Around Town

Local students build artwork inspired by atoms, now at Reston Town Center

A public art piece inspired by the connectivity and energy of atoms has been erected in Reston Town Center’s Hyatt Park.

Called “Vidustria,” the installation is drawn from the word “vigor” and the Latin term “industria,” or energy. It’s the brainchild of students from South Lakes High School’s STEAM Public Art Program.

Local officials and sponsors gathered last Friday (Nov. 25) to celebrate the work’s installation.

“We started this project over three years ago…and then something called the pandemic intervened,”

Tysons Warren, Hyatt Regency’s general manager, also approved using the site to renew the project for future art projects. Hyatt allowed the project team to use the space and power — to light up the artwork — at night.

Robert Goudie, Reston Town Center Association’s executive director,  said the project would not be possible with community partners. For example, power Service ran electric and secured conduit and writing for free and Commercial Concrete poured six concrete piers to secure the installation, along with bolting the beams to piers. Yellowstone Landscaping helped transport and install the sculpture at no cost.

“It has been an amazing community effort, supporting the dedication and commitment of dozens of students under Marco’s inspirational leadership over almost three years, interrupted by the pandemic, to make this happen,” Goudie said.

The structure is made from aluminum composite panels, acrylic panels, LED lights, screws, spray paint, vinyl print and wood. The sculpture features figures in motion on one side and a collection of human irises floating like celestial bodies on the other.

Here’s more from Reston Town Center Association describing the art work:

Atoms are minuscule particles, fundamental building blocks which combine to create all tangible objects in this universe. Alone, they are nothing. Together, they are everything. People, especially the students who made Vidustria, can be compared to these atoms due to their interconnectivity, a recurring theme within this sculpture. However, atoms have one deficiency: they do not compose energy, only maer. This is where the students of South Lakes High School have the upper hand. The unique, individual energy that each person has put into Vidustria is what elevates this artwork above the molecular foundations of the cosmos.

On one side of the sculpture is a series of figures in motion, while on the other side, a set of human irises, floating as if they’re celestial bodies. Both of these representations are meant to be universally recognizable. Interconnectivity is intertwined with one’s humanity, by simply inhabiting a body and perceiving this world (whether visually or not), people naturally gravitate toward one another based on these shared experiences. It should be easy to see yourself in Vidustria, to acknowledge the relationships you forge with other people and the energy that these relationships establish.

The school’s STEAM Club has created many art installations in Reston, including several projects on Lake Thoreau. It’s run by SLHS art teacher and local artist Marco Rando.

The sculpture will likely remain on the site until the spring of 2024.