News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hey Culture Vultures! Guess the Name of This Reston Sculpture

See if you can guess the name of this sculpture, which graced Reston Town Square Park in the Fake Downtown as part of the first collaborative project between IPAR, the Reston public arts initiative, and GRACE.

a) Green Terraced Thingy
b) One Confusing Container Store Window Display
b) Mannequin 3: Really Not on the Move At All
c) Monument to the Sun and Stars
d) Epic Statement of Ironic Futility, as a Ladder Is Required to Access a Ladder-Shaped Structure

If you guessed c), then congratulations. You are among the chosen few who are fit to consume Reston's public art.


  1. Jenga for Jiants

    or maybe

    Mandeep's Future Funeral Pyre

  2. A cleverly disguised BP oil derrick?

  3. I am pleased to see these sculptures replace the awful paintings that graced the space previously.

  4. Bob Simon's Metallic Alter-EgoJune 15, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    How about

    Stairway to Unrewarding Retail Careers

  5. Yay! A preview for what Ipar plans to put in our natural areas. Thanks, IPAR! I need people with real art backgrounds to tell me what "real" art is these days, 'cause obviously I would have no idea otherwise. My first instinct was that this sculpture was complete drek, but I realize now that I am just one of the unwashed masses that needs to be re-educated as to the true nature of "art." I'm so lucky to have Ipar to tell me these things, and I'm so happy to be paying for it out of my RA assessment! Yipee!

    Hey, and this stuff will also give the local gangs something more interesting to tag. Bonus!

  6. The RA Board-approved agreement states IPAR will decide how much RA has to pay to support IPAR's art bureaucracy. An open-ended contract. How much will the homeowners be in for?

  7. Eddie from North PointJune 15, 2010 at 10:49 PM

    Why all the negativity? Have any of you actually visted the Reston Town Center amphitheatre where these scultures are located?

    They are very tastefully done, visually striking, and a welcome addition to our downtown area.

    After 20 years by the way, I think you can stop calling it a fake's very real to most who visit there, and has probably been around longer than most who post here.

  8. So if I've lived here since before the Fake Downtown existed, am I grandfathered in and can refer to it as such? Or maybe we can start calling it "Midtown's Vibrant Retail District"?

  9. You're right, Eddie. Anything that has existed for more than 20 years can hardly be called a "fake downtown". Frankly, I prefer "Abomination on the W&OD" or AWOD for short.

  10. I give. Can someone please explain to me how this monument relates to the sun and the stars? I can't think of any constellations that resemble this and when I stare at the sun for too long, all I see are dots.

  11. Convict

    it's an altar for sacrifice to the sun god.

    We could sneak in and use it to roast a goat.

    Performance art.

  12. Is the actual sculpture inside all this green stuff? This just looks like scaffolding to me.

  13. I hate art, especially IPAR art. It's the worst kind of drek, originating ideas from the community and all. Like there is anybody in Reston who likes art at the Greater Reston Arts Center or the Reston Art Gallery and Studio or any local residents or school children that have had their art hang in the Jo Ann Rose Gallery. What I especially hate is the possibility that at some point in the next 20 or so years that terrible IPAR art just might, if that is what the community wants, spoil our natural areas with the natural paths and natural benches and natural trash cans and natural bridges and the natural run off scouring out the natural streams. I hate that more people moved to Reston and that anything changed after I moved here. And don't get me started on the fake downtown. Like anyone actually goes there and eats at the dozen or so restaurants or works there at the dozens of national and international companies or actually enjoys themselves there at the concerts in the Pavilion or at one of the many festivals. I mean, really, there was only like 25,000 people at the Northern Virgina Fine Arts Festival at the fake downtown in May because I know how everyone hates art and can't understand it and are so narrow minded and intelectually lazy that they won't even try to learn or think about anything new. I hate the ice skating rink in the winter. How can people in Reston enjoy themselves ice skating on unnatural ice near where there might be sculptures and art. It is just so much fake joy. People in Reston aren't supposed to enjoy themselves, ever. If I didn't love hating so much, I just might move to the perfect place where nothing changes ever and there is no art and the place has no soul and everyone thinks exactly like I do and we all hate each other and have anonymous snark fests on filthy blogs, but we don't enjoy doing it because we all love to complain and whine a lot. The end.

  14. anon 12;15- Sorry, but giant tinker-toys are not "art." Art is about beauty, or truth, or meaning, or all three. Not just creating something Large with Colors!

    And the fact that Restonites are expected to contribute money to Giant Tinker Toys when lots of people are losing their homes, plenty of people can't afford to feed their families, and even the public libraries are being forced to greatly cut back on services(again), is offensive as well as absurd.

  15. anon@12:15 = BiCO

  16. Speaking of culture vultures, my preferred title would be -

    Sky Burial, With Vultures

    The vultures are implied by the very integrity of the structure, referencing the archetypal scaffold-like pyres found at Catal Hayuk. It's high concept.

    Agree with anon @7:11, even despite being raised by culture vultures to speak vulturese. Long exposure to modern art has made me yearn for beauty, truth and meaning in art, like a starving person.

  17. Anon 7:50:

    What IPAR has in store for us is interior decorating for the outdoors. It is not art.

  18. I think a Gulag is missing its watchtower.

  19. I don't think anon @12:15 is BiCo. I detect subtle layers of sarcasm in his/her exposition that lead me to believe that he/she is actually fan of public art, Reston Town Center, and our community. Who'dve thunk it?

  20. Is Anon 7:11 advocating that RA dues be spent on helping the homeless, helping pay for people to stay in their homes who are in over their heads, and help pay for all of Fairfax County libraries to stay open longer? I'm sure there will be a lot of support for those types of expenditures from RA in the community. Or maybe not.
    Anon 7:50 thinks a starving person is art? (OK, I get that you are starving for something other than modern art, I'm just trying to fit in by being snarky.......)

  21. Does anybody think that the unfinished drywall has more artistic merit than the stack of green firewood?

  22. RA dues ARE spent on helping the homeless -- during the move between their old HQ and their new posh headquarters, RA will be momentarily homeless...

    My standard for "A"rt is that if it's something I cannot recreate or couldn't have done from the beginning, it must be art (because I'm seriously creativity-impaired). By those standards, this is not "A"rt.

    And by the way, why would the sun and stars need monuments? Monuments are for events or people -- the sun and stars will outlast us all.

  23. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonJune 17, 2010 at 6:13 PM

    For anyone interested, you can see the Reston Public Art master plan in .pdf format at:

    Here's the relevant part from that report about IPAR funding, on page 14 of the document:

    Funding for IPAR Operations

    Partner Organizations will together support the operations of IPAR. The amount of contribution expected from each organization will be determined by IPAR’s board and apportioned in a way that will be equitable for each Organization.

  24. Hoody-hoo! If they're passing out blank checks to artists, I'll be happy to press my paint covered butt on a canvas and then hang it on a wall as many times as they like and in as many different colors as they like. (The Butt Print, that is.)

  25. In the beginning we were sold the public art master pla as something the developers would be putting in with new buidings and they would be paying for it. Now we see that the homeowners will be paying for it with our assessments. A committee chosen by IPAR will choose the art works and those art works will be placed on the common lands--our private property, at our expensive.

    The DRB has to approve each project. We know what they think about paint colors, siding and fixtures. We don't know anything about their taste in art.


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