipient.  Sham’s current work, ‘Mushroom’ was commissioned by the Smithsonian Garden near the National Museum of American History and can be experienced through 2020.  ARTSFAIRFAX will present the Arts Philanthropy Award to Stephen Roberts for his commitment to foster the development and growth of the arts through the Ross-Roberts Fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

Jinx Hazel Award recipients Fairfax County Board of Supervisor Chairman Sharon Bulova and Shashi and Margaret Gupta, will be honored for their impact on the arts and quality of life in Fairfax County.  Tickets are available at to the Friday, October 18 Arts Awards at the Fairview Park Marriott Hotel from 12 – 2 p.m.

ARTSFAIRFAX Grant Deadline

Nonprofit arts organizations based in Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax and City of Falls Church are eligible to apply for ARTSFAIRFAX’s Organizational Professional Development Grants. These grants are designed to strengthen capacity, improving management practices to support creating healthy, successful and resilient arts organizations. The application deadline is September 25, 2019. Visit for more information.

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.