If you appreciate art in its many forms – music, dance, performance, painting, sculpture, fiber arts, and more – then you should check out the Arts Council of Fairfax County. The Arts Council, a 501(c)(3) a non-profit membership organization, is designated as Fairfax County’s arts agency, and is funded through Fairfax County government, the Virginia Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, corporations, organizations, and individuals.
Although the Arts Council may be best known for the annual International Children’s Festival held at Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts every September, and the Creative Arts Programs (CAPS) in the schools, the Arts Council also creates and supports programs, activities, and polices that inspire, nurture, and reflect the cultural and artistic diversity of Fairfax County. The Art in the Workplace program, for example, presents an ever-changing variety of watercolor, photography, painting, mixed-media, and quilting in my office at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. The current exhibit is digital photography by Amie G. Tannenbaum, who captures spectacular color impressions of sunlight shining through stained glass. The result is glorious color in abstract shapes. The art displays change about every three months, and can be viewed Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
At the retirement dinner for Fairfax County Fire Chief Michael Neuhard last week, I discovered another presentation of an Arts Council artist who also has displayed his works in my office. Sy Wengrovitz, a Mason District artist, sculpts wood into beautiful clothing. You are tempted to touch the item to feel the folds and drapes of the cloth, only to realize that it’s all done in wood. At the Waterford at Springfield reception hall (re-placing the old Toys R Us), there are two upholstered chairs in the lobby, one with a tuxedo jacket and bow tie flung across the arm, and the other with a life-size wedding dress carefully draped. A bottle of wine and two wine glasses sit atop the small table between the two chairs. Upon closer examination, the viewer discovers that the clothing and the wine service are all carefully sculpted from wood, another creation of Sy Wengrovitz. It’s really spectacular!
The Arts Council also manages a delightful gift shop of all kinds of original art at its office in the Packard Center in Annandale Community Park, 4022 Hummer Road in Annandale. Call 703/642-0862 for hours of operation, and remember the Arts Council the next time you need a special gift.