Reston, Virginia remains the premiere planned community in the United States. IPAR has truly enhanced and strengthened the visual aesthetics of the Reston community and has provided substantial support for local artisans. I will be eternally proud of being selected to create the Reston Mural located in the Reston Town Center partially supported by IPAR that adds to its visual and historical uniqueness. I believe Robert Simon is delighted by of all of this. Well done IPAR!
IPAR is a small non-profit in Reston, VA with a huge impact on the quality of life in the region. The organization is instrumental in sponsoring, installing and promoting public art in many different mediums in public and private spots. In addition, they partner with many other organizations in Reston to advocate for public art. My favorite pieces have been those created by high school students and prominently displayed for the general public to enjoy creating a great sense of place and community. Here's a shout out to their community impact on a shoe string budget!
IPAR and Anne Delaney have done a wonderful job to bring art to Reston. When I look around Reston and see all the wonderful pieces - I have a great sense of pride in IPAR's good works. Art is about shared experiences and shared experience bring people together. IPAR and Anne have done an outstanding job in helping Reston shape truly a unique community.
Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association
IPAR has been a fantastic partner for Reston Community Center (RCC) since its inception. RCC is proud to have collaborated with this organization to bring the vibrant legacy of public art in our community to the public and to build on that legacy for new generations. Our co-commissions have been successful in large part thanks to the leadership role IPAR plays in its stewardship of Reston's Public Art Master Plan. That Plan - guiding the community in creating new public art - is the first of its kind for an unincorporated community and represents one of IPAR's signal achievements. We are thrilled to be associated with IPAR, its Executive Director Anne Delaney and the exemplary Board of Directors who represent Reston's civic and artistic institutions and bring vision and leadership to this important work.
Public art is good for every community. It is free and accessible to people all ages, economic status, and physical abilities. IPAR’s public art projects and programs encourage interaction; reduce ethnic, racial and cultural barriers; and nurture a sense of belonging.
How does IPAR work? IPAR builds broad community support through collaboration. IPAR’s partner organizations share a commitment to urban design principles and communal values established by Reston’s visionary founder, Robert E. Simon, more than 50 years ago.
These principles and values are embraced by Reston residents and affirmed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors: “Public art has been a component of the effort to achieve quality urban design in Reston since the community’s inception and is a distinguishing feature that contributes to the overall character of Reston. In order to continue to realize the goal of making Reston a vibrant place to live, work and play, public art should be encouraged in future development of Reston.” [Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan Amendment No. 2013-05]
What a positive addition to the community this organization has been. Whether building on Reston's history of public art or planning projects for Reston's future public spaces, the Initiative for Public Art - Reston has contributed to the visual landscaping. Wondrously, it is evolving into a fascinating horizon of shapes, colors, textures and imagination-tickling works. Even local government buildings are enhanced by wonderful sculpture, which was selected and executed with IPAR's involvement. Finally, IPAR is unique, in the United States, with its 2008 Public Art Master Plan for the unincorporated Reston community.
I am writing this review because IPAR has successfully developed a World Class Public Art program. The initiative is evolving as a model for the future of how and why public art should be an integral aspect of social structure, a real-time record of a community’s cultural legacy that enhances the quality of life.
The How and Why
I am a South Lakes HS photo/art/design teacher who was provided an opportunity to host an after school art club which since 3 years ago is now a public art club. Thanks to IPAR (Anne Delaney) and a community patron James Pan. The public art project was a challenge brought before SLHS students based upon a community concern. The idea was to give students a professional and prestigious learning experience that consisted of all the trials and tribulations a professional would encounter if given a public art commission. The current art club is appropriately named by the students as- STEAM Team, STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Students are learning how to synthesize these disciplines to develop what is to be the 3rd large scale kinetic sculpture for the highly visible location on Lake Thoreau Reston Va.
This is only one of IPAR’s amazing initiatives that we are hoping to grow as an ongoing educational component in multiple schools.
Developing the creative and professional quality of life during formative years of education.
I am an IPAR board member. I am also a resident of Reston and grew up there. IPAR is an incredibly well managed organization that is doing a remarkable job of continuing and reimagining the role of public art in our community. The sprit of our community grows with each new public art project that IPAR implements. From engaging our school students in art projects to bringing world renowned artists to our community, IPAR captivates Restonian's imaginations, brings us together as a community and inspires us to pursue artistic endeavors in our own lives. I have watched my 3 year old daughter experience such joy as she plays in or views IPAR projects. I'm so glad to know she has had these special experiences and that so many other Restonains have had them as well.
IPAR-Reston, headed by the ever-energetic and open-minded Anne Delaney, is a model organization for increasing the quality, quantity and visibility of art in it's neighborhood. As an artist who has participated in all four Chalkfests hosted so far, enjoyed the wonderful installation by Patrick Dougherty, and the more temporary art works done by children from Reston, I can only hope that other towns, counties and regions become motivated about public art in the same way; such a great way to improve everyone's lives, by beautifying, educating and inspiring. Thank you for enriching us all!
I first volunteered for IPAR after meeting the director, Anne Delaney. (It was when Patrick Dougherty was installing his sculpture, Bird in the Hand, on Reston Town Square.) I learned that her soft-spoken style masked her big ambitions for the level of art projects and their relationship / impact on the Reston community. I knew that I wanted to volunteer for an organization that was led by her. Leadership makes such a huge difference in a nonprofit. She is top drawer!
I interned here in the summer of 2015. I expected menial tasks of, perhaps, entering data or repetitive physical labor, but was met with wonderful opportunities. I got to repair an installation near the gallery with the assistant of the artist as well as participate in the creation of a new public art piece on the spillway of a local lake. Furthermore, I learned about the history of the town of Reston through transcriptions of interviews and the makings of presentations on the public art of the town. I now pride myself on my ability to identify any public art piece I see by name, title, and sometimes, year. In addition to this, attending meetings meant for planning events in the area brought me new zeal for participation in local festivals. The most menial task I did throughout the internship was probably gluing some faulty boxes back together, and that was for less than an hour. Otherwise, when I see a chalk festival or some kids running around the installations near Reston Town Center, I feel I have made some sort of positive change in my community. This is what I think every internship should be like. I look forward to any and all public art works to come in Reston, and I hope to create some of my own someday, thanks to this organization!
I recently discovered IPAR and the work they are doing to both promote public art and commission new outdoor artworks in Reston. Moving from Chevy Chase to Reston four years ago I was worried I would miss the greater proximity to art offerings in downtown DC; and be lost in a cultural waistland. Organizations like IPAR and The Greater Reston Art Center have proven to me that the arts are alive and thriving in the suburbs. Now as I become more involved with IPAR as a volunteer I have received a fascinating education in the history of public art in Reston and its importance to the founding principles of the town. I have even had the chance to put my art historical training into practice by doing some research for IPAR on the first works commissioned for Lake Anne Village Center and preparing a public tour of these landmark works. I also had an opportunity to volunteer on the Patrick Dougherty installation this past spring. This was a true community effort requiring hands-on assistance to the artist and IPAR made it happen through a willing band of volunteers. I was so impressed with the capacity of IPAR to garner the support from both local organizations and the NEA to commission this important work from a major artist. IPAR is active in the community offering myriad programs to educate and enliven the discussion on public art from film screenings to art installations to collaborations with local public schools. I look forward to becoming more involved with IPAR in the years to come and to support their visionary Executive Director, Anne Delaney.
I have been working as an artist with public art programs since 1975. The programs have included state, local, institutional and in some cases specific state and local government agencies such as education and transportation departments. IPAR is entirely professional, incredibly effective in enabling the highest quality art to be created, and exceeds all others in the quality of its public engagement.
From the selection process at the beginning and throughout the entire process of the commission, I was very impressed with the way that the executive director of IPAR facilitated the public private partnership that was formed in support of my specific project. I believe that the guidance and support of IPAR throughout enabled me to create one of the most successful works of public art of my career and the most enthusiastically welcomed of all.
In addition to logistical support, IPAR was amazing in connecting me to the Reston community at all stages. I was truly inspired through the understanding that I gained of Reston's history and culture and the sculpture reflects that inspiration. My relationship with the Reston community has continued in quite wonderful ways. I had a great conversation with students from South Lake High School in the midst of their process of creating their sculpture "Nothing Twice" recently unveiled at the Lake Thoreau Spillway. Also, IPAR facilitated my participation when the Reston Community Center commissioned two dance companies to choreograph and perform dances inspired by my sculpture, "Reston Rondo" as part of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. I conceived of the sculpture to be interactive; the dancers' performances were magical and embodied a wonderful intersection of the arts as forms of human expression.
Beyond my association as an artist with IPAR, I have some depth of experience with arts non-profits as a former member of the Maryland State Arts Council, a trustee of Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA), the founder and a trustee of Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance and Co-Chair of the Governor's Task Force on Arts Education in Maryland Schools which engaged many non-profit arts institutions in its work. Based on this experience as well, I strongly recommend IPAR as an exemplary non-profit organization.
With the stream of engaging and interactive public art works and information that IPAR brings to our community, all of us, of every age are all the more fortunate. Our lives are enriched with the awareness of art and creativity in our midst. As IPAR has a seemingly never-ending supply of new initiatives, we are excited to know 'what's next' as we enjoy what's here! We're very proud of our unique community, and it's gratifying to hear locals and visitors express their delight when they see our public art, and learn. And, we have all the more reason to invite visitors to enjoy and explore - the quality of the works adds to this area's appeal as a destination in the Washington DC region.
I grew up in Reston and I didn't realize just how much public art there was everywhere! As I learn about it through events like IPAR's grand opening of "A Bird in the Hand," I am impressed more and more about how much there is and how much it takes to keep it all going. This public art is so much of what makes Reston, Reston and is so essential to us as a community. Organizations like IPAR make this important work possible!