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Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival returns in May with a new name

The festival was formerly known as the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival (photo by Charlotte Geary)

The Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art — formerly known as the Greater Reston Arts Center — has announced its plans for the upcoming Tephra ICA Festival in May.

Known before as the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, the annual event, now in its 31st year, will bring the work of more than 200 artists to Reston Town Center.

The festival is slated to take place from May 20-22. The annual event attracts around 20,000 people to the town center, according to event organizers.

“Our excitement is growing in anticipation of this event where we will fill the streets with artwork and people, celebrating the resilience of artistic practice and creating opportunities for visitors to bring artwork home,” said Tephra ICA’s new Associate Curator and Festival Director Hannah Barco.

The festival resumed last year after it was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trisha Brown Dance Company, a contemporary dance company dedicated to the work of founding artistic director and choreographer Trisha Brown, will headline the event.

The dance company will at Reston Town Square Park on Saturday, May 21, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and on Sunday, May 22 at 11 a.m.

A ceremony for artist awards will take place on Saturday during the festival’s cocktail hour.

“We’re thrilled for the upcoming Festival and look forward to presenting the opportunity to explore a variety of artists and artwork, from sculpture to mixed media to works on paper,” states Jaynelle Hazard, executive director and curator of Tephra ICA.

The institute is a nonprofit organization that works with collectors, artists, galleries and institutions to promote innovative contemporary art and thinking.

It was called the Greater Reston Arts Center since it was established in 1974 but was rebranded last year to advance the organization and its vision.

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