Northern Virginia Fine Art Fair
The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival takes place May 18–20, 2018. Photo credit: Don Renner

Learn about the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, and why it’s “an event unlike any other.”

From the Greater Reston Arts Center:

Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) recently announced major changes to its nationally acclaimed event, the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, which brings to the unique outdoor environment of Reston Town Center more than 200 fine artists from across the nation, presenting original works in 16 categories of fine art and fine craft.

Patricia Kessler, “Select Beets,” watercolor on paper, 30 x 26 x 1 in.

“The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is an event unlike any other. The quality of the fine art is exceptional, and the variety ensures that there is something for everyone, from woodwork to jewelry, ceramics, and painting,” states GRACE Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel. “We are thrilled to welcome our title sponsor, Balducci’s, to Reston. What a way to introduce itself to the community! And a heartfelt thank-you to all of our community and private sponsors, without whom we could not be making these exciting changes to continue evolving and improving this signature event on the community calendar.”

Northern Virginia Fine Art Fair
At a previous Northern Virginia Fine Art Fair; Photo credit: Don Renner

“We’d also like to encourage individuals to consider our Adopt-an-Artist program,” said Siegel. “For $100 an individual can directly support our hospitality package for artists. At the same time, you’re creating a very personal connection to the artist you adopt and to the festival experience.”

Acceptance into the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is a major accomplishment for the artists. The selection process begins in December under the direction of an independent panel of professional jurors with assistance from GRACE curatorial staff. The three jurors for 2018 are Spencer Dormitzer, visual artist and director of Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery; Isabel Manalo, an interdisciplinary visual artist and founding manager of The Studio Visit (TSV), a collaborative art blog featuring artist interviews in their studios; and Francis Thompson, art program project manager at JLL, commercial real estate. These three jurors will also judge each artist booth on Friday and Saturday to select the ten Awards of Excellence winners. Each winner will receive a $500 cash prize, a blue ribbon for booth display, and automatic acceptance into the 2019 Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.

K C Osvog, “Dodecahedron #1,” stone/ceramic 9 x 9 x 9 in.

All opportunities for volunteering (500 volunteers are needed), sponsoring, and other ways to get involved can be found on the GRACE website, www.restonarts.org. For a $5 suggested entry donation, festival guests will receive the festival program, which includes nearly $200 of dining certificates from local restaurants. Art sales benefit the participating artists. All other proceeds directly benefit GRACE and its compelling year-round exhibitions at its Reston Town Center Gallery (free and open to the public) and its other programs.


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