“The HeART of Reston”: Artists Reveal Their Thoughts About Reston in Words and Images

Now that the weather is warmer and the flowers are blooming, it’s time to head outside and fall in love with the scenery of Reston all over again. If you are heading to Lake Anne this month to see the cherry blossoms or eat at a waterfront restaurant, be sure to stop by the art gallery at the community center there. In honor of this month’s Founder’s Day, the League of Reston Artists is holding an exhibit called “The HeART of Reston” at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at Lake Anne’s Reston Community Center.

The League of Reston Artists is a non-profit group of over 120 visual artists. Throughout April, LRA is displaying a collection of original paintings and mixed-media artwork that are inspired by Reston scenes or lifestyles. The art pieces are accompanied by the artists’ written statements about their inspiration. I always love hearing artists describe their work in their own words, and I particularly enjoyed the local focus of this exhibit. The artists took such different approaches to the theme of “Reston.” It’s clear that they love this town for different reasons.

Here are just a few of the many beautiful pieces in this exhibit. Be sure to stop by Lake Anne RCC to see the full collection. You can also buy a book of this exhibit, which would be a unique gift for an art lover in Reston.


“Dancing in the Square” by Carol Weldon-Zinsmeister (acrylic)

Dancing in the Square

This painting is inspired by the open air live music at Reston Town Center in the summertime. . . the music, the impromptu dancing in the warm open air bringing joy to people young and old, dancing with abandon. I centered it on the young couple who were clearly having a great time.

by Carol Weldon-Zinsmeister


“Lake Anne in Winter” by Rudy Guernica (acrylic on yupo)

Lake Anne in Winter

Sharp wind bites your skin
and warm breath billows your face
like a gray inverted hoodie.
You try to pierce the lake view
and seek comfort in its vapors
but the frozen water surrenders only cold.

The surface pales with snow drifts
and blue ice stings the cracks
randomly around puddles and slivers of deep.

Still beneath its winter mantle
are slow summer circuits in
deckboats drifting under a hot sun
and lazy movements of fish
tracing our laughter.

by Rudy Guernica


“Visionary” by Marie Georgette Wright (mixed media)


I was a graduate student in urban planning when Reston was first being planned and developed, so Reston became a significant part of our classroom study. Would the concept of new towns — planned self-sufficient communities that included clustered residential housing balanced with green open spaces, commercial and town centers really work? Would Reston — built amid farmland and woods — develop as Bob Simon had envisioned? Today it has become a thriving part of the larger metro area — while still maintaining its unique sense of community. A vision accomplished, Reston now even celebrates its own metro stop. Here is my mixed media interpretation of a visionary’s concept coming to fruition.

by Marie Georgette Wright


“Different Days. Always Reston.” by Tanya Ogneva (watercolor)

Different Days. Always Reston.

I and my family, we live in Reston more than twenty years and we love to be here.

Change of weather, different seasons coming, but Reston always here with its charming airy architecture.

by Tanya Ogneva


“Walking in Reston” by Karen Danenberger

Walking in Reston

Near dusk, the day is done,
Behind treetops, sets the sun.
Now the path is not so clear,
But we move forward without fear.
Our souls can soar above the sky,
For in Reston, no one will die.
What will it mean in the end,
Stepping just beyond the bend?
Do we go forward, into the night,
To reemerge in a splash of light?
Do we reunite with an old friend,
Just to do it all again?

by Karen Danenberger


“Waiting for the Peddle Boats” by Livingston Rodgers (acrylic)

Waiting for the Peddle Boats

It’s always nice to see the kayaks and the peddle boats, on Lake Anne in the summer. Some people call them paddle boats, and that is what your peddling moves under your boat. However, if you linger long enough you will see the people who waiting so long in line to finally get to pilot a peddle boat, you will notice that they don’t go out very far and tire easily, as it is really difficult to do and forward progress is hard and turning is extremely disorienting and slow. Like most novelties we are happiest anticipating an event, rather than actually doing it.

That’s why I chose to paint a line of sun kissed people waiting for their chance to have a fun ride on the water.

by Livingston Rodgers


“Playground” by Karen Hutchinson (acrylic)


One of the founding principles of Reston is ‘PLAY’.

Reston is a huge park of opportunities to play in nature with her pathways, trails, forest, lakes and ponds all carefully preserved for all to enjoy.

Art is my playground too and playing in nature invites positive and creative energy to my pieces.

by Karen Hutchinson



“Reston in Bloom” by Melanie Z Stanley (mixed media)

Reston in Bloom

Winter skies give way to spring
And resonate farewell
As nature’s palette comes to life
And holds us in her spell.
Birds rejoice in sumptuous trills
While trees reclaim their height
A thousand colors grace our world
With blossoms full of light.
The efflorescence of our world
Allows us to assume
A joyful dance of many hues
While Reston is in bloom!

by Melanie Z Stanley

These are just a few of the many excellent pieces in this exhibit! Be sure to stop by and see the rest. It will appeal to Restonians of all ages, and it’s free.

“The HeART of Reston” will be on display at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne until April 27, 2015. The gallery is open from 9am-8pm every day. Admission is free.

The League of Reston Artists has published a book of this exhibit. You can order it online for $35.47. Perhaps a Mother’s Day gift idea?

Related stories:

Imagist Exhibit: The League of Reston Artists Combine Painting and Poetry

Local Galleries Showcase Young Talent During Youth Art Month

Photo Gallery: Reston in the Snow

A Reston Aerial Photographer Whose Technology is Half of His Art