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‘Art Attack’ Planned for Lubber Run Community Center Ahead of Its Demolition

Arlington’s first purpose-built community center will receive an art-heavy send-off from 5-9 p.m. tonight (Thursday).

Lubber Run Community Center (300 N. Park Drive), built in 1956, will be demolished to pave the way for an updated facility.

But before all that, community members will have the chance to say goodbye with art activities like paint bombs, life-size silhouette painting and a group mural, paired with a live DJ and food trucks, at an event dubbed “Art Attack.”

The center closed to the public on July 6, but will reopen for this evening’s festivities. The county projects that construction on the new center begin later this year and be wrapped up by 2020.

Photo via Arlington County

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New LED Public Art Installation Coming to Rosslyn’s Central Place Plaza

A colorful, constantly changing public art installation is now on the way for Rosslyn’s Central Place.

Arlington Public Art is teaming up with the Rosslyn Business Improvement District and developer JBG Smith to host the new work of art at Central Place Plaza (1800 N. Lynn Street), just across from the Metro station.

California-based artist Cliff Garten will be working to install and program the piece from now until Thursday (July 12), according to a county press release. The 150-foot-wide, 15-foot-tall LED artwork, titled “Gravity and Grace,” will be projected onto the top two floors of the parking garage at the site.

“The ever-changing artwork incorporates real-time environmental data that organizes its spectral shifts of color,” the county arts program wrote in the release. “Both color field painting and blues guitar inspired the design of the artwork. If the work of art were played on a guitar, you might say that the programmed environmental factors are really what are strumming the chords of color you see on the wall.”

The county added that Norm Schwab of the design firm Lightswitch and artist Pablo Molina helped write algorithms for the artwork “that drives the color and motion transitions in the artwork.”

“The significant pieces of real-time environmental data tied to the artwork vary daily and show significant fluctuations over long periods of time, such as temperature and extreme weather tied to climate change,” the county wrote. “This shifting data introduces chance into the structure of the artwork pulling data from factors like local variations in Arlington’s temperature, river level, traffic patterns or water usage.”

Garten, who is also the designer behind the “Corridor of Light” art installation coming to N. Lynn Street’s intersection with Lee Highway and I-66, will host an “on-site artist talk” about the installation tonight. The event will start at 9 p.m.

Photo via Arlington Public Art

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Stunning Showcase Returns During 6th Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts

Washington Boulevard in Clarendon will transform into an art-lover’s paradise this weekend — April 21-22 — during the 6th Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts.

One hundred and fifty national and international artists are set to display their fine works from across the globe in a prestigious show encompassing fine jewelry, exquisite works of art and hand-crafted apparel and decor. Whether your passions run to sparkling jewels and one of a kind paintings, crafted glasswork or to an art deco sculpture, you are sure to find it during the free, two-day event. Ample parking is available and pets on leashes are always welcomed.

Presented by Howard Alan Events (HAE), producer of the nation’s finest juried art shows, the 6th Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts represents original, hand-crafted artwork selected by an independent panel of expert judges from hundreds of applicants. HAE’s careful vetting process also ensures a wide array of mediums and price ranges will be offered during the Festival.

When: Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: 3003 Washington Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201
Cost: Free and open to the public
Contact: [email protected] or 561-746-6615

Festival At-a-Glance:

  • Juried, first-class outdoor art gallery showcasing local and national artists
  • Original handmade artwork
  • 150 national and international artists
  • Artists hand-selected by independent panel of expert judges from hundreds of applicants
  • All artists on site for duration of festival
  • Vast array of artistic media including paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics, glass, wood, handmade jewelry, collage, mixed media
  • Ample parking available and pets on leashes welcome

About Howard Alan Events, Inc.:                                                                           

Howard Alan Events, a Florida-based company, produces the nation’s top juried art and craft shows. Ranked among the Top 100 Art Fairs in the Country by Sunshine Artist Magazine, the 34-years established company has overseen art festivals in such noted cities as Aspen, CO; Sarasota, FL; Fort Lauderdale, FL and 40 other destination markets in the nation.

For additional information on the Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts and other Howard Alan Events art and craft shows across the country, visit www.artfestival.com or call 561-746-6615.

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Morning Notes

Beyer’s GOP Challenger Holding Arlington Event — “Republican congressional candidate Thomas Oh will host a campaign kickoff on Tuesday, April 24 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Spider Kelly’s, 3181 Wilson Blvd. Oh is the GOP challenger to U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th), who is seeking a third term. He was the only Republican to file for the nomination.” [InsideNova]

Local Scenes on Sale at Arts Fest — Among the artists at the upcoming Arlington Festival of the Arts in Clarendon will be Joseph Craig English, whose “silkscreens and lithographs capture local landmarks and street corners in vivid colors,” including “an architectural juxtaposition of old buildings and new construction in Courthouse; Potomac River vistas; local murals and street signs known to commuters who’ve passed by them for years.” [Arlington Magazine]

Arlington Tourism Surtax Gets Gov’s Signature — “The Arlington County government will be able to continue collecting a surtax on hotel stays to pay for tourism promotion, now that Gov. Northam has signed legislation extending the measure for three more years.” [InsideNova]

Don’t Try This at Home — Per scanner traffic, police officers responding to a call yesterday afternoon were advised that “the suspect is known for using hand sanitizer as an alcoholic drink.”

Nearby: Alexandria OKs More Funding for Metro Station — “Plans to build a new Metro station at Potomac Yard in Alexandria, Virginia, took a crucial step forward Tuesday. Alexandria City Council unanimously approved raising the budget from $268 million to $320 million. The change was made in part to reflect the rising cost of materials and labor.” [WTOP]

Photo by Dwayne Stewart

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Morning Notes

More on Art Truck — Arlington’s new art truck will bring “hands-on experiences to schools and public events.” The art truck’s offerings are curated by Cynthia Connolly, who was involved in Arlington’s punk music scene in the 80s and 90s. There is no direct cost to county taxpayers, since the art truck is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and other contributions. [WTOP, Twitter]

Pitch, Hit, Run Event in Arlington — Boys and girls ages 7-14 can participate in the Scotts MLB Pitch Hit & Run skills challenge at Barcroft Park Friday night. There is no registration fee and the first place overall champion in each age group will advance to the next round of competition. [Eventbrite]

Renovations at Culpepper Garden — A major renovation project will soon be getting underway at Culpepper Garden, a retirement home for low and very-low income seniors age 62 years and older. Built in the 70s, Culpepper Garden is undergoing renovations of its 204 original apartments and some of the building’s amenities. [Connection Newspapers]

Photo courtesy of our local tech guru, Alex Chamandy

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Morning Notes

Arlington Population Up in Latest Estimate — The new annual U.S. Census population estimates are out and Arlington County has added nearly 5,000 people. The estimate of Arlington’s population on July 1, 2017 is is 234,965, according to the Census Bureau website. That’s considerably higher than a recent UVA estimate. The previous Census Bureau estimate was 230,050 on July 1, 2016. [U.S. Census Bureau]

Festival of the Arts to Return — The annual Arlington Festival of the Arts is returning to Clarendon from April 21-22. The outdoor event features more than 100 artists showcasing — and selling — their work. [Facebook]

Standout Athletes of YHS — A recently-completed webpage highlights more than 50 years worth of standout athletes from Yorktown High School. [Yorktown Alums]

Photo courtesy of our local tech guru, Alex Chamandy

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Gallery Clarendon Opening Delayed Over Permit

The Clarendon Art Gallery opening has been delayed to early May.

Signs went up for Gallery Clarendon on March 9, and the nonprofit gallery intended to open this Sunday (April 1). However, it has not yet received its occupancy permit from the county.

Jane Coonce, Gallery Clarendon’s executive director, told ARLnow that she had applied before the signs had gone up for the occupancy permit. She expressed disappointment that it hadn’t come through yet, but was understanding.

Noting that the time of her permit application coincided with spring break, Coonce added that she’s “sure any employees who had kids probably had to stay home with the kids, so that might have put the county behind.”

Until a permanent commercial tenant is found, the gallery, built and developed by volunteers, will call the former Fuego Cocina y Taquileria space home, rent-free other than utilities costs.

The cavernous first floor space will host the gallery, while the second floor will accommodate artist studios and art classes for both children and adults.

Though Coonce said that equipment cannot be installed until the gallery has received its occupancy permit, the build out will be finished by the end of the day on Friday, and volunteers will have the space cleaned up by Saturday.

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Artfest Week Returns to Woodmont’s Fort C.F. Smith

Arlington’s annual spring Artfest Week starts today (March 16) at Fort C.F. Smith Park.

An opening reception at the Hendry House this evening, from 6-8 p.m., will allow residents to meet local artists over light refreshments while kicking off a week of art shows, workshops, and sales. The celebrations feature 35 Arlington-based artists.

The week of events, in its fifteenth year running, will be held at Fort C.F. Smith Park, at 2411 24th Street N. All events are free admission.

Artistic workshops cover a variety of mediums, from watercolor to oil bars to canvas floor painting. A full list of workshops and kids activities can be found on the Arlington Artists Alliance website.

Organizers have advertised the following hours for the festival:

  • Friday, March 16, 6-8 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 17, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 18, 12-5 p.m.
  • Tuesday-Thursday, March 20-22, 12-4 p.m.
  • Friday, March 23, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
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Arlington Artist Mas Paz Teaches, Paints Murals Across the Globe

Though his art can be spotted across the globe, artist Mas Paz calls Arlington home.

Mas Paz, whose real name is Federico Frum, describes his work as indigenous contemporary art, using graffiti and standard bucket paint as his media.

“I started kind of playing with this indigenous typography kind of style, which wasn’t graffiti letters but more like line work letters,” Frum said of his early graffiti tagging days during a trip to Brazil. “[It] kind of looked like maybe Mayan hieroglyphic lines with actually letters. So that was really fun.”

His work has been featured at the Smithsonian Institution, the Corcoran Gallery Art, and New York City’s The New Museum, but his murals can be found as far away as Pakistan and Mexico and as closeby as Crystal City. Frum has traveled the world to teach mural workshops, and in February he was invited by the American embassy in El Salvador to teach children how to paint street murals.

Born in Bogota, Colombia, Frum — whose pseudonym means “more peace” in Spanish — was adopted when he was a year old and raised in Arlington. He graduated from George Mason University with a degree in art and visual technology in 2005.

Frum moved to Brooklyn a year after graduating, living there for seven years while selling t-shirts on the street in between 3D modeling and screen printing. He then traveled through South America before returning to Arlington ready to come home. He now works out of his house in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood.

“I was really hungry to do a lot of projects here in D.C.,” Frum said. “I’m so happy I’m back here and it’s so cool I can keep it rooted so that where I come from I represent, but also go to places, other countries, or go to other cities and do a lot of work.”

Mas Paz initially started as just Paz, his New York graffiti tag. That was before his friend Youth Waste approached him to create his own stickers, and Paz didn’t fit neatly on the square template that they wanted. That’s when Frum decided to send more of a message, adding the mas to paz. Frum also wanted a message so in 2012 when he added Mas Paz, which translates to more peace in English, he had found the right fit and meaning.

Indigenous art has become a way for Frum to express and explore who he is, even though there are pieces of him he will never truly know, such as where exactly he was born. Five percent of all his project earnings go toward the orphanage that he lived in as a child, La Casa de La Madre y El Nino.

There are no days off for Frum, but he says that it never feels like he’s working when he’s making art. The work makes the days fly by, and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“I intend to be 90 years old and still creating,” he said.

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Castle Carved Out of Tree Trunk Outside East Falls Church Home

A tree set for removal outside an East Falls Church home has instead been turned into a castle.

The home, at the intersection of N. Underwood Street and 26th Street N. is near Bishop O’Connell High School and Tuckahoe Elementary School.

The homeowners did not respond to requests for comment, but a neighbor said the castle was carved by a local artist out of a tree that needed to be taken down.

It is approximately 7-8 feet tall, and the “detail involved is truly unbelievable,” the neighbor said. At first glance, it looks like the kind of castles found in Germany, where many castles sit among mountains.

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Italo Frame Store Open in Clarendon

The new Ten at Clarendon apartment building at 3110 10th Street N. has its first open retail tenant: frame store Italo Frame.

Open for about two weeks, owner Nasir Ester said it has a wide selection of frames as well as deeper shadow boxes for several photographs or other memorabilia.

Ester said he has been involved in the framing business for over 30 years. He previously owned Alna Art & Framing in Alexandria. The new store has frames from across Europe of all different colors and materials.

“You bring it, I will frame it for you,” he said.

The store is on the building’s westernmost corner, across the street from Fire Station 4.

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Karen Pence Champions Art Therapy Initiative, Discusses Arlington Ties in WERA Interview

Second Lady Karen Pence appeared on Arlington community radio station WERA yesterday (Tuesday), to discuss her art therapy initiative and the family’s Arlington ties.

Pence launched “Art Therapy: Healing with the HeART” earlier this year, and discussed the program with Janet Kopenhaver, chair of citizens group Embracing Arlington Arts.

It looks to emphasize the qualifications of art therapists, educates people about its benefits and shows young people that it could be a viable career path. Pence said it can be easy to forget that art therapists are highly qualified medical professionals.

“Their profession is really misunderstood,” she said. “People just think they do arts and crafts.”

Instead, the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is an “integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individual, families and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.”

Pence noted that it is not focused on the art as a finished product, but a way for people to deal with their issues. And it can benefit anyone, including those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, children with cancer, those with eating disorders and autism, among others.

“What we find when clients work with therapists, all these feelings and emotions they’ve been dealing with seem to come out of their heart,” she said. “They’ll put them on paper and say, ‘Wow, I didn’t realize I was thinking that.'”

Pence said her interest in art therapy goes back years, having received a Master’s Degree in Arts Education. When her husband, Vice President Mike Pence, was in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Indiana’s 6th congressional district, she saw first-hand the benefits of art therapy at Tracy’s Kids, an art therapy program for children in Georgetown.

And when Mike Pence travels for work, Karen Pence said she looks to join the trip and find an art therapy program to visit.

After Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico and the Pences visited to observe and help with recovery efforts, she brought 125 pounds of clay on Air Force Two to donate to an art therapist on the island.

“If we can tag along, we’ll find something to do related to art therapy,” Pence said. “When we knew we were going down to Puerto Rico, we thought, ‘Surely we can find a block of time of an hour or so where we can find an art therapist.'”

Kopenhaver said she enjoyed interviewing Pence about her initiative, which she launched earlier this year at Florida State University. The Pence family has strong connections to Arlington, as both their daughters attended Yorktown High School and were involved in its drama program.

“It was great having Mrs. Pence in the studio today to talk about the important mental health profession of art therapy, and specifically her initiative Art Therapy: Healing with the HeART,” Kopenhaver said in a statement.

Courtesy photo

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Morning Notes

Disparities in New Middle School Boundaries — “Under a staff plan slated to go to the School Board Dec. 14, middle schools will have economically-disadvantaged populations ranging from 1 percent of the student body at Williamsburg Middle School to 52 percent of the student body at Kenmore Middle School, with the other schools falling in between.” [InsideNova]

Winner of Marine Corps Marathon Works at 7-Eleven — The winner of this year’s Marine Corps Marathon lives in Nauck and works at an Arlington 7-Eleven store. Desta Beriso Morkama, a 32-year-old Ethiopian immigrant, arrived in the U.S. in September 2016. He has been receiving training and assistance settling into his new Arlington life from a number of local people and groups, including local running coach Jay Jacob Wind. [Falls Church News-Press]

JBG Installing Giant Screens at Central Place — JBG Smith plans to exceed the county-imposed public art requirement at its new Central Place development, thanks to a project that will install giant screens in various places around the apartment and office building. The screens will display moving images, including artwork and nature scenes. [Washington Business Journal]

Hybla Valley = The Next Shirlington? — Fairfax County has big plans for a car-oriented neighborhood south of Alexandria: “The plans also include a 3.1-mile extension of the Yellow Line that would connect the Huntington station to the Hybla Valley section of Richmond Highway, in hopes of creating a pedestrian-friendly urban neighborhood akin to nearby Shirlington.” [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Joe Green

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Second Lady Karen Pence to Appear on WERA Next Week

Second Lady Karen Pence is scheduled to appear on Arlington community radio station WERA next week.

Pence will join a show hosted by citizens group Embracing Arlington Arts to discuss art therapy, the group’s chairwoman said. The show will air Tuesday, December 5 at 3 p.m. and will raise awareness of the role art therapy plays as a mental health treatment, we’re told.

Pence has started a blog about her efforts to spread the word about art therapy, and posts regularly on Twitter about its positive impact on veterans, those fighting cancer and children suffering from mental illness, among others.

“I am so thrilled to not only be able to chat with Mrs. Pence, but also to discuss such an important topic as art therapy — her policy priority as Second Lady,” Janet Kopenhaver, chair of Embracing Arlington Arts, said in a statement.

According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is an “integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individual, families and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.”

The association said it can help improve cognitive functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate resilience, enhance social skills and reduce/resolve conflicts and distress.

Official White House photo by Allaina Parton

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Morning Poll: Should Banished Statue Come to Arlington?

The National Park Service has denied a permit to erect a 45-foot statue of a naked, meditating woman on the National Mall near the Washington Monument.

The group behind the upcoming Catharsis on the Mall festival planned to transport R-Evolution, the statue created by artist Marco Cochrane, from San Francisco to the Mall at a cost of around $100,000.

The event is being held from Nov. 10-12.

Not that anyone has proposed it, but we were wondering whether Arlington might be a more welcoming place for the statue. If it were an option, would you support the statue being erected somewhere in Arlington?

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