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Art Finds a New Home

The Vienna Arts Society opens new center.

For years, whenever the Vienna Arts Society wanted to host workshops, members would crowd into a somebody's living room. Now with the rental of the old Mennonite church on Pleasant Street Northwest, the group can conduct workshops and classes whenever it wants.

"What we're doing is enriching our community through the arts, and we've never had a base to do that," said Cathy Stryker of Vienna, a member who works in mixed media. "I hope that we'll be able to offer a lot more and keep ourselves more organized."

Since Feb. 29, the Vienna Arts Society, a 200-member group of area visual artists, has been using its new space on Pleasant Street. With the rental of the historic 1915 building, the Vienna Art Society hopes to establish a greater presence in the community.

"We would like to be the people in Vienna that if you have an art problem or an art task, we would have someone who will fill that need," said Maureen Kammerer of Vienna, a sculptor and painter.

BY HAVING the space, members of the Art Center will have regular rotating exhibits showcasing both individual artists and groups of artists. They also plan to organize art classes for both children and adults.

Currently on exhibit at the Art Center is artwork by members who have given more than 20 hours of service during the past year. Art classes for children and adults will begin on March 18.

The Vienna Arts Society will continue to use the Vienna Community Center for major shows, as well as the space they share near the office of the Vienna-Tysons Chamber of Commerce.

"It's the first time we've had our own space," Kammerer said.

The group, in existence for 35 years, had been looking for space for the last 10 years.

"It's good lighting, a pretty good space, good parking, we'll take it," said member Kay Flanagan on the group's rental of the building.

Stryker added that businesses and organizations can rent the gallery space for meetings or retreats.

"We'd just like to be the community resource, really, for art interests. And I think we're getting there. It's very exciting," Stryker said.