Local Commentary

Guest Commentary: Jefferson Street Artists Come to The Little City

By Tom Gittins

The City of Falls Church can now lay claim as the birthplace to Jefferson Street Artists.

Over and over again from everyone who walks through the front door, I hear the same word repeated three times in the short span of a 57-second tour. … WOW! With more than 6,000 square feet, 15-foot-high ceilings, a lounge area, and 20 individual studios each with its own private door and window, a vibrant, industrial, and artistic space has been born. The intimate yet open space lends itself to creativity, imagination, and authenticity. It’s a natural fit: commerce and art. The two just simply go together.

Sitting idle for over three years, 205 West Jefferson Street has quickly become the perfect location to meet the growing need of working space for artists. Some have characterized the Jefferson Street Artists location as a mini Torpedo Factory, a much appreciated and honored endorsement. With such an enormous and sudden amount of interest from the artist community, Jefferson Street Artists is certainly going to become a destination for many in the D.C.-metro area.

It’s been stated time and time again: the arts benefit business. The arts help improve the quality of life and create a vibrant and enthusiastic sensation in our community.

West Jefferson Street is flourishing with eclectic businesses such as Smith Gifford (creator of The Little City logo), Falls Church Auto Body (where many of us have been one time or another), and various enterprises across the street from Jefferson Streets Artists such as Stylish Patina’s Rough Luxe Monthly Market Event, Tea with Mrs. B, Sagator Design and Build, and KravWorks.

The entrance to Jefferson Street Artists is at the corner of West Maple and West Jefferson Streets, below e-Asset Solutions. Enter the building by way of Art and Frame of Falls Church at 205 West Jefferson Street.

The move by Art and Frame of Falls Church to West Jefferson Street and the establishment of the Jefferson Street Artists means there is a clear corridor for the arts and culture in The Little City, a cultural corridor has been created, extending from Jefferson Street (one block from Lee Highway/Washington Street) on the north side to the intersection of South Maple Avenue at Lee Highway on the south side.

Along this cultural corridor you will find visual and functional art, music, history and theater.

Where do I find arts and culture in Falls Church? Let me list the places: Action Music, Art and Frame of Falls Church. Clay Café Studios. Creative Cauldron @ ArtSpace. Cue Recording. Falls Church Arts. Farmers Market. Jefferson Street Artists. Quinn’s Auction Galleries. Stylish Patina. Stifel and Capra. State Theatre. Tea with Mrs. B. Tinner Hill Monument.

There’s also live music at restaurants such as Ireland’s Four Provinces, Dogwood Tavern, Mad Fox Brewing and Clare & Don’s Beach Shack.
And don’t forget to check out L-say Designs out Route 7 and Foxes Music down Route 29/Lee Highway.

Take a stroll around the City day or evening and find the arts everywhere.

And this is where risk meets opportunity. The risk is borne by the businesses and organizations that promote and present the arts and cultural events and activities. They create the opportunity for everyone to engage and participate in these theatrical, musical, and cultural events and activities. I invite you to partake and to purchase. Supporting the arts means people attending the events that take so many people to create and produce. Supporting the arts means buying a ticket to a live performance or purchasing a work of art.

At Jefferson Street Artists, you have a chance to look inside the artist’s own creative process and see for yourself the different disciplines and art forms. Partake … and purchase. While still in its infancy eight studios have been spoken for with the others ready to lease.

Jefferson Street Artists will host a monthly open studios event coinciding with FIRSTfriday of Falls Church. FIRSTfriday of Falls Church is a monthly, year-round event that creates and promotes a business and social synergy for the arts and artists in and around the city of Falls Church attracting people to view local artwork, attend musical and theatrical performances, learn about the City’s history, and shop and dine in downtown Falls Church.

Jefferson Street Artists is open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and is also available to host events, meetings, and so much more. Hope to see you in two weeks, June 5, 6 – 8 p.m., the first Friday of the month, FIRSTfriday of Falls Church.

Explore the humming and buzzing of West Jefferson Street as there are many other businesses in this hip, industrial section of Falls Church. I invite you and challenge yourself to take an adventurist artistic tour. The bike path is only 182 steps away. You will be wowed, too.