Spring is here, and that means it's time for the free (or nearly free) festivals you can find every weekend in Northern Virginia. Three of the best places to get a fine arts fix happen to be in Reston, and happen to be coming up very soon. Perhaps I'll see you at one or all of them.
Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival
Saturday, May 16: 10 am - 6 pm and Sunday, May 17: 10 am - 5 pm
The 24th annual Greater Reston Arts Center Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is a nationally top-ranked fine art and craft festival, and one of my absolute favorite spring activities. It typically draws 30,000+ patrons to support GRACE--the area's largest non-profit dedicated exclusively to enhancing community life through excellence in and the promotion of the visual arts. The festival features over 200 skilled artisans, all of whom are juried into the show. You'll find both traditional and unconventional materials and techniques used in the hand-crafted, original works of art. All of the artists are there, and it's fun to talk to them about their art. The art is diverse--both in style and price. See the list of participating artists for 2015!
Saturdays May through November
Reston's indie arts market runs every week from the 1st Saturday of May through the 1st Saturday of November from 8:00 a.m. to about 1:00 p.m. (sometimes the artisans stay a little longer if they're having fun). It's not just one of my favorites because I run it. It's my favorite because of the talented regional artisans who choose this venue to show their art--hand-crafted jewelry, linens, garden sculpture and more. The beauty is that the vendors can change week to week, so there is always something to discover here. And, of course, you can enjoy live music and shop at the Reston's Farmers Market. Lake Anne Plaza is the place to be on Saturday mornings in the summer!
2nd Annual Lake Anne Chalk Festival
Saturday and Sunday June 13 and 14, 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
So maybe this isn't technically fine art, but it is great fun. And everyone can participate! Your inner artist can come out and paint Lake Anne Plaza red (or green, blue, yellow...) as we turn the Lake Anne Plaza into a chalk art museum. There are three categories and cash and prizes are awarded in each category. This event is fun for the whole family. Register online!