27th Annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival

Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market Joins as Title Sponsor

Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) hosted its nationally acclaimed event, the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, which brings to the unique outdoor environment of Reston Town Center more than 200 fine artists from across the nation presenting original works in 16 categories of fine art and fine craft.

Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market, coming to Reston Town Center this spring at the ground level of the new Signature apartments, had an impressive and flavorful on-site presence as the Title Sponsor, providing attendees with a unique food experience at multiple locations at the festival.

Thanks to the continuing support of Reston Town Center, the Festival expanded to Friday, May 18, allowing GRACE for the first time to bring this world-class experience to the community’s workforce population. The Festival Party, generously sponsored by the M Group Architects and catered pro bono by The Counter, made food on site on Saturday night and served as a platform to announce the artist Awards of Excellence, sponsored by Boston Properties. In addition, thanks to those critical sponsorships, the party was free to all invited guests of GRACE’s sponsors and supporters and included complimentary invitations to all Festival artists. Baltimore-based artist Laure Drogoul activated the party with whimsical, interactive, immersive artwork generously sponsored by GRACE’s community partner, Reston Community Center, also a Festival Signature Community Sponsor with the Reston Town Center Association. ArtFairCalendar.com asserted that this is a festival where “the ‘art stars’ of the outdoor art fairs vie for spaces.”

“The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival was an event unlike any other. The quality of the fine art is exceptional, and the variety ensures that there was something for everyone, from woodwork to jewelry, ceramics, and painting,” states GRACE Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel. “We were thrilled to welcome our Title Sponsor, Balducci’s, to Reston. What a way to introduce itself to the community! And a heartfelt thank you to all of our community and private sponsors, without whom we could not have made these exciting changes to continue evolving and improving this signature event on the community calendar.”

“Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market was excited to join the Reston community and was proud to serve as the Title Sponsor of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival,” said Judy Spires, Chairman and CEO of Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market. “We looked forward to introducing Balducci’s to the attendees of this interactive experience as well as the entire Reston community.”

Acceptance into the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is a major accomplishment for the artists. The selection process begins in December under the direction of an independent panel of professional jurors with assistance from GRACE curatorial staff. The three highly qualified jurors for 2018 are Spencer Dormitzer, visual artist and director of Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery; Isabel Manalo, an interdisciplinary visual artist and founding manager of The Studio Visit (TSV), a collaborative art blog featuring artist interviews in their studios; and Francis Thompson, art program project manager at JLL, commercial real estate. These three jurors also judged each artist booth on Friday and Saturday to select the ten Awards of Excellence. Each winner received a $500 cash prize, a blue ribbon for booth display, and automatic acceptance into the 2019 Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.

“We’d also like to encourage individuals to consider our Adopt-an-Artist program,” said Siegel. “For $100 an individual can directly support our nationally renowned artist hospitality package. At the same time, you’re creating a very personal connection to the artist you adopt and to the festival experience.”

For the $5 suggested entry donation festival guests received the festival program, which includes nearly $200 of dining certificates from local restaurants. Art sales benefitted the participating artists. All other proceeds directly benefitted GRACE and its compelling, year-round exhibitions at its Reston Town Center Gallery (free and open to the public) and its other programs described below.

Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE)

GRACE is the largest 501(c)3 non-profit in Reston solely dedicated to enhancing community life through excellence and involvement in the visual arts. It serves 80,000 people annually, providing Virginia, Maryland, and DC’s diverse communities with abundant opportunities to experience and explore contemporary art through exhibitions, education programming, and the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. The GRACE gallery showcases local and regional artists alongside artists of national and international reputations. Recent exhibitions have created opportunities for partnerships with Reston Community Center, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, George Mason University, and the National Gallery of Art. Exhibition programming includes Creative Responses for which a local creative professional is invited to respond to the work on view and engage visitors in conversation. GRACE Art and Summer Camp deliver art enrichment experiences to over 20,000 students. The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, GRACE’s largest fundraising effort, is among the top such events in the country. The Greater Reston Arts Center strives to increase understanding of different cultures through art, brings diverse audiences together around a common interest, and ensures access and opportunity for engagement in the arts to all residents, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or income. Recently, GRACE was honored by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the state arts agency, to receive one of its prestigious “50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Awards” in the category of Bedrock Institutions. Learn more about the 50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Award. Admission to the GRACE gallery is always FREE, as are most programs. For more information please visit restonarts.org.

Photo credit: Mary Jeanne Cincotta

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