Posts Tagged ‘Northern Virginia’

Bus Rides Become Art Exhibitions in Arlington

Jason Horowitz

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Connolly, Visual Arts Curator at Artisphere.

By Victoria Gaffney

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to reflect new information.

This week, the humdrum Arlington Transit bus ride down Wilson Boulevard will start to look a little more interesting. Rather than the usual interior placards, commuters and passengers on the No. 41, 42, and 87 bus routes may find unique digital images instead.

Cynthia Connolly, Visual Arts Curator at Artisphere, is responsible for the change. On Tuesday, she and Arlington-based photographer Jason Horowitz got together and installed the next round of artwork for Connolly’s project “Art on the Art Bus.” 

Horowitz, who has ridden the Art on the Art Bus to see the exhibits of some of his friends, is excited to participate in the project. A longtime photographer, he says he focuses on looking at and reinterpreting the world through what he makes. Horowitz thought Connolly’s project was especially unique, saying “it didn’t conform to the way I usually work.” The small size of the bus placards added another layer of difficulty.

He decided to make something new for the project and traveled around shooting scenes primarily in Arlington with some in D.C. His images are not mere photos, however; they are abstract assemblages of shots taken over the course of an hour. His process begins by taking a series of photos of the same place. Then, returning to his studio, he assembles the shots in varying ways to create one image. The process allows him to “rebuild the scene, but in a more abstracted form,” he says.

Connolly first got the idea for Art on the Art Bus about a decade ago when she noticed the name for the Arlington Transit system was abbreviated “Art.” Initially she mistook this to mean there was actual art on the bus. When she saw one of the buses, however, she thought to herself, “I can get art on the bus.”

She wanted the work to be original, but people were concerned it would get destroyed. Connolly reassured them, “That’s the whole point; you just put the art on the bus and see what people do.” She started doing three artists a year in 2010, and the exhibits, which have featured various mediums including paintings, drawings and photos—have been quite popular. Not only does it improve the aesthetics of the bus, but the project as a whole also “changes your perspective of what art is and what it does for us,” says Connolly.  

For each artist, Connolly arranges a specific day for people to ride the art bus with her and the artist where she gives a little background on the project and the artist discusses his or her artwork. They ride a regular evening bus to a destination of the artist’s choice (perhaps a place to hang out or his or her studio). This year, Horowitz and Connolly will be riding the bus on April 8. Everyone will meet at 6:45 p.m. at the Court House Metro Route 41 bus stop to take the 7:04 bus down Wilson Boulevard to Horowitz’s studio. Attendees will have to pay the $1.50 bus fare. Horowitz’s art will be on the bus until June.

Obama requests Congressional approval for military force against Islamic State; Va. House approves marijuana for epilepsy

By Victoria Gaffney

Obama requests Congressional approval for military force against Islamic State

Virginia House approves marijuana for epilepsy
(Washington Post)

2015 dietary guidelines may no longer include cholesterol warning

Virginia House passes reform for A-F grading
(Loudoun Times)

White House may slow withdrawal of Afghan troops
(Washington Post)

Workhouse Explores the Rehabilitative Power of Art

Workhouse at Lorton

Photo courtesy of the Orsinger Collection at the Workhouse Prison Museum.

By Victoria Gaffney

The arts are entertaining—there’s no doubt about that—but they can also be therapeutic, restorative and healing. In prison, where people have little to occupy their time, turning to creative pursuits can be both enjoyable and liberating.

Next week, the former Lorton Prison, now home to the Workhouse Arts Center and the Workhouse Prison Museum, will take a closer look at the fairly common affinity for the arts in prisons. The lecture, “Coping with Life Behind Bars: Art and Music” will examine the rehabilitative power of both art and music, and is the second in the museum’s series, “Behind the Walls of Lorton Prison.”

The former D.C. Correctional Facility opened in 1910 and closed in 2001. The grounds are now open to the public (including, three schools, two parks and a large public golf course in Virginia).

Today, visitors can still see the craftsmanship of the former inmates when they look at the brick dormitories. Laura McKie, chair of the Workhouse Museum and History Committee says the prison’s model stemmed from the ideals of the Progressive Movement in the early 20th century in “an attempt to be self-sustaining.”

Known as a “prison built by its prisoners,” the inmates of Lorton literally constructed their own housing, down to the very bricks, which they too made by hand.  But these prisoners weren’t just craftsmen, a great many of them also liked to dabble in art. In fact, many prisons house artists, or at least prisoners who like to express themselves artistically.

For the art portion of the evening, the museum will display artwork by former D.C. prisoners, including some portraits and even some quirky, crafty pieces (such as a dominoes set and a purse). Historian Irma Clifton, who formerly worked at the prison, also plans to bring in some intriguing photographs.

The event will feature pictures of graffiti as the prison walls were the “prime source of art,” says McKie; despite the bleak canvas, however, “some of the work is quite amazing.”

Kevin Petty, former prison inmate at Lorton, will spearhead the music portion of the evening. While at Lorton he was a member of the musical group, “The Amazing Gospel Souls,” a group of about twelve other former prisoners, says McKie. Petty and his fellow members felt the restorative power of music both inside and outside the prison and still perform today.

The lecture is free and begins at 7:30 p.m. in the W-3 Theatre at the Workhouse Prison Museum. Attendees must register online in advance. Subsequent lectures include: “Keeping Sane While Doing Time: Religion, Counseling and Social Services” on March 11, “Fires, Riots and Escapes: Lorton in the Public Eye” on April 8, and “Life After Prison” on April 29.

Orsinger Collection at the Workhouse Prison Museum
Workhouse Art Center
9601 Ox Road
Lorton, 22079

Silent Films with Live Musical Accompaniment at The Alden

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015


Silent Films, Bruce Lawton, Northern Virginia Magazine, The Alden,

Image Courtesy of Bruce Lawton

By Sophia Rutti 

For all the modern movie lovers out there it’s time to try something new, something a little less explosive, something a little more…well, silent. 

The Alden is presenting a “Classics of the Silent Screen” night on Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m. 

There will be a showing of cinema’s very first cowboy “Broncho Billy” Anderson in his film “Shootin’ Mad” (1918) before a showing of “The Tollgate”(1920) that stars William S. Hart the “Clint Eastwood of silent film”. 

The films may be silent, but the event certainly will not be. Composer Ben Model will be accompanying the film by improvising a live score on the piano and Bruce Lawton, a film historian and preservationist, will give background and history about the movies. 

“They are both silent-film experts, and audiences get the chance to ask questions of them following the screening. Their love for the material is contagious, and their enthusiasm makes silent films accessible to everyone. ” Tickets are $12 for non-residents and $8 for MCC district residents. 

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Romney to make 2016 campaign decision Friday; D.C. to top homelessness record

By Christopher Penrith

Romney reported to make 2016 campaign decision Friday

D.C. on pace top 2013′s homelessness
(Washington Post)

Northern Virginia is one of the top 5 U.S. hubs for sex trafficking
(Fairfax Times)

House budget writers weighing a state employee pay raise based on rising revenue  
(Washington Post)

Offset Winter Blues with a Pair of Family Activities

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

By Victoria Gaffney


Winter family fun

Photo courtesy of milaphotos/

The holidays are over, and New Year’s resolutions are only just getting underway, but that doesn’t mean you need to sit at home avoiding the cold air just beyond your doorstep. Plenty of fun activities wait for you and the kids right around the corner.

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Be the Most Stylish Couple on New Year’s Eve with These Outfits

Posted by Editorial / Friday, December 26th, 2014

By Danielle Harvey

Most people look forward to New Year’s Eve for obvious reasons such as celebrating with friends and having an excuse to dress up. If you and your significant other need some inspiration then look no further. Here’s three outfit ideas to get you ready to fashionably bring in the New Year.



Photo courtesy of polyvore/dd-harvey

Photo courtesy of polyvore/dd-Harvey


Outfit details: (For Her) Top, Pants, Necklace and Shoes (For Him) T-shirt, Jeans, Jacket and Shoes

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Some Not-So-Ugly Sweater Party Outfit Ideas

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

By Cate Jensen

If you have managed to avoid the typical ugly sweater parties of the season, Christmas Eve might be your last chance to party with friends surrounded in questionable attire. So you aren’t into the theme? That’s okay. Just because you might not want to be dressed up in your grandmother’s old sweater with a giant present bow on your head (bah hum bug for those who think that is a bit too harsh) doesn’t mean you should miss out on the festivities. Skip the text and pair a chunky metallic sweater with a cheeky clutch or try a funky sweatshirt – you can still be stylish while embracing the holiday spirit.


 Around the Christmas Tree

Photo courtesy of

Outfit details: Metallic Cable-knit SweaterEmbellished Black Mini, Christian Louboutin Pumps in Jade, Sliced Cuff Bracelet, Ho, Ho, Ho Acrylic Box Clutch


Do You Wann Build a Snowman?

Photo courtesy of

Outfit Details: Snowman Sweater, Silver Tory Burch Crossbody, Embellished Silver Flats, Pleated Skirt in Sky BlueSnowflake Earrings

You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch

Photo courtesy of

Outfit details: Bah Hum Bug Sweatshirt, High-Rise Black Skinny Jeans, Marc By Marc Jacobs Crossbody in Kelly Green, Chuck Taylor High-Top Sneakers


Last-Minute Gift Ideas Under $40

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

By Danielle Harvey

We’ve all fallen victim to being part of the last-minute shopping crowd. With busy work schedules and various other engagements during the holidays, it’s no wonder people might have to finish up their shopping right before spending time with their loved ones. If this sounds familiar then check out these gift ideas that are perfect for the procrastinators. Happy Shopping!

Photo courtesy of polyvore/dd-harvey

Photo courtesy of polyvore/dd-Harvey


Item details: (Clockwise order) Midi Rings, T-shirt, Headphones, Coffee Thermal Mug, Flash Tattoos, Mobile Charger (Center) Kate Spade Book

An Easy Midday Mani Is Possible Thanks to PrettyQuick

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

By Cate Jensen

Photo courtesy of PrettyQuick

Photo courtesy of PrettyQuick

Getting a mid-afternoon mani just got a whole lot easier for the women of Northern Virginia. PrettyQuick, a Chicago-based beauty app has made its way to our area, thanks to its delightful, intelligent and savvy creator Coco Meers. The app, which Meers developed at business school and perfected during a flight delay in which she didn’t know how to spend the new free time she had been given. PrettyQuick can be described as Open Table meets Uber or as she explains: it is the reservations of open table with the location space and real time nature of Uber.” With filters from “no frills” to “luxe,” a beauty-obsessed woman can get just about get anything she wants. 

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