Press Club

Arts Focus: Explore Arlington’s Public Art Together On Valentine’s Day

This is a column written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

While candy and flowers are a safe bet for Valentine’s Day, you may find that art is where the heart is.

Dating Advice.com recently explored a variety of romantic things to do in Arlington, ranging from restaurants and spas to live music and theater. They also gave special attention to the romantic possibilities of Arlington’s internationally acclaimed public art collection.

Some public art can even help you say “I Love You.” Echo, the interactive sculpture by Richard Deutsch at Penrose Square on Columbia Pike contains concave elliptical parabolas carved into each of the two granite monoliths that reflect and project sound.

This allows sweet nothings spoken softly into one stone to be heard by a listener at the other. When it comes down to it, quality time together is the best gift. Touring Arlington’s public art collection is a great way to explore your community and connect with each other.

Curated by the County agency Arlington Public Art, the County’s collection of contemporary works has won seven Public Art Network Year in Review Awards, the only national program recognizing excellence in public art.

From Flame in Ballston and Arlington Boulevard at Rt. 50 and 10th Street in Courthouse, to Rosslyn’s Cupid’s Garden, Dark Star Park and the recent DesignArlington award-winner, Quill, there are more than 60 intriguing works of permanent public art to explore throughout the County.

As mentioned in the Dating Advice.com column, “The idea of creating your own tour, exploring on your own in tandem with some of the great restaurants that people come to Arlington for, would be a really fun thing to do on a date,” said Angela Anderson Adams, Director of Arlington Public Art.

The County agency which oversees the Public Art program, has created a series of self-guided tour maps (on foot, via bike or car) that you can download. While it may be a bit chilly in February, that gives you the perfect excuse to cuddle as you stroll.

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“Probing the highly imaginative, inspired mind of Teresa Oaxaca is not altogether unlike having a present-day conversation with an Old Master,” says Nashville Arts Magazine.

Here is an unusual opportunity to learn from this incredibly talented and accessible artist, at Art House 7’s two-day oil painting workshop in October. Teresa will give 2 portrait painting demonstrations for 3 hours each morning. Students will then be painting from a clothed live model. Teresa will offer individual critiques that focus on materials, techniques, process and artistic vision. You’ll get jazzed up about painting and become more confident about your abilities.

Art House 7, Two-Day Oil Painting Workshop with Teresa Oaxaca. Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT $250.

See more about Teresa Oaxaca here. Art House 7 5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22207

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Validating one’s emotions has the power to heal, transform, and empower. What Is Validation? Every human being has feelings. We all have emotions that change over time, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. The question isn’t whether we feel; it’s how we handle feelings once they arise.

Building strategies to understand emotions is essential to positive mental health, and validation is one effective skill to practice.

Emotional validation is the process of understanding, embracing, and actively listening to another person’s feelings (or your own).

Understanding someone’s emotions doesn’t necessarily mean you approve of how they are feeling or reacting to something. You can be supportive in acknowledging and validating an emotional experience without agreeing or diminishing it. Validation is a skill to learn and improve over time. It may take practice, but the effort is most certainly worth it. Emotional validation has the power to enhance interpersonal communication and foster strong relationships.

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