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Generation Next Event Held At GRACE

Reston founder Robert "Bob" Simon poses for a photo with Reston artist Dana Scheurer. In the image is a black silhouette of Simon.

Reston founder Robert "Bob" Simon poses for a photo with Reston artist Dana Scheurer. In the image is a black silhouette of Simon. Ryan Dunn

On Oct. 30, Greater Reston Art Center [GRACE] held a happy hour event to inspire and involve the next generation of GRACE members and community patrons. Free food and Happy Hour-priced beer and wine were provided by Il Fornaio and sponsored by Beloved Yoga.

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GRACE's Curator of Exhibitions, Hollis Koons McCullough.

"Artists are archivists of the community," said Maryam Ovissi. Vice Chair member of the GRACE Board of Directors, Ovissi is co-owner of Beloved Yoga. After Executive Director Damian Sinclair greeted everyone, he introduced Curator of Exhibitions, Hollis Koons McCullough. McCullough gave a guided tour of some of the highlights of the exhibit, 40 for 40: Celebrating Four Decades of GRACE. "It is really critical that we attract young audiences and let them know we have something to offer," said McCullough.

"We are trying to kick start something new with our organization," said Robert Goudie, chairman of the GRACE Board of Directors. "We think that in the long term, GRACE can be a leader in the art community in the northern Virginia, DC metro area." With the incoming Metro Silver Line, planning experts envision a Reston Town Center that will become a dynamic, regional destination. The challenge is to grow and be a vibrant part of the new Town Center that is coming.

Artists and art lovers founded GRACE in 1974, as a source of cultural enrichment for the new town of Reston. From its beginnings in the Lake Anne Village Center to its current home in Reston Town Center, GRACE continues its role as a leader in the expanding regional arts community. GRACE provides northern Virginia’s community with opportunities to experience and explore the visual arts through exhibitions, educational programming, the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, and special events.

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Members of the Reston Young Professionals Meet-up Group came out to attend the Oct. 30 reception at GRACE.

Attending the event was the Reston Young Professionals Meetup Group. Organized by Nicholas Hartigan and his wife Amanda, The Reston Young Professionals are a group of professionals between the ages of 21-40 that work to give back to the Reston community through social and volunteer activities. Many of their volunteer opportunities are related to the current priorities and needs of Reston Interfaith, Reston Association, Reston Challenge and other local groups. "Holly has some great ideas on how we can be involved, but awareness is a major step… being able to experience local art is very exciting," Hartigan said.

"40 for 40," which closed on Nov. 2, showcased GRACE’s history and growth through the works of 40 artists who have exhibited at the gallery over its past four decades. The next exhibit will be the Fall Solo Exhibitions of artists Jungmin Park and Ajay Leister. This exhibit opens from Nov. 18 through Jan. 3, 2014. The gallery at GRACE will display numerous works by artists ranging from sculptural installations to large multi-dimensional paintings. There will be an opening reception for this exhibition on Nov. 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. free and open to the public.

To learn more about GRACE events, visit http://www.restonarts.org.