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Eleanor Mahin Thorp’s “Remnants of a Blue Ridge Basement” painting, set to appear in the new exhibit “Metopic Ridge” (courtesy Tephra ICA)

(Updated at 1:45 p.m. on 11/3/2023) The Blue Ridge mountains are the focus of the latest exhibit at the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art in Reston.

The exhibit “Metopic Ridge” by Eleanor Mahin Thorp, an artist and educator, features paintings of the mountains that explore stability and change.

An opening reception and artist talk is slated for Friday (Nov. 3) from 6-8 p.m. at Tephra ICA at Signature (11850 Freedom Drive). The exhibit ends on Feb. 4.

Here’s more from Tephra on the scope of the exhibit:

Through her discerning gaze rocks are more than geological entities; Instead, they metamorphose into vessels of history and human connection. Drawing inspiration from the fascinating transformations depicted in Persian miniatures, Thorp traces the hidden figures and forms in the rocks. Her paintings reveal the duality of rocks’ existence as both a firm witness to time and a medium for that which is intangible.

Thorp, who works in Richmond, approaches her work through the lense of Persian animism and constructs images of stone faces by searching for figures in rock. She received master’s degree in fine arts from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a 2023-2025 visual arts fellow with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

“It is often said that the world is built by the way you see things around you. Thorp’s painting asks us to contemplate the layers of reality that exist beyond the surface – the palpable, the invisible, and the divine,” said Sandy Cheng, 2023 ArtTable curatorial fellow at Tephra ICA and the exhibit’s curator.

The exhibit is being presented in partnership with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Visual Arts Fellowship program.

(Correction: There was no members-only preview for “Metopic Ridge” as initially stated in this article. The exhibit is free and open to the general public.)

The exhibit is located at Tephra’s satellite gallery in the Signature apartment building. Visitors are welcome Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


A new dine-in movie theater option debuts tomorrow (Thursday) in Reston Town Center.

LOOK Dine-In Cinema’s grand opening is slated for tomorrow at 11940 Market Street — the previous home of Bow Tie Cinemas, which shuttered more than a year ago.

James Meredith, LOOK’s CMO, told FFXnow that the theater’s dining experience sets it apart from other moviegoing options in the area.

“The new LOOK Dine-In Cinema in Reston offers an elevated dining experience where our made-to-order, chef inspired menu items and craft cocktails are delivered directly to your seat,” Meredith said. “Additionally, every auditorium offers luxury reclining chairs and crystal clear presentation.”

The 11-screen cinema is the company’s first in Virginia. It features luxury seating and dine-in mobile technology that allows guests to order from menus and craft beverages. Items are then delivered to the guest’s seat.

Items on the menu include chicken tenders, crispy wings, loaded mac and cheese, burgers, quesadillas and a honey sriracha salmon bowl.

Those features will help the theater maintain its competitiveness, Meredith said.

“Our guests are looking for a full-service experience that includes great food, their favorite cocktails, state-of-the-art presentation, comfort and variety. At LOOK, we are part of the community and offer favorite content for all of our guests,” he said.

Customers can order more items up to 30 minutes before the show ends.

“I couldn’t be more excited to bring LOOK Dine-In Cinemas to Reston Town Center,” CEO Brian Schultz said. “Our theater is a place for this great community to enjoy, laugh, cry, be inspired, and most importantly, come together. It’s not just about movies; it’s about creating memorable moments and a shared experience that unites us all.”

Tomorrow’s grand opening features only evening showtimes from 5-9 p.m. Movies will include Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla,” the horror flick “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” “PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie” and Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour concert film.

Construction has topped out on Skymark at Reston Town Center (courtesy Clark Construction Group)

Clark Construction has officially topped out on the construction of Skymark Reston Town Center, which the company describes as the tallest mixed-use residential tower in the D.C. region.

Located at the corner of Town Center Parkway and Inspiration Street, the 40-story building will have 464 units when completed. It’s built on a podium with ground-floor retail, 44 loft-style residential units and 80,000 square feet of office space spread over four stories.

“Clark thrives on delivering the largest and most complex projects that push the boundaries of engineering and construction,” Terry Simon, Clark Construction Group division president, said. “We look forward to the completion of another successful collaboration with long-time partner BXP to deliver this superstructure.”

The company has completed construction of 1950 and 2000 Opportunity Way — the first two office buildings in the expansion of Reston Town Center.

“BXP is thrilled with the progress of this iconic landmark project in Reston,” said David Miller, senior vice president of construction at BXP.” This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the talented men and women who have worked tirelessly to get us to where we are today.”

SCB is the project architect. Construction on the apartment building is expected to wrap up in 2025, according to Clark Construction’s website.

LOOK Dine-in Cinemas is set to open in Reston next month (staff photo by Fatimah Waseem)

(Updated at 6:35 p.m.) Movie watchers in Reston will officially have a new place to experience the cinema next month.

LOOK Dine-in Cinemas will launch in Reston Town Center (11940 Market Street) on Nov. 2 with a grand opening and “ticket tearing” ceremony, the company confirmed to FFXnow.

The theater took over and renovated Bow Tie Cinemas, which closed almost two years ago. The opening was first pushed to late 2022 and then the third quarter of this year.

This is the first location in Virginia and the D.C. area for the company. The self-described “luxury” brand offers dine-in service for all screenings with a food, beverage and cocktail menu, according to its website.

“I couldn’t be more excited to bring LOOK Dine-In Cinemas to Reston Town Center,” LOOK Dine-In Cinemas CEO Brian Schultz said in a statement. “Our theater is a place for this great community to enjoy, laugh, cry, be inspired, and most importantly, come together. It’s not just about movies; it’s about creating memorable moments and a shared experience that unites us all.”

The Reston theater will have 11 screening rooms ranging in capacity from 45 to 120 seats. All auditoriums have reclining chairs and digital surround sound.

More from LOOK on the new venue:

Through its modern, elevated experience, LOOK sets itself apart from the average dine-in cinema, offering a state-of-the-art immersive presentation, large screens, surround sound and luxury seating. LOOK + Dine mobile technology allows guests to order from chef-inspired menus and craft beverage selections and all items are delivered directly to the guest’s seat.

LOOK Reston Town Center will feature a PX auditorium, the largest auditorium in the complex with a massive wall-to-wall screen, crisp, clear digital projection and engulfing digital surround sound technology. Guests and corporations will be able to host group events in the auditoriums or private rental space.

Advance tickets are already being sold to some of the first showings at the theater, including “Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” the video game adaptation “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and Martin Scorsese’s historical crime drama, “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

Going forward, the company says the theater will have a range of films, including blockbusters, independent movies, documentaries, concert films and special event screenings.

Reston Town Center residents and tenants can expect “special promotions,” LOOK says.

The festival has been postponed due to inclement weather (via Reston Community Center)

The Reston Multicultural Festival — which was set for this Saturday (Sept. 23) at Reston Town Center — has been canceled due to inclement weather.

The annual festival, which is organized by Reston Community Center, will not be rescheduled. With a tropical storm projected to make landfall in the mid-Atlantic, high winds, cool temperatures and heavy rain are expected from around 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday morning.

“With artists, vendors, community organizations, and event staff and volunteers coming from various areas affected by this tropical storm, organizers do not want to put people at risk of injury in trying to reach or attend the festival,” RCC said in a statement. “People are urged to stay off the roads on Saturday. This annual event is cherished by the community, and event planners appreciate everyone’s understanding that people’s safety is their highest priority.”

RCC said it was thankful to Reston Town Center Association and host BXP for their help in coordinating the event. Reston Association also provided support.

This year would have been the organization’s largest festival to date, with additional performance stages and strategic partnerships with national organizations.

“The partnership among these civic, nonprofit and business organizations allowed for the most ambitious Reston Multicultural Festival plan ever. All partners are looking forward to 2024 and doing it again under sunnier skies,” the organization wrote.

A Darden and Friends concert will still take place as scheduled at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) in the Pavilion at Reston Town Center, according to RCC.

The festival returns to Reston Town Center in September (courtesy Reston Community Center)

The Reston Multicultural Festival will return to Reston Town Center on Sept. 23 with expanded entertainment options.

The festival — which is organized by Reston Community Center, the Reston Town Center Association and Boston Properties (BXP) — will have three stages instead of its usual one. It takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a lineup of entertainment and activities.

“Due to an expanded entertainment lineup and more participating artisans, our cohost, BXP generously extended us the opportunity to enlarge the Festival footprint up Market Street to the Pavilion providing for more performance space,” Lorna Clarke, RCC’s communications director, said.

Beverly Cosham, who chairs RCC’s Board of Governors, said that the festival has embodied the spirit of Reston for more than 20 years.

“Our diversity is our greatest strength,” Cosham said. “We present the Reston Multicultural Festival each year to share the incredible sights, sounds and joyful energy of people who come from all over the world to be here. Bob Simon established Reston as a place where everyone could feel a sense of belonging and discovery.

The festival is also made possible by a partnership with the National Council of Traditional Arts (NCTA). This year’s lineup will feature multiple National Endowment of Arts Heritage fellows. The program recognizes individuals in folk and traditional art.

A breakdown of the fellows is below.

Roen Hufford, Kapa Maker, 2023 NEA National Heritage Fellow
Waimea, Hawaii
Of Native Hawaiian descent, Roen Halley Kahalewai McDonald Hufford carries on the tradition of ka hana kapa (making bark-cloth) and is a leading figure in the reclamation of this nearly lost art.

The Legendary Ingramettes, Gospel Artists, 2022 NEA National Heritage Fellow
Richmond, Virginia
The Legendary Ingramettes are widely considered Richmond’s “First Family of Gospel,” uplifting audiences for over six decades while becoming beloved cultural icons in the community.

Wayne Henderson, Luthier, 1995 NEA National Heritage Fellow
Mouth of Wilson, Virginia
Henderson was born, raised and still lives in Rugby, near the North Carolina border. He has taken first place 13 times at the Galax Fiddlers’ Convention guitar competition.

Tsering Wangmo Satho, Tibetan Opera Singer and Dancer, 2022 NEA National Heritage Fellow
Richmond, California
Tsering Wangmo Satho was born in a refugee settlement in southern India in 1967. Her elders served as living examples of their traditions and language. Satho trained at the Tibetan Institute of the Arts (TIPA), founded by the Dalai Lama. TIPA serves as a critical response to the threats to Tibetan culture.

More than 20 performances will light up the Park, Market Street and Pavilion stages. The festival will also feature more than 30 arts and crafts vendors with from around the world.

The complete schedule is available online.

FOX5 reporter Erin Como stands in front of Mercury Fountain at Reston Town Center (via FOX5)

Reston was under the lens on Friday (Aug. 25), as FOX 5 featured the planned community in its series on notable neighborhoods in the D.C. region.

The series, called Zip Trip, broadcast from Reston Town Center’s pavilion in the morning. The show highlighted the top five attractions in Reston: Reston Community Center (#5), Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (#4), Lake Fairfax Park (#3), Lake Anne Village Center (#2), and the town center (#1).

Reporter Erin Como said that Reston Town Center “offers all forms of fun,” ranging from the iconic Mercury fountain to shopping and events under the recently renovated pavilion.

Featured businesses and other organizations included:

Bike Lane Brewing & Cafe and the Lake Anne Brew House put their drinks to the test in a battle of the brews, while NOVA Wild presented its animal friends — including recent additions to the rebranded zoo’s family.

The feature also included a roundup on the real estate market in Reston.

Rob Tucker, a local pickle ball and tennis instructor who works for Reston Association, was recognized at the a hometown hero during the trip.

“My work is to promote the live, work, play motto,” Tucker said.

The last Zip Trip for the year will take in National Harbor on Friday (Sept. 1). FOX 5 visited 15 cities in the summer tour.

Screenshot via FOX5


(Updated at 11:15 a.m.) Open Road Distilling Co. is officially opening its doors in Reston Town Center today (Monday).

The distillery takes over space vacated in 2020 by Balducci’s grocery store (1871 Fountain Drive). The business — which will also serve up live music and tours of its tasting room — is set to open at 3 p.m., according to its website.

Heirloom — a speakeasy-style restaurant — is also housed under the same business, although it’s technically a separate establishment. Open for dinner and happy hour starting at 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, the menu features pasta, steak, seafood and salads.

Open Road Distilling Co. sells a variety of handcrafted cocktails and entrees like fajitas, sandwiches and greens.

The business has two grill restaurants in Merrifield and Rosslyn, but the Reston location is its first distillery.

Matthew Carlin, president of Metropolitan Hospitality Group, which owns the brand, says the company initially considered industrial or more rural sites for its planned distillery, but having a location in Reston Town Center “was a dream that we were not sure was ever going to be possible.”

“When we were made aware of the space at Reston Town Center, we could not pass up the opportunity to serve the extraordinary demographics of the community,” Carlin said in a statement. “We also pay homage to the history of Reston, which used to be home to Virginia’s oldest distillery, A. Smith Bowman. We are honored to usher in a new generation of Virginia native spirits, and there is no better place to do it than at Reston Town Center.”

People clinking beer mugs together (via kazuend on Unsplash)

A Reston-based pub was voted as the best place to get a drink in the D.C. area.

A WTOP poll by readers and listeners ranked Makers Union, which is located at 1811 Library Street in Reston Town Center, as the best restaurant to get a drink. The pub beat out hundreds of other bars in the area.

Clyde’s — a chain that has locations throughout the region and is bringing a new one to Reston Station — and Bethesda, Maryland-based Caddies On Cordell came in third and second respectively.

Also named a runner-up for best brunch, Makers Union describes itself as a pub for the people. It has two new locations in the works at The Wharf in D.C. and at Metropolitan Park in Arlington, which are slated to open this summer.

According to its website, the pub uses local ingredients “whenever possible” and showcases destination drinks from local makers.

The poll also ranked restaurants and establishments across several other categories, including best bakery, brunch, burger, coffee shop, international cuisine, seafood and comfort food.

Other chains also ranked high on the lists. For example, Big Buns Damn Good Burger — which has locations in Reston, Herndon, Vienna and Fairfax — was voted as the best burger spot, and Ledo Pizza was named the best pizza spot.

Outside of Reston, Fairfax City’s High Side — an Asian street food restaurant and bar located at 4009 Chain Bridge Road — topped the list for best international cuisine. L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls and Our Mom Eugenia, which has restaurants in Great Falls and Merrifield, also made the top 10 for that list.

Photo via kazuend on Unsplash

A 12-dock Capital Bikeshare station will be installed tomorrow at Reston Town Square Park (courtesy FCDOT)

More Capital Bikeshare options are coming soon to Reston Town Center.

A 12-dock station will be installed at Reston Town Square Park tomorrow (Aug. 8), marking the ninth Capital Bikeshare station around Reston Town Center.

Reston Town Center Association Executive Director Robert Goudie said the installation of the stations fulfills the policy objective of minimizing vehicular traffic.

“Increasing Bikeshare availability complements our longstanding commitment to supporting a strong pedestrian environment, the recent addition of private and secure bike-parking facilities, and the launch of our linkRTC shuttle service, recently recognized by the Washington Area Council of Governments as a region-leading best practice on how to integrate Metro into a vibrant transit station area like RTC,” Goudie said.

The location was on Capital Bikeshare’s list as a potential location for some time, according to Zach DesJardins, Capital Bikeshare program manager for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT).

“Town Square Park is the heart of the densest area in Reston and our data shows that Bikeshare use is highest in those types of mixed-use neighborhoods,” DesJardins said. “Finding a way to make a Bikeshare station work at that location, especially with the arrival of Metro, has been a priority, and we greatly appreciate RTCA’s assistance and cooperation in this effort.”

In a statement, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn described the location as “terrific.”

Enhancing multi-modal transportation opportunities is a significant focus of the work we have been doing on the new comprehensive plan for Reston, especially in our transit station areas. Locating this station in the heart of a dense, mixed-use (residential-office-retail) environment, and with easy access to rail, where there is also another Bikeshare station, is a terrific addition, and I’m grateful to the Reston Town Center Association for helping to make this happen.

Capital Bikeshare has more than 50 locations in Merrifield, Reston and Tysons. Dozens of additional stations are planned in the area. Across the D.C. area, the service has more than 700 stations across seven jurisdictions.

A single trip is five cents for a classic bicycle ride and 15 cents for an e-bike. A 24-hour pass is $8 a day. Annual memberships cost around $8 per month for unlimited 45-minute rides on a classic bike.


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