Commentary, Local Commentary

Editor’s Editorial: All Hail Falls Church Arts!

Ah, the arts! The focus of this edition of the News-Press is on the arts in and around the Little City, and we are pleased that, with everything else going on in our world these days, people are veritably breaking down our door to get the word of their work included in this particular edition. Trust us, we are flattered by the attention and we’ve done everything possible to accommodate everyone, imperfectly without a doubt. But the few people who assume that if we get something wrong or omitted, it’s because of a willful prejudice of some manner on our part. On the contrary, readers who have been paying attention know the extent to which this newspaper goes to promote the arts in this area. The issue of Marymount University’s decision to effectively end liberal arts majors as presented in our editor’s column in this edition should make this more than clear.

When it comes to the Falls Church Arts, everyone who loves art will benefit from a visit to its gallery at 700-A West Broad. Concerning this non-profit organization, its latest chair Joe Wetzel has sent along a reminder of what they do. 

Falls Church Arts, he writes, was founded in 2003 with a mission to embrace, enhance,  and elevate the visual arts community of Falls Church and its surrounds. Sensing that artists in the area needed a place and focus to make their visual voices heard, Falls Church Arts first exhibition spaces relied on the everchanging venues available as pop-up, temporary homes. 

A permanent location within a local frame shop’s space provided stability enough for the group’s subsequent move to co-work tenancy with Creative Cauldron. 2017 provided Falls Church Arts with an opportunity for independent space front and center on the City’s main drag, West Broad Street. 

That 1,500 square feet of space in the Kensington at 700-A West Broad is now the home for Falls Church Arts regular rotating exhibitions and instructional classes. Classes run a wide gamut, from youth groups and camps to unique Memory Care classes. The gallery serves also as a gathering point for engagement groups like regularly scheduled critique groups of artists.

Falls Church Arts also extends its reach well beyond the gallery walls with activities that engage the community as a whole: the annual Halloween Window Painting teams local merchants and their storefronts with groups of volunteers to transform the street scene into an avenue of seasonally themed décor. Falls Church Art’s annual Plein Air paint festival brings artists from a wide area to paint scenes within the city and culminates in a day of public engagement in open air exhibition and judging of works produced. Membership has grown steadily and with that growth has come a large body of enthusiastic volunteers from many disciplines which continue to ensure that the visual arts are an essential element of life here.