Reston Art Gallery and Studios presents “Illuminations” by Rosemarie Forsythe

Reston Art Gallery and Studios presents “Illuminations” by Rosemarie Forsythe

September 4 – 29

The month-long show “Illuminations” will focus on mixed-media works by Rosemarie Forsythe, influenced by her life abroad and her ongoing celebration of nature and the power of ideas. Forsythe’s work employs acrylics, flashe, venetian plaster, or gold leaf on canvas to convey symbols and math/science equations in a style reminiscent of Byzantine icons or early Renaissance paintings. Her distinctive paintings will be on display from September 4 until September 29, open on weekends from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Sundays at Reston Art Gallery and Studios. 

“This exhibition will feature my new figurative series with many intricate patterns and flourishes, along with my traditional equation paintings – all done in my jewel-like style, which is inspired by illuminated manuscripts,” says Forsythe. My modern twist on the 13th–15th century style is that I employ themes related to math/science, nature, and poetry, rather than religion. I’ve always loved the combination of matte jewel tones and black with gold. I saw that combination in my various diplomatic postings abroad and in my travels, including Nepal, Russia, Thailand, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Middle East. Like most artists, I’m inspired by my environment and the world around me. My figures represent a variety of ethnicities, inspired by my own multiethnic background and the desire to portray the world in all its glorious diversity.” 

Forsythe’s recent painting entitled “Light” was inspired by the last two lines of Amanda Gorman’s poem, The Hill We Climb: “For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.”  The bottom third of the painting includes a carpet of all 50 U.S. state flowers. 

Forsythe adds: “I’m also influenced by my environment, including the deer, foxes, and other animals I often see in the nearby woods, and I like to highlight their symbolism in my work.  One of my paintings, “Starhunter,” shows the most novel covid activity among my friends – hunting for meteorites in the Qatari desert. Another work, “The Turing Leopard” incorporates equations by the famous cryptologist Alan Turing, whose last scientific work concerned how animals like leopards develop their spots in the embryonic stage.” 

The U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan recently chose two of Forsythe’s favorite paintings for an exhibition – “The Seventeen Equations that Changed the World” (shown above) and “Rise” – as part of the Art in Embassies Program. “The inspiration for Seventeen Equations was Ian Stewart’s wonderful book, In Pursuit of the Unknown. He has a contagious love of mathematics and describes math and science in a truly inspirational manner.” Earlier this year the US Embassy in Bolivia chose three of Forsythe’s paintings that feature women scientists and will be exhibited to promote the Embassy’s STEM programs (education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). See more of Forsythe’s work on Instagram @rosemarieforsythefineart, which includes animation of her Augmented Reality paintings, and at  For a weekday appointment to view the “Illuminations” show, email or contact the gallery via

Gallery visitors can also enjoy the variety of works created by all eight artists of RAGS – each with different perspectives, mediums, techniques, and works in progress – as well as the scenery of the setting. Located at the “ART” sign on the lakeside of 11400 Washington Plaza West, Reston, VA 20190 at historic Lake Anne Plaza, the gallery is just steps away from Lake Anne’s Saturday morning Farmers Market. For GPS directions and parking, search “Lake Anne Plaza.” Follow @RAGSReston on Facebook, @RestonArtGallery on Instagram, and get more information at

Pictured at top:
The Seventeen Equations that Changed the World – by Rosmarie Forsythe – acrylic and flashe on canvas, 30” x 40”

About Reston Art Gallery and Studios (RAGS)

A variety of works created to intrigue and inspire the viewer is on display and available for purchase at RAGS, a cooperative gallery of eight artists – Gail Axtell, Dorothy Donahey, Sandra Dovberg, Rosemarie Forsythe, Pat Macintyre, Julia Tova Malakoff, Marthe McGrath, and Wayne Schiffelbein. During the week, the artists are working on site, or at their home studios, preparing commissions, new works, and their next special exhibits. RAGS presents new shows each month with a focus on the latest works of individual artists, open every weekend. Gallery owner, director, and artist Pat Macintyre continues her tradition of providing art enrichment for children with free, themed Crafts for Kids every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at RAGS. The orange “ART” sign at historic, scenic Lake Anne Plaza leads to the glass-front entrance of Reston Art Gallery and Studios, a Reston landmark established in 1987, located on the lakeside of 11400 Washington Plaza West, Reston, VA 20190. GPS: “Lake Anne Plaza” for directions to the parking area. Follow @RAGSReston on Facebook, @RestonArtGallery on Instagram, and get more information at

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