A nonprofit community arts center, VisArts fills its studios with amateur artists learning techniques of creative expression, and acts as an exhibition opportunity for seasoned creators. Classes span a wide artistic spectrum, including concentrations such as ceramics and glass, many of which can be specifically tailored for the educational needs of children or resurrected Renaissance men in need of a new hobby. VisArts also enriches the community with a trifecta of galleries—the Kaplan, Gibbs Street, and Common Ground—and a thriving resident-artist program.
With an interest in fine art and a dream of owning his own business, Rick Turner felt like he didn’t quite belong at his job with the federal government. So, in 1973, Rick left his office gig behind and took a risk by opening his own shop. Settling into a quaint historic building, Rick enlisted his sister Lorraine to work in the shop. When the two started feeding large frame mouldings through a back window, they realized they needed a bigger space.
Today, at Turner Framing locations in Sterling and Seneca Square, the certified picture framers preserve children's artwork, needlepoint pieces, photographs, diplomas, and hole-in-one golf balls with museum-quality materials similar to those used in protecting King Tut's vacation photos.
The Heritage Farm Museum edifies and entertains visitors with its exhibits and collections on agrarian life in Loudoun County. Families of two adults plus children, grandchildren, and all imaginary friends under 18 receive free admission for one year plus eight free guest passes, allowing them to explore the many hands-on displays with as many hands as they can round up. Play customer or storekeeper in the authentic collections of the Waxpool General Store exhibit, or pay a visit to the children's farm exhibit where youngsters can milk a lifelike cow, collect eggs from virtual chickens, and tool around on miniature farm vehicles.
At Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), art aficionados mingle in a community that fosters a love of visual arts with hands-on education, exhibitions, and special events. A yearlong family membership grants parents access to contemporary-art exhibitions with artist receptions, workshops, special events, and a 10% discount on a kids' single summer art class (20% when registering for multiple classes). Children smear glue, sprinkle glitter, and splatter paint from three brimming art buckets without tattooing your living-room sofa during Explore More, a self-guided exploration of the current exhibition with related art-making activities. Unleash your child's inner Picasso with priority admission to GRACE's summer art programs, which immerse children in puppetry, comic books, and self-portraits ideal for proudly mounting on refrigerators or above castle mantels.