Posts Tagged ‘NoVA’

June’s #NoVA


Illustration by Libby Burns.

“I’ve been training for the Chardonnay 1K.”

(June 2015)

May’s #NoVA


Illustration by Libby Burns.

“Succulents are very in right now.”

(May 2015)

April’s #NoVA

Hashtag NoVA

Illustration by Libby Burns.

“They only took out three displays today.”

March’s #NoVA

#NoVA Libby Burns

Illustration by Libby Burns.

“When he grows up, he wants to be an Uber driver.”

(March 2015)

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

Take in Some Culture with These 5 Shows

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

State Symphony Orchestra of Mexico

State Symphony Orchestra of Mexico. Photo courtesy of Jill Graziano, George Mason Center for the Arts.

 By Christopher Penrith

There are a variety of shows that are going on at local venues throughout Northern Virginia. From bluegrass to folk, rock to classical music and concerts to plays, there are plenty of shows to see. Here are five shows that are worth checking out this weekend.

1.  State Symphony Orchestra of Mexico
George Mason Center for the Performing Arts

If you’re interested in classical music with a Spanish flair, this is the event for you. This 40-year-old orchestra often performs music from well-known Spanish composers such as Enrique Granados. Their ensemble often includes works from European, Mexican and Spanish composers. Some examples include Verdi and Rossini, Manuel De Falla, Beethoven and Brahms.

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January’s #NoVA

Libby Burns #NoVA

Illustration by Libby Burns.

“Now, did that make you feel ‘sad emoji’ or ‘crying loudly emoji’?”

(January 2015)

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