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It’s summer time, it’s hot, and keeping your kids active and learning until school starts up again can be exhausting if not extremely time -consuming. Ever heard of “summer brain drain?” According to The Parent Institute, studies show children lose one to three months of learning over summer vacation.

So for the sake of their teachers next year, keep their minds active while still having fun in the sun!  Here are some ideas you can do at Reston Town Center!

1. Start Monday mornings off with Mr. Knick Knack’s performance in the Pavilion, 10:30 am – 12 pm. These concerts go through October. Mr. Knick Knack’s songs tell stories, teach life lessons and get your youngsters dancing! (Not to mention scientists have found that music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function!)

2. If your child has a more tactile or kinesthetic learning style, Greater Reston Arts Center has full day summer art and yoga camps now through August 3 for kids K-6th grade. Every day includes a hands-on art lesson, such as mixed media, painting and sculptures, and concludes with an afternoon yoga laboratory practicing yoga through storytelling, meditation and nature lessons.

3. Consider sweetening up some summer goals – like finishing a book or completing a certain number of math problems – with delicious rewards from Ben & Jerry’s and Yogiberry! They have treats from healthy frozen Greek yogurt and sorbets to build-your-own frozen yogurt, to just plain old fashioned ice cream. And if you really want to make your kids’ summer memorable, pick a random day for backwards dinner where dessert comes first, just for fun!

4. Up the ante of tossing coins in Mercury Fountain and teach the kids a little something about money. You can practice the different values of coins by adding them up to make certain amounts or explain the value of saving money by collecting pennies until they have a dollar to toss in for 100 wishes!  And for a bonus, all the coins are collected and donated to the nonprofit,Character Counts! Reston, which promotes the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship! Certainly a springboard for discussions on what these characteristics look like in their life and potential projects all summer long!

5. Nature can be a game at Reston Town Center by counting how many different plants and flowers you can identify around town in our planters and parks or check out the flora and fauna on the W&OD trail nearby. Maybe even snap a few photos for their very own “Reston Town Center Nature Guide” – easily made into a booklet to keep for years!

July is Anti-boredom Month, so keep those kids busy with these activities, let us know how they go and check back Thursday for more ideas in part 2! 

Greater Reston Arts Center and the Hyatt Regency Reston are pleased to present the work of accomplished Virginia artist, Dana Scheurer, in an exhibition at the Market Street Bar and Grill; on display now through April 16, 2012.

As one of the area’s most creative and prolific artists Dana Ann Scheurer is known for her expert manipulation of watercolor paints and whimsical subject matter.  In addition to participating in all twenty of the annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festivals, produced by Greater Reston Arts Center. Scheurer has been a featured artist in four exhibitions organized by GRACE and has been an active GRACE artist member since 1981.

Visit Market Street Bar and Grill for dinner and be filled with not only a delicious array of cuisine, but with the watercolor treasures from Scheurer’s exhibition, New Works.

Dana Scheurer with her work, "Magic Garden."

The exhibition of New Works includes 20 watercolor paintings that showcase Scheurer’s mastery of drawing, color, composition, and precise execution of a delicate media.  The largest work on display, Magic Garden, stretches 42” x 32” and is a comprehensive expression of Scheurer’s love of form, music, and classical images; all experienced by the viewer as a striking dreamlike visual delight.

Paintings are strategically placed in the exhibit prior to being mounted. Media used: Winsor Newton watercolor on D'Arches watercolor paper.

Other new compositions will explore Scheurer’s love of special iconic Reston images, such as Lake Anne and Reston Town Center, ageless classical forms, and the light hearted “beach series” where she excels in the use of bold color.  The precision of all Scheurer’s hand drawn work offers the viewer an opportunity for careful study.  The details hidden among each painting call the viewer to revisit multiple times in order to take the image fully in.

Join Scheurer at Market Street Bar and Grill on Monday, January 30, 5 – 7 pm, for a Reception and Gallery Talk; learn about the pieces and the vision behind them.

Dana Scheurer


Hyatt’s Market Street Bar and Grill contains more within its walls than customary fine dining. Four times annually, the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) swaps out the artwork on the walls of the Hyatt’s elegant restaurant, giving it a local touch and a creative energy, while allowing Hyatt to give back to the community.

On July 18, local artist Laurie Fields’ art show, “DiscARTed,” went on exhibition at Market Street Bar and Grill! The recipient of many of Gulick Group Design Studio’s discontinued items, which would have otherwise been recycled, Laurie put many materials to work in this show. The result of Gulick Group’s donation and Laurie’s creativity was “DiscARTed,” which, hence its name, features many unique collage pieces made from an array of materials.

Laurie explained how rather than having a prior inspiration, and then appointing the materials she would utilize, she takes a more backwards approach than most artists. “For me, a walk through Home Depot is as inspirational as watching a sunset. The aisles filled with cement, grout, plaster and building materials stir my imagination, as I think about new ways to use them,” she said.

Laurie arrived at Market Street Bar and Grill last Monday with GRACE gallery manager Erica Harrison to replace the current art display. Dozens of works to be taken down, and dozens more to hang also required the presence of two Hyatt engineers. Erica’s expertise in art display was apparent throughout the process, as she took many factors into consideration to determine the exact position of each work of art. She focused on creating groupings where the pieces involved would “communicate,” or compliment each other. After many different grouping, height, lighting, and other positioning attempts, the final arrangement was discovered and “DiscARTed” was officially in place!

Laurie Fields’ exhibition will be on display through October 17! All works in her exhibition are available for purchase through GRACE. Any purchase directly supports the artist and GRACE’s mission of enriching community life by promoting involvement and excellence in contemporary visual arts.


It’s here! The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival comes to Reston Town Center Saturday and Sunday, May 15 and 16 from 10am – 6pm!

This top rated, 2-day, street festival features more than 200 fine artists from across the nation, children’s art activities, live music, and live performances. This event attracts over 50,000 patrons annually, and provides an interactive experience to view, purchase, and experience art directly from the unique and talented artists who have created it.

Aerial Arts performances by Inflight Theater and Arachne Aerial Arts are just a few highlights during the two festival days.  Other performances include the unique sounds of the Low End String Quartet, Divining Sage African Percussion, DaVinci’s Notebook and much more. View the full entertainment schedule.

Aerial artists are practicing in the Pavilion before this weekend’s Fine Arts Festival

For the Kids…

This year Art and Science meet in the Children’s Art Tent where children can explore, discover and create fun, wonderful art. Come see what happens when art and science meet and how art and science can work together to create beautiful art. Kids will make paper bag hats, kaleidoscopes, experiment with color mixing, learn how different materials react to paint in your paintings, create a community mural and even explore physics by creating a mini balancing stabile!

The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is produced by the Greater Reston Arts Center.

A dazzling display of unusual and out of the ordinary creations are currently residing here in Reston Town Center. It’s the current Focus Exhibition at the Greater Reston Arts Center, and we’ve never seen anything quite like it!

"Unintentional Drawing" by Craig Kraft

The neon display outside has caught the eye of many of our followers and passers-by on twitter over the past few weeks. They’re by nationally recognized neon sculptor, Craig Kraft. Craig departs form his iconic linear forms in a bold experimental project called Unintentional Drawings. If you pass by the Greater Reston Arts Center, you’ll see these neon transformations of random doodles and light!

"Praise" by Joseph Barbaccia

Similarly intriguing is the display of Joseph Barbaccia’s aquarium-like installation called Currents. Six glittering, biomorphic sculptures are set in a dimly lit, dark-green gallery and have names ever bit as whimsical as the objects themselves: Praise, Ridicule, Happiness, Suffering, Loss and Destruction, based on the Buddhist principle of eight worldly concerns.

These exhibits and more can be found at the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market Street Suite #103 Reston, VA 20190) through February 20th.

Greater Reston Arts CenterThe Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) hosts a unique evening of dance that echoes the spiral construction of the GRACE gallery and that resonates with the exhibition, Divining Nature: an Elemental Garden tonight in Reston Town Center. Artist Rebecca Kamen, soundscape composer Susan Alexjander and choreographer Jane Franklin‘s dynamic alliance investigates the elemental world in correlation to human connection. Named 2008’s Best Dance Company by the Washington City Paper, Jane Franklin Dance has earned recognition by promoting active participation in dance by people of all ages and by performing unique collaborations in unusual locations.

GreaterRestonArtsCenter is pleased to present Rebecca Kamen’s Divining Nature: An Elemental Garden, a sculpture installation inspired by the periodic table of chemical elements. Kamen transforms the arts center’s octagonal gallery into a spiral garden of luminous, white “flowers” representing the eighty-three naturally occurring elements. Each flower is comprised of white Mylar tiers supported on slender fiberglass stems. The number of tiers or petals corresponds to the element’s orbital pattern while the number of stems is based on its electrons.  More images.

Beginning with the simplest elements attached to a column like vines clinging to a garden wall, the flowers rotate out and flow around the gallery floor in a mathematical pattern based on a Fibonacci spiral. As the flowers move farther away from the center they grow larger and more complex, illuminating both the beauty and meaning of the periodic table. An experienced collaborator, Kamen joined forces with architect Alick Dearie to assist with the installation drawings and composer Susan Alexjander who developed the shimmering soundscape.

While Kamen’s garden of elements transforms the arts center’s main gallery into a floating sea of pagoda-like forms, in an adjacent space the artist uses the geometric forms of the Platonic Solids to create wall-mounted sculptures inspired by the five original elements: Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and Cosmos.

Kamen’s unique process based on wide ranging research into science, cosmology, spirituality, and philosophy yields sculptures that begin with complex concepts and transform into distilled objects of refined beauty.

More Information:

  Music of Susan Alexjander
  The American Chemical Society loves the show!
  See the Blog of the Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science
  See the Observer News review too.
  Northern Virginia Art Beat says, “They’re playful exercises”

This project is funded in part by the Arts Council of Fairfax County, supported by Fairfax County.
GRACE programs are also supported in part by the Reston Community Center, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Generous support provided by Helen and Ronald Dunn

Established in 1990, beautiful Reston Town Center is an acclaimed outdoor venue offering more than 50 retail shops, 30 restaurants and a 13-screen cinema, plus more to come.  At the Center’s hub, the Pavilion hosts special events, concerts, festivals throughout the year and ice-skating in winter. For more information on shopping, dining and events at Reston Town Center, visit, and find it on
Facebook and follow on TwitterAddress: 11900 Market Street, Reston, VA 20190 Directions: From I-495, take I-66 west to the Dulles Toll Road (Exit 12, Route 267 West) to Reston Parkway (Exit 12). Turn right on Reston Parkway then left on New Dominion Parkway (4thlight).

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