Arlingtonians can get a glimpse into the past with a photo exhibit currently on display at Westover Branch Library.
The historic photo montage documents houses and buildings in Arlington before their demolition and the structures that replaced them, spanning 40 years. The photos are showcased in window frames preserved from the demolished houses depicted.
The “Windows to the Past: Arlington, Then and Now” exhibit by Tom Dickinson will be on display until Jan. 5 at 1644 N. McKinley Road, Suite 3.
Dickinson, a historian, photographer and historic preservation advocate, told ARLnow that his exhibit combines his passion for photography and historic preservation.
When he moved to Arlington in 1978, he said he was shocked by the constant demolition of older homes and commercial buildings, so he’s been snapping and collecting pictures of houses fated for demolition and then what replaced them.
Dickinson said he finds out about the houses from online archives of demolition permits that developers have to apply for, word-of-mouth and his own observations. One indicator he looks for is a dangling power line, which has to get cut from the telephone pole before a demolition.
The exhibit, which is funded by the Arlington Arts Grant Program, includes photos of Lustron prefabricated enameled steel houses which were developed after World War II, and Certigrade homes, which are made from cedar wood. The original houses in the “before” pictures were built between the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Dickinson got permission from the developers to salvage windows from the houses. His appreciation for the craftsmanship of windows began after he took a workshop on window construction about 15 years ago.
“These are the windows through which who knows how many thousands of eyes peered out through this glass to the world around them, and the light that illuminated their lives came in,” he said. “It’s the last sort of symbolic artifact from these houses.”
While Dickinson acknowledges that some people see new developments as a progress, Dickinson has a “two-prong lament for the loss of affordable housing and of historic structures.”
Some houses in Arlington are better off torn down, he said. “A lot of these places that were torn down were houses that were not distinguished in any way, just average and inexpensive [ones] that served their purpose and came to the end of their life,” he said. “But still that comes with a cost, environmentally, in terms of the energy for demolition, transporting debris and filling up landfill space. There’s an environmental penalty.”
Dickinson insists that the greenest houses are the ones that are already built.
On the heels of Amazon’s announcement that it will set up its second headquarters in Crystal City, Dickinson said he expects to see fewer “less expensive” houses as housing demand skyrockets, along with increasing congestion on the highways and Metro. “It’s the Manhattanization of Arlington.”
Dickinson isn’t holding his breath for Arlington County to put the brakes on developments. “They’re going to do everything they need to do to make Amazon happy and help them find housing for people,” he said.
“This change is inevitable — it’s going to happen for good or for bad,” Dickinson said, adding that in 40 years from now, he expects Arlington to look completely different from its appearance today.
The Arlington County Fair will kick off on Wednesday, August 16 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road).
For the 41st year, the county will host a variety of events for the community, including live outdoor music, a parade, fairground rides and game, food, floral and craft competitions, pig races and more.
This year’s exhibit theme is “Let’s Play,” which organizers said celebrates the “child-like joy and fun that the Arlington County Fair brings out in all of us.”
The fair’s outdoor programming begins August 16, with indoor programming beginning on Friday, August 18. The event ends August 20, with outdoor activities concluding at 10 p.m. that day. More details about the indoor offerings will be available closer to the time.
The fair’s full opening hours are as follows:
The Kids’ Court, which has various activities including a moon bounce and face painting, will be open during the following hours:
- Friday 2-6 p.m.
- Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Competitive exhibits for participants to show off their abilities and compete for prizes include:
- Honey, Beeswax and Food Preservation
- Decorated Food Products and Baked Goods
- Art Needlework
- Crafts and Fine Arts
- Herbs, Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables
- Flowers, Arrangements and Potted Plants
Local organizations and business can sign up to participate in the fair’s parade, which is scheduled to start at the Career Center (816 S. Walter Reed Drive) on August 19 at 10 a.m. It will travel from the Career Center and end at the fairgrounds.
There is no on-site parking at the fair, and street parking is limited to residents with permits. There are several other transportation options, including shuttle buses from the Ballston and Pentagon City Metro stations, the Career Center and the I-66 parking garage at N. Quincy Street and 15th Street N.
The fair’s live outdoor music schedule is below, after the jump.
Thursday, August 17
- 5 p.m. Cuzko (Electronic/Latin)
- 6:15 p.m. Danny & Jimmy (Latin/Urban)
- 7:30 p.m. 40 Miles Home (Bluegrass/Indie)
Friday, August 18
- 5 p.m. Lionel Ward (Elvis Tribute)
- 6:15 p.m. Skyward Story (Pop/Rock)
- 7:30 p.m. Sub-Radio (Pop/Rock)
- 8:45 p.m. Wesley Spangler (Country)
- 10 p.m. The 5-1-2 Experience (R&B/Neo-Soul)
Saturday, August 19
- 12 p.m. The Restless (Pop/Rock)
- 1:15 p.m. Dr. Robinson’s Fiasco (Alt-Rock/Indie Pop)
- 2:30 p.m. Gettin’ Weir’d (Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir Tribute)
- 3:45 p.m. Night Watch Paradox (Rock/Jazz/Cabaret)
- 5 p.m. Atoms Apart (Pop/Electronic)
- 6:15 p.m. A Thousand Rainy Days (The Police Tribute)
- 7:30 p.m. The N2N Band (R&B)
- 8:45 p.m. Harry Jay Smith & The Bling (Jazz/Funk)
- 10 p.m. Funkhouse (DJ Set)
Sunday, August 20
- 11:45 a.m. Kevin Olson (Acoustic Guitar)
- 1 p.m. Power Child (’90s Grunge Tribute)
- 2:15 p.m. Plastic Sky (Indie Acoustic)
- 3:30 p.m. Dan Barry (Singer-Songwriter)
- 4:45 p.m. Silver City (Americana)
- 6 p.m. The Killer Cottonmouths (Jerry Lee Lewis Tribute)
- 7:15 p.m. Crush Funk Brass (N. Orleans Second Line/Jazz/Funk)
Five photographers are inviting people to watch the evolution of Columbia Pike neighborhoods through the lens of a camera.
The photographers, who work as the Columbia Pike Documentary Group, have compiled photographs of Columbia Pike and the surrounding neighborhoods, taken over the last eight years, for a book, “Living Diversity: The Columbia Pike Documentary Project.” The group is also displaying 50 photos from the book as part of an exhibit at the Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street) next week.
“Photographers Lloyd Wolf, Aleksandra Lagkueva, Xang Mimi Ho, Paula Endo and Duy Tran (working as The Columbia Pike Documentary Project) us[ed] evocative images from their recently published book, ‘Living Diversity,’ to help the viewer experience the spirit of the Pike,” Arlington County said in a press release.
Living Diversity: The Columbia Pike Documentary Project will open as part of a pop-up art gallery at the community center on Saturday, Oct. 17. There will be a presentation to unveil the photographs at 3 p.m. The exhibit will run for a month.
The photographers will be joined by County Board members, chair of Arlington School Board Emma Violand-Sánchez and Del. Alfonso Lopez to unveil the new exhibit. After the presentation, the five photographers will be available for book signings.
The exhibit opening is free to attend, but guests are asked to register beforehand. Light refreshments will be served. Copies of the photography book can be found on Amazon for a little under $29 and will be available for purchase at the exhibit opening.
The exhibit will be open Monday through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and on Sunday from 1-9 p.m.
The show is called “Making Their Mark: Art Brut,” and highlights pieces from artists with disabilities from ServiceSource day centers, a non-profit disability resource organization. It is put on in partnership with Purple Art, an art therapy program that works with individuals with disabilities and with military members and their families.
“Sometimes, I feel like Van Gogh,” artist Andrew Ross told ARLnow.com. “Music and art go together with me. I enjoy making both of them, they are big part of me”.
“Art Brut” translates to “raw art” and describes works created without classical art training. It’s an opportunity for the artists to overcome challenges and to express themselves in different ways. Some of the artists created pieces with little or no assistance for the first time.
“It’s good, I did a lot of work on the art,” artist Robert “Bobby” Hoffer told ARLnow.com
Volunteers donated many of the framing materials for the exhibition, in addition to volunteering to frame, mount and curate the show pieces.
“Making Their Mark: Art Brut” runs through August 23. More information can be found on the Gallery Underground website.
A failed restaurant. An impressive drain pipe. A popular home renovation.
These are some of the humorous and true observations of extremely local history that artist Timothy Thompson has turned in to a series of historical markers in and around the Arlington Arts Center (3550 Wilson Blvd) in Virginia Square.
Thompson’s historical markers are part of the Arlington Arts Center’s 2012 Fall Solos exhibition, which opened on Oct. 3 and features works by seven regional artists. The exhibit is set to hold its opening reception on Saturday (Oct. 20) from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Four of Thompson’s markers are located inside the gallery. Two are within two blocks of the center on N. Lincoln Street. Another is adjacent to the center along Wilson Boulevard.
Thompson will be leading a walking tour of his historical markers from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. The Fall Solos exhibit will be in place through Dec. 23.
The exhibit, called Telling Intimate True Stories (TITS), features plaster castings of women’s breasts, turned into works of art. The opening of the exhibit coincides with October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some of the castings are from local breast cancer survivors.
Women who participated in the castings range in age from 18 to 73, and each participant wrote an essay that accompanies the casting. The essays talk about “individual body image or life experiences,” Busboys and Poets spokeswoman Melissa DePaulis told ARLnow.com.
“There are works by domestic violence survivors that tell of jarring horrors. Cancer survivors talk of their own painful journeys. There are stories of self image from preteen years,” DePaulis said. “All work is anonymous. It is our hope that audiences are impacted by the work — that they recognize their own stories in the castings and essays and they feel empathy for the range of women’s experiences.”
Telling Intimate True Stories was created by Taking Flight, an nonprofit group “that gives women creative opportunities to voice our experiences.” The organization hopes the exhibit “brings attention to breast health as it also gives women a platform to express our feelings related to our breasts and body images.”
The exhibit is expected to remain displayed at the restaurant for about six months. An artist reception for the exhibit will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16. The event is free and open to the public.
Hat tip to Scott McCaffrey
New Exhibit At N. Va. Art Center –– The new Northern Virginia Art Center in Crystal City will be hosting a new exhibit starting tomorrow, Sept. 1, until Sept. 30. The exhibit, entitled “Grand Visions: Small World,” features a jury-selected collection of visual artworks (including paintings, pottery and sculpture) from a variety of local artists. An opening gala will be held from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. [Northern Virginia Art Center]
Marymount Receives Cybersecurity Grant — Arlington-based Marymount University has been awarded a $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund a four-year cybersecurity scholarship program. [Press Release]
Reminder: Labor Day Closures and Traffic — Most county offices, with the notable exception of the election office, will be closed for Memorial Day. Drivers should expect busy highways if they’re heading out of town.
The exhibit was curated from the personal collection of a library employee who “in true punk fashion… wants to keep a low profile,” according to library spokesman Peter Golkin. The employee, who works in the library materials department, was a “very active participant in the scene at the time.”
“[He] put out some records on his label, designed some of the posters and is friends with some of the more well-known names like the guys in Fugazi,” Golkin said.
In a blog post, Golkin noted that Arlington played a key role in the region’s vibrant punk rock scene.
“Arlington County was a well-known base of operations for many of the musicians and music labels that created a straightforward Mid-Atlantic sound best known through now-legendary bands like Slickee Boys, Minor Threat, Government Issue and later Fugazi,” he wrote.
The exhibit, which is still in the process of being built, is located near the center of the second floor of Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street).
Central Library will also be hosting a pair of punk-related events this month. At 7:00 p.m. on April 18, the library will be screening a documentary about Fugazi, called “Instrument — Ten Years with the Band Fugazi.” On April 26 at 7:00 p.m., author Jennifer Egan will be speaking about her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “A Visit from the Goon Squad,” which recounts the 1970s San Francisco punk scene.
Artisphere’s exclusive exhibit of Frida Kahlo’s personal photos continues through March 25. In case you haven’t gotten a chance to see the famed Mexican artist’s collection of 259 photos, AVN (the county-run television station) has a preview.
Several special musical performances and workshops will be held between now and March 25 in conjunction with the Kahlo exhibit. The exhibit opened on Feb. 23.
What does the future hold for us in 2012? Who will win the presidential election? Will the economy improve? Will the world end?
Of course no one, not even the Mayans, can be 100 percent sure of the future. But today, at Artisphere, a group of political cartoonists will be giving soothsaying a shot.
Starting tonight, Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd) will be hosting a “pop-up exhibit” called “ApocalypToon 2012.” The exhibit will provide “a humorous outlook on the year to come [featuring] works, some created exclusively for this exhibition, by renowned editorial and political cartoonists.”
Among the cartoonists whose creations will be on display: Kal (The Economist), Tom Toles (Washington Post), Jeff Danziger (Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post), Daryl Cagle (MSNBC), Matt Wuerker (Politico), Damien Glez (La Monde) and Dan Piraro of Bizzaro (syndicated).
The exhibit, which runs through Sunday, is free to view — but an opening party tonight has a $25 cover charge. The party, which kicks off at 6:00 p.m., will feature complimentary food, live music, a cash bar, and appearances by some of the cartoonists. Music will be provided by DJ Neekola with live percussionist Kamajian, DJ Manifesto (who plays violin during his sets), and by Suspicious Package, a local rock band comprised of several government and journalist types, including the cartoonist Toles.
FotoDC’s month-long FLASH photo exhibit will kick off in Crystal City tonight.
Located on the top two floors of an office building at 2450 Crystal Drive, the show features 250 photos from 55 local photographers, a library of 150 photography books and a wine bar run by the Washington Wine Academy.
Photographers and reporters got a sneak peak at the exhibit last night. Here some of our photos from the event.
DISCLOSURE: Crystal City BID, the sponsor of FLASH, is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
As part of FLASH, ARLnow.com will be hosting a photo contest dubbed “Flickr Flash.”
The contest will challenge photographers to take photos during the first two Crystal City 5K Friday races in April and submit them to a Flickr group for recognition and prizes. Ten finalists will be chosen and will be voted on by ARLnow.com readers. The top three vote-getters will be announced at a FLASH event and will receive gift cards from local restaurants.
Rosslyn wasn’t always the ho-hum collection of office towers and apartment buildings that it is today. A century ago, it was filled with gambling dens, rough-and-tumble saloons and houses of prostitution.
Photos from the bad old days adorn the walls of Artisphere’s Work-in-Progress Gallery for an exhibit called “Rosslyn: A Work in Progress.” The exhibit, which runs through March 13, “chronicles Rosslyn’s origins as a lawless, rowdy community in the 1800’s to the thriving urban village it is today, through historical items and images, and renderings of developments coming soon.”
At an opening reception last week, we caught up with local historian Kathryn Holt Springston, who told us some stories of Rosslyn’s bawdy past.
“From 1865, the end of the Civil War, up until 1906, it was so bad. There were 38 saloons, 14 bordellos and who knows how many gambling dens, that were open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
“Cunningham’s was just on a hill above Rosslyn, and it was the only [bordello] that was actually burned before Crandall Mackey’s great raid. What happened was that a soldier from Fort Myer was killed there, so the other soldiers from Fort Myer went over there one night and torched the place.”
“Crandall Mackey is like the hero of Rosslyn. In 1904 he was elected Commonwealth’s Attorney by one vote. He armed a party of 12 men with axes, sawed-off shotguns, etc. They rode the train down to Jackson City, which is where the 14th Street Bridge is today, and smashed it up because Jackson City was even worse than Rosslyn. Then they walked up to Rosslyn, they smashed in all the bordellos, threw the whiskey into the street, set some of the places on fire, smashed the gambling dens. The next day the Evening Star had a two inch headline: “Mackey Makes it Safe for Humanity in Alexandria County by Cleaning up Rosslyn Bums.”
(Arlington was called Alexandria County up until 1920, when it was renamed by the Virginia General Assembly to honor Robert E. Lee.)
“So Mackey did a lot, but it still stayed pretty bad. There were bordellos such as Follansbee’s, which continued up until the 1920s or 1930s. [There was a] church was in the back, [behind] the 23 bedroom house. My favorite story about this house, though, comes from 1981. A person bought it and petitioned the county board for permission to return it to ‘original use.’ They were ready to vote on it and were going to go ahead with it, when one of the planners said ‘um, excuse me, isn’t prostitution illegal?’ And they went ‘oh no!’ So [the owner] turned it into a tanning parlor, which isn’t far off. That house is gone now, and so is the church.”
“After Mackey’s raid, Rosslyn had some bordellos and gambling dens and a few saloons but it started getting more desperate. The lumber yards moved in, the junk yards, the pawn shops. And it became a real dive. Even as late as the 1960s, people didn’t want to come to Rosslyn. It was so bad that they would form armed convoys to go back and forth. To go into D.C. they would have to line up along Lee Highway and form a convoy.”
“A lady I knew took a government job that was headquartered in [Rosslyn] in 1946. She got on the train, came down here, got off the train at Rosslyn station, walked two blocks over there, took one look and said ‘I don’t care how good this job is. Forget it, I’m not working in a place like this.’ So it was pretty bad.”
Novo was a fixture of the arts scene in Columbia, S.C. up until earlier this month, when he packed up and moved to Arlington. Novo, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, left Columbia after 18 years to allow his wife, a chemist, to take a new job in the Washington area. As newspapers mourned his departure, Novo prepared himself for his new life in D.C.
The first act in his D.C. story comes tonight, when a selection of his works entitled “Sueños de Insomnio” (Dreams of Insomnia) will go on display at Piola restaurant (1550 Wilson Blvd). Novo hopes the exhibition, which runs through November 27, will serve as an “informal introduction… to the local audience.”
An opening reception will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 tonight.
After the jump, we ask Novo about his plan for joining the local arts scene.
Now that you’ve moved up here, what do you expect to do career-wise?
MN: I hope to slowly immerse myself into the cultural art scene in the area. I intend to find a nice studio space, and eventually start participating in a variety of art shows and projects (i.e. public art, collaboration with other artists, etc.). I also want to obtain gallery representation in DC metro area. I find being in a new environment exciting and artistically stimulating. Although I had lived in South Carolina for years, I am originally from Buenos Aires, so I feel really at home in a big city and in a cosmopolitan environment.
How has your introduction been to the local art scene so far?
MN: Well, I have been here only for a couple of weeks and most of this time I have been unpacking, so it is hard for me to access anything right now. I look forward to attending events and art exhibitions, in order to see meet people and learn about the dynamics of the local cultural scene.
What sort of impression would you like to make with this exhibition?
MN: I hope people in general find my art interesting and/or puzzling. I consider my show at Piola [an] informal introduction to my art and myself to the people in the area. The works exhibited are a compilation of works from past years, that will give people a good idea of what I do.