Public Art Reston’s Virtual ‘Explorer’ Packets Bring Public Art Home

Phoebe Avery Art & Culture

Looking for creative ideas and activities to spark your imagination? Look no further than Public Art Reston’s Public Art Explorer program. Initiated in April 2020 in response to the pandemic, Public Art Explorer virtually connects audiences with culturally enriching activities while staying home or safely “exploring” Reston’s outdoor public art installations. 

There are five free, virtual, and downloadable packets jam-packed with fun facts, thought-provoking questions, and creative activities designed for all ages. This program encourages intergenerational conversations about art and facilitates artistic endeavors either at home or while socially distancing on-site. 

Reston is home to a growing collection of diverse and easily accessible public sculptures, murals, mosaics, fountains, and more. Public Art Reston recognizes now more than ever the positive role public art plays in communal, open spaces by fostering a sense of place and personal reflection. 

Each Public Art Explorer packet focuses on an individual artist and together highlights the variety of public artworks found throughout the Reston community. Explorer participants will learn about local installations including soaring metal sculptures by Mary Ann Mears; vibrant mosaic artworks by Valerie Theberge; playful steel creatures by John Parker; mural and bike racks designed by Restonian Dana Ann Scheurer; and the first public-play sculptures in Reston created by Gonzalo Fonseca in the 1960s. These packets highlight a theme related to the artist and include links to short videos as well as other online resources for further exploration. 

In addition, Public Art Reston is excited to announce that new Explorer packets will be released on our website in the coming months. One of which will focus on South Lakes High School STEAM Team’s annual public art installation at Reston’s Lake Thoreau, which is currently in development. 

Public Art Explorer packets are perfect for families, scout troops, homeschoolers, public and private school groups, religious organizations, daycare centers, or anyone looking for an imaginative activity.


Pictured at top: Inspired by Dana Scheur’s whimsical public art projects in Reston, a young girl has drawn a map of her favorite landmarks.

About Public Art Reston

Public Art Reston was founded in 2007 by Reston civic and community organizations and leaders. It is a 501©(3) non-profit organization that imagines public art throughout Reston that engages and inspires the community as well as the mind and the senses. For more information visit http://www.publicartreston.org.