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!