Friday, May 10, 2013
Transforming the ordinary into art.
Did you ever use your bicycle seat as a canvas for artistic expression? That's exactly what they're doing at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, where, on Saturday, May 11, a reception will be held to appreciate this eclectic collection of customized bike seats. "Standing Room Only" can be seen at the Vulcan Gallery in building W-16, and the opening reception will be held from 6-9 p.m. Enjoy the photos! Follow Lorton Patch on Facebook and Twitter.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
The fifth annual festival is July 20 at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton.
The fifth annual Clifton Film Festival will need to raise $1,500 in order to operate smoothly. Prizes for donating to its Kickstarter campaign include free tickets to the event and a chance to mingle with the filmmakers and actors. "My favorite part of the festival is to see the kids keep submitting stuff and to see it improve every year," said festival founder Dani Weinberg. "It doesn't take too much to run but any extra money allows us to do new and exciting things to improve the festival." The festival will be held July 20 at the Workhouse Arts Center and will feature dozens of short films, all of which will be shown on an inflatable outdoor movie screen. Awards are given to students and 19-year-old+ filmmakers in these categories: …
Saturday, May 4, 2013
See her work in Building W-10.
Workhouse Arts Center artist Denise Philipbar can sing, dance, paint, sculpt and solve math problems that would leave most scratching their heads. She experiments with glass water clocks, robots and hidden video cameras in her art, in addition to painting and sculpting. She also speaks five languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish and English). "If you pick up a second language you realize that there are common patterns with other languages. It's all about patterns. Paintings have abstract patterns and you learn the patterns to make the paintings interesting," said Philipbar in a recent interview with Patch. Philipbar was raised in Albuquerque, NM, to a dance teacher mother and carpenter father. She's the middle of five children and…
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
But some artists aren't happy about it.
The nonprofit Metropolitan Performing Arts Alliance dance academy is the Workhouse Arts Center's newest tenant. The remaining artists have been cleared out of building W-4 (three have left for good, one relocated to a new studio on campus), and $350,000 in renovations will begin in May. "Because of the shortfall of venues on campus, our program is lacking in performing arts activities," said John Mason, the Workhouse President and CEO, to Patch. "Well, MPAA is all about visual arts." The Good News "By leasing W-4 with essentially no risk to us, we will start FY14 with a $100,000 per-year new revenue stream," said Mason. "My aim is that our operational budget will have a positive balance." MPAA is paying for the renovations (dance studios …
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The annual contest is sponsored by Northern Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11th)
Olivia Jones, a student at South County High School, took home the top prize for her piece "Fractured" at U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly's annual Congressional Art Competition. Jones' piece will hang, along with others, in the U.S. Captiol this summer. Until then, however, you can see it and 143 other pieces at the Workhouse Arts Center until May 26. “I encourage everyone to spend some time at the Workhouse Arts Center to view these works of art and enjoy the creativity of these talented high school students,” Connolly said at the Workhouse. “The record number of entries in this year’s competition reflects the high level of interest in the fine arts among Northern Virginia students and the dedication of our arts teachers and patrons to …
Friday, April 12, 2013
The Workhouse is promoting its event rental program
Can't decide on where to get married or how to properly appreciate a retiring employee? The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton recently hired event coordinator Aida Spalding to tackle the task of increasing business by promoting and managing facility rentals. "I love the people who are here and the environment. It's very unique and exciting," said Spalding, who owns Aida's Events in Lorton. "If you're looking for something different than a hotel ballroom come here… My goal is to bring in business here in the form of events, weddings, corporate events, picnics, birthday parties and employee appreciation parties." The Workhouse needs the business, and currently rents out the Vulcan Gallery, the McGuire-Woods gallery, a 100-person theatre, …
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
She's focused on positivity and finding a sense of peace.
Workhouse Arts Center artist Marni Maree has no choice but to draw and paint, and she'll tell you she can depict anything, just name it. At the moment she's doing a watercolor piece of a crowd surrounding a balloon vendor at a park, and it will grace the cover of next year's official Fairfax County Visitors Guide. "I just find what I want to paint and it's usually something pretty, something happy," said Maree to Patch. "You won't see any dark paintings. I won't go there." But while her art is grounded in happiness (paintings of beautiful flowers and children), Maree puts herself into dark situations. She's taken over 20 trips to Haiti over the past eight years as an art teacher and volunteer at the Village of Hope School and clinic. …
Friday, April 5, 2013
What will it take to make the Workhouse a success? Tell us in the comments.
The business plan at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton is deeply flawed, according to its President and CEO John Mason. "Clearly we remain challenged by our financial model, which I've said time and again doesn't work," said Mason to Patch. "We are in the process with the bank and the county of addressing the business model question." Are you following us on Facebook and Twitter? You should. Hopes of a restaurant and other amenities on campus are dashed because of the Workhouse's nonprofit status, and renovation can be costly and time consuming given the paperwork and approvals required to develop on the historic former home of the Lorton Prison. The Lorton Arts Foundation, the nonprofit that operates the Workhouse, is asking the …
Fun happenings in and around Northern Virginia Friday, April 5-Sunday April 7.
It's finally the weekend, and the weather in Northern Virginia is finally looking up. Time to have a little fun! We've rounded up some area weekend events — be sure to get out there and play! Dinner and a Movie at the Workhouse Arts Center - "Rear Window" Hula Hoop at Lee District RECenter, Kingstowne: The American Backstage Company Grand Opening: Mount Vernon RECenter's Public Skate: FHLL Opening Day: The Rick Sickmen Band (RSB): Tasting Party: Umami Means 'Delicious' Heroes v. Villains 4th Annual Run for Justice 5k Benefitting the Fairfax Law Foundation Don't forget, you can always get in a last minute visit to the Cherry Blossom Festival. Click here for Patch Cherry Blossom Festival Guide.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Think before you throw that log of wood on the fire! It could be your new breakfast bowl.
Workhouse Arts Center artist Patrick O'Brien is happiest when the classic rock is blasting, the lathe spins and sawdust flies. And why not? It's a welcome relief for O'Brien after a lifetime directing library systems across the country, including the Chicago Central Library and the Alexandria City Public Library system. "I tell people to not start wood turning unless they want to get addicted," O'Brien recently told Patch. "One of the best feelings for me is that I can come in here on almost any day without a specific project in mind, pick up a piece of wood and leave here three-to-four hours later with a finished piece." Things are certainly different for O'Brien now that he's retired. A native of Newport, RI, he received his degree in …