Public Art Reston imagines public art throughout Reston that inspires the community and engages the mind and senses. Founded in 2007, the nonprofit organization also strives to stimulate an ongoing commitment to public art and create a new generation of artworks in the Reston community. It is further committed to raising awareness of the dynamic role of public art in creating a sense of place.
Established by Reston’s major civic and community organizations and leaders, Public Art Reston was built on a tradition of public art first developed at Lake Anne Village Center in 1964. Reston founder, Robert E. Simon Jr., included, among his seven formational principles, the importance of art and beauty – both natural and aesthetic. Public Art Reston builds on this vision of making public art an integral and essential part of the community. Reston is now home to a significant collection of permanent and temporary public art integrated into all aspects and areas of the community. They include sculptures in a variety of materials, fountains, mosaics, murals, reliefs, photography, and more, created by commissioned contemporary artists.
Public Art Reston encourages beauty in both residential and commercial settings. Excellent residential examples include Signature’s glass sculpture Nokomis, the stainless-steel Convergence at Aperture, and the cast aluminum Basket of Flowers greeting residents at the Avant. The Mercury Fountain at the heart of Reston Town Center’s commercial area is a community icon.
Reston is also home to 26 underpasses used by residents and workers to commute by foot or on bicycle to school, work, and run errands. Over the past 15 years, enhancing this type of infrastructure has been a key goal. It is referenced in the Public Art Master Plan for Reston, adopted in 2008, as well as the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan. Public Art Reston’s objective is to install public artworks in underpasses every two to five years.
Public Art Reston’s Public Art Tour Series for both Lake Anne Village Center and Reston Town Center encourages the direct exploration of the community’s public art and history. The Lake Anne guided tour takes participants through its open plazas and along several paths that show off 11 different works of art within communal spaces. The tour also discusses four different temporary projects and programs that took place there. The tour also includes how public art ties into the architecture of the area. The Reston Town Center” tour surveys the 14 different public art works throughout the center, emphasizing the urban environment within a suburban setting.
Designed for the whole family to enjoy together, Public Art Reston’sPublic Art Explorer pages are packed full of absorbing activities to do at home or while directly “exploring” the public artworks realized by Valerie Theberge, Mary Ann Mears, Gonzalo Fonseca, Dana Ann Scheurer, and John Parker that are found at various locations throughout Reston. Each activity packet introduces a key theme inspired by the artists and their artworks. Kids of all ages and their adults will learn fun facts, explore public art from different angles, and create through writing, drawing, and making the suggested art projects. Designed for anyone, these activities also are intended to encourage intergenerational conversations about art and to foster further appreciation through making. There’s something for everyone to engage the mind and senses! Download the pages to use at home and to bring with you outside and get started on a new art adventure today! They print beautifully in gray-scale. They also work well on mobile devices.
Public art is to be enjoyed by everyone—children and adults alike. Other resources include the Public Art Map of Reston to help locate Reston’s many artworks, brain teasers like the Public Art Is Everywhere series, child-friendly coloring pages, and Reston Public Art Bike Rides, created in partnership with the Reston Bike Club.
A 501©(3) non-profit, Public Art Reston documents existing public art, commissions new public artworks and supports the creation of works by other community stakeholders. For more information about Public Art Reston’s projects and programs, visit www.publicartreston.org
Pictured at top:
Nokomis by Danny Lane
Photo credit Charlotte Geary