When the Weather Outside is Frightful…

When the Weather Outside is Frightful…

…Check out Lorton Workhouse Arts for winter fun.

Students fire their glass-blown art in the new hot shop at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center.

Students fire their glass-blown art in the new hot shop at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center. Photo courtesy of Workhouse Arts Center

— After the hoopla of the holiday season, your instinct may be to hibernate until spring.

But Lorton Workhouse Arts has a variety of programs, events and classes to chase away the winter blues.

"The Workhouse is offering lots of new, fun and exciting activities for people of all ages this winter," said Scott Fridy, Director of Performing Arts. "The Workhouse is the place to visit when looking for a memorable and creative outing to escape the cold weather."

Events and workshops include everything from an art lottery at the Collector’s Showcase, to ballroom dancing and film screenings as well as the new glass blowing hot shop and other working studios.

For children, the Workhouse offers a wide range of winter visual and performing arts classes, including Adventures in Art; Painting Made Easy; Vocal Lessons; Drama Tots; Portfolio Prep for High School Students; Dramagination!

This winter, the Workhouse is also accepting registration for its summer visual and performing arts camps.

The Workhouse also offers guided tours for groups on a year-round basis – arts groups, garden clubs, singles clubs, schools or any group of 10 or more. Tour groups can enjoy lunch in the Gallery W-16 café and spend the day exploring the artist studios and the special exhibitions. Group tours are free.

The popular "2nd Saturday Art Walk," a free, campus-wide event, is another opportunity to view the art of more than 100 artists. It takes place monthly, and visitors can meet featured artists, experience ever-changing exhibitions and enjoy light refreshments and music. Upcoming dates are Feb. 11 and March 10 from 6 to 9 p.m.

For more information on any of these events – including show times, registration and ticket information - visit www.WorkhouseArts.org or call 703-584-2900.

Below is a summary of upcoming events:

Workhouse Theatre Presents ART

The inaugural season of Workhouse Theatre debuts with ART, a play that raises questions about art and friendship among three long-time friends, Serge, Marc and Ivan. Serge buys a large, expensive and completely white painting. Marc is horrified, and their relationship suffers as they debate the nature of art, beauty and friendship.

It’s no mistake that ART was chosen as the inaugural show for Workhouse Theatre.

"ART always seemed to be absolutely the right choice to produce for our inaugural season of performances at the Workhouse," said director Joseph Wallen. "Not only does the subject matter give a nod to our origins as a visual arts center, but it also opens the discussion about the nature of art, beauty and worth."

Wallen said the play presents the perfect opportunity to highlight the diverse offering of arts that lies within the Workhouse community. "Workhouse studio artist and seasoned professional scenic designer, Joe St. Germaine even offered technical guidance on the production," Wallen said.

The production will be performed in the Workhouse Arts Center’s newly renovated building W-3, one of only three professional theater companies in Northern Virginia, through February 26. Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 8 p.m.; Sunday matinee performances take place at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors, students and military. For more information, call 703-495-0001.

Visit Glass-blowing Hot Shop

The only glass-blowing hot shop in the metro area is open to visitors during normal Workhouse hours. Starting in January, the Workhouse Institute offers an Introduction to Glassblowing class taught by the Glass Program Director, Rick Sherbet. The class is designed for the novice student, who will learn the basics of working with molten glass using traditional glassblowing tools and techniques.

Collector's Showcase

On Saturday, Feb. 25, guests can attend an evening filled with fine art, hors d'oeuvres and music. Featuring original artwork by Workhouse artists, the event will include a lottery for the works. The artwork presented in the Collector's Showcase is donated by the artists to support the Workhouse and will be on display in the Workhouse Gallery from Feb. 9-25. Seats and the number of works of art for this event are limited and range from $85 - $300.


Hula classes are just one of the popular dance classes offered at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center.

Ballroom Social Dance – It Takes Two to Tango

So you think you can dance? Ballroom Social Dance – featuring Tango, Fox Trot and other ballroom dances - takes place every third Saturday of the month in the Workhouse Gallery and is led by instructor Bobbi Brennan. There are ballroom mini-lessons as well as general ballroom open dance sessions. Guests will enjoy complimentary refreshments, and a cash bar is available in the Workhouse Gallery. Dress code is casual. All skill levels are welcome.

Date Night? Head to the Chef’s Table

Chef’s Table features an evening of romance, cooking and fun. It takes place every third Saturday of each month from 8 to 10 p.m. in the Vulcan Gallery. Each month a new dish is featured. Guests can also make it a night of dinner and dancing. Guests who arrive early at 7:30 p.m. can take a 30-minute ballroom dancing lesson at an additional cost of $5, and go to the ballroom upstairs and dance for free until 10:30pm.

About The Workhouse Arts Center:

A program of the Lorton Arts Foundation, The Workhouse Arts Center aims to enrich the lives of all within its reach by creating a vibrant cultural community that fosters a diverse offering of arts, education, social, and entertainment experiences. Set on 55 acres of land in the former D.C. Workhouse and Reformatory, the Workhouse provides a home for more than 100 of the region’s finest professional and emerging artists, classes and arts education programs for people of all ages and artistic abilities, cooperative studios, performance and theatre venues, dedicated gallery and exhibition space, and event facilities. For more information, visit www.WorkhouseArts.org.