Posts Tagged ‘Leesburg’


Amy Manson Puts the Fun in Functional Pottery

December 15, 2010

by Kimberly McCann-Pierce

“It found me,” says Amy Manson when asked how she settled upon pottery as her artistic medium. Talking over wine during an ice storm Amy agreed to take a pottery class with a friend. “It was pretty instantaneous,” she says, describing her kinship with pottery.

Amy draws her inspiration from nature. “I really like things that are found in nature. Clays and colors that are earth tone.” When she started, Amy strove for geometric perfection, the perfect clay pot or piece with contours and lines without flaw. As her artistic voice grew, she began to experiment in what she describes as “the fun and funky hand building” side of pottery.

Her Leesburg, Virginia studio is spotted with both the specificity of wheelwork and the hand fashioned clay shapes of funk. Amy describes hand building as “more instant”, giving the creator something useable right away. The flexibility of hand building permits patterning or free flowing creativity. While traditional wheelwork is strong in identifiable shape and contour, giving an easily recognized piece an immediate sense of place, hand patterning is different.

Amy’s hand patterned clay art ranges from twists, bends, speckles, and colorful dollops to delicately filigreed images inspired by birds, trees, Earth. Display shelves in her home studio boast trays with funky splash, artfully jagged lines, and trendy backgrounds. Next to the hand-patterned creations, geometrically perfect drinking cups line the shelves, popular pieces Amy designs for weddings and gift giving.

She sees herself moving more in the direction of creating the perfect imperfect piece, blending different artistic modalities to create something both fun and functional. I spot some pieces haphazardly placed on a bottom shelf and ask about them. “Oh, those are just my seconds,” she smiles. In looking around her studio, I find nothing but first rate artistic expression.

In addition to transforming clay, Amy also teaches several pottery courses throughout Loudoun County. Currently her work can viewed and purchased at the Gateway Gallery at: For more about Amy and her artistic journey visit the Gateway Gallery home page biography at:

Her teaching venues include:

The Round Hill Art Center, Round Hill, VA 2010
Children’s Ceramic Instructor
Handbuilding Instructor

The Old Furniture Factory, Round Hill, VA 2010
Adjunct Advanced Wheel Instructor
Beginning Wheel Instructor

ArtSquare, Leesburg, VA 2010
Children’s Ceramic/Art Instructor
“Get Me Started With Clay” Instructor

You can also follow Amy’s pottery adventures on her blog at


Come Help Choose Loudoun's Most Talented Youth!

May 25, 2010

Join us at 2 pm on
Sunday, May 30th

 Now’s your chance! 

The Top 10 Finalists from the Loudoun’s Got Talent auditions will be performing and competing for $1750 in scholarships…and your vote counts!

The audience and a panel of judges, led by Loudoun Symphony Maestro Mark Allen McCoy, will vote to pick the top three performers, so come out and cast your ballot, and hear some of the finest young musicians in the county.

+ A Special Performance by Maddy Curtis!!!

Tickets: Advance/Door: Adult $10/$12, Senior (65+) $8/$10, Youth 18 and under FREE.

Order Advance Tickets online at 
or call 703-771-8287.

Franklin Park Arts Center
36441 Blueridge View Lane
Purcellville, VA 20132

Partner: Loudoun Arts Council

Sponsors:  Wegmans. Sandy Spring Bank, Loudoun Youth, Inc., RainedOut, and Loudoun Times Mirror.

Some serious talent here folks! See for yourself!


Loudoun County Summer Concerts – UPDATED

May 19, 2010

Didja all know that there are outdoor concerts every week this summer right here in Loudoun?  For all you staycationers this year, maybe you can incorporate a few concerts into your fun schedules. Prices range from FREE to about $17.00.

Loudoun Summer Music Fest
When: Saturdays & Sundays.
Where: Belmont Country Club, 19961 Belmont Manor Lane, Ashburn, VA 20147.
Cost: Tickets range from $17 – $12.50 General Admission.
Contact: or 877-743-5320

Saturday, May 22: Cheap Trick
Sunday, May 23: Dark Star Orchestra
Sunday, June 6: Creedence Clearwater Revisited
Saturday, June 12: The Machine & Zoso
Sunday, June 27: Blues Traveler
Sunday, July 11: Travis Tritt
Sunday, July 25: Charlie Daniels Band
Saturday, August 21: The Original Wailers

Acoustic on the Green Concert Series
When: Saturday, 7-9PM, June thru August
Where: Town Green (25 West Market Street), Leesburg
Cost: Concerts are FREE. 
*Lawn chairs and picnic blankets are advised. No smoking or alcoholic beverages allowed, and no pets, please. Picnics are encouraged.

June 12: Todd Wright
June 19: Chelsea Lee, with TrustFall opening
June 26: Naked Blue
July 10: Prescott Engle
July 17: Luke Brindley
July 24: Michael Sheppard
July 31: Robbie Limon
August 7: Gary Smallwood
August 14: Don Chapman
August 21: Jon Carroll
August 28: Jennifer Daniels

Lansdowne Sounds of Summer Concert Series
When: Fridays, 7 – 10PM
Where:  Lansdowne Resort, 44050 Woodridge Parkway, Leesburg, Virginia 20176.
Cost: Concerts are FREE, but “Please do not bring food and drink into the concerts.”

*Enjoy specialty drinks, grilled foods, fresh salads, Loudoun County wines, featuring Lansdowne Reserve produced exclusively by Tarara Winery. Picnic basket snacks will also be available for purchase. 

*Some seating will be provided, but you are more than welcome and encouraged to bring a blanket and sit on the lawn.

June 18: The Jack Diamond-Jim Steed Band
June 25: JunkFood
July 2: Southern Excess
July 3: The Backseat Betties (Saturday night, including fireworks)
July 9: Sharon Thomas Experience
July 16: Esencia Tropical
July 23: The Jack Diamond-Jim Steed Band
July 30: The Reflex
August 6: AbbeyRoad
August 13: The Fabulous Dial Tones
August 20: The Monster Band
August 27: Gonzo’s Nose
September 3: Beach Bumz

Tarara’s Toast to the Tunes Summer Concert Series
When: Saturdays, June through October from 6 – 9:30PM!
Where: Tarara Winery, 13648 Tarara Lane, Leesburg, VA 20176
Cost:  $15 per person
Contact: (703) 771-7100

* Experience live music under the stars at Shadow Lake while sipping a cool glass of Chardonnay or savoring a bold Cabernet Franc. Whether it’s original rock, cover bands, jazz, country or blues, Tarara has a complete line up to fulfill your musical desires.

* Tarara Winery also offers Live Local Music on Sundays, June through October from 11AM – 6PM on their charming wood deck overlooking the Potomac River, set against the backdrop of Sugarloaf Mountain. Surrounded by a canopy of trees, the Winery Deck offers a relaxing, pleasant atmosphere. Free! Wines available for purchase.

A couple of area neighborhoods have jumped on the bandwagon and are offering summer concerts right in their communities!  If I’m missing your community’s concert schedule, please drop a link into the comment section here and I’ll be sure to update this list!

Brambleton Sizzlin’ Summer Sounds
When: Thursday nights from 7 – 9
Where: Brambleton Town Center

South Riding Summer Concert Series
When: Friday nights from 7 – 9:30
Where: South Riding Town Green

Seriously? That is a lot of music. Go see something!

* Correction: When I sent this out via Happenings! on the 15th, I accidentally posted 2009’s schedule for the Bluemont/Dodona Summer Concerts on Sunday. As of now, they are still finalizing their 2010 schedule. Please check back at their website for their upcoming schedule.


Happenings! A Summer Art Camp Primer

April 19, 2010

Hey, guess what? Summer’s almost here and the kids will be out of school!


Just kidding.
But what are the kids going to do all summer? Video games? TV? Whine?
I got two words for you: SUMMER CAMPS.
I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest you broaden your child’s mind with some creativity by attending an art camp. Following are some great choices for Loudoun children.

Loudoun Parks and Recreation has a host of Performing & Visual Art Camps for kids aged 3 – 17. They start at page 11 on the PDF, including the BIRDS OF A FEATHER ART CAMP out in Purcellville, VA. This art studio will provide a truly unique art experience for child. For pictures and more information about The Birds of a Feather Art School, read this month’s Member Spotlight on the Loudoun Arts Directory

Kidz Act – If your child has a flair for the dramatic, perhaps a summer camp at Kidz Act will fit the bill. For more information, go to 

ArtSquare, Loudoun’s premier arts destination, announces SUMMER CAMPS 2010. We offer a vast array of summer camps for ages five through teens. Registration is now open! For more information, check out our Summer Camps schedule at or call us at 703-777-8043.   

Franklin Park Arts Center offers a variety of arts education programs for all ages which provide a way for the community to get involved in the process of creating visual art, theatre and dance and much more. They’ve especially got some fun-looking theatre camps for your little actor or actress. For more info:  

KidzArt offers a summer camp schedule with cool names like 3-D Camp for Middle School, Secret Agent Camp, and Out of this World Camp. Check ’em out at 

Treehouse for Creative Kids. TCK provides fine arts, theater and singing in weekly themed workshops. In addition to themed workshops, each week is filled with fun activities such as water games, fitness, sports, face painting, group & individual games and outdoor activities. Summer Camp Themed Workshops (June 21 to August 27) 

Lisa Zadravec Rodriguez offers various art camps at Claude Moore Rec Center. Art and Fun for a variety of ages and interests 5yrs – teen: 6/21-25 Great Little Artists (6-10 yrs); 6/28-7/2 Amazing Art Magic (7-11ysr); 7/12-16 Big Art World (5-9 yrs); 7/26-30 Art Obsessed @ Twilight (teens); 8/2-6 Mystery Art Detectives (8-12 yrs). All camps held at Claude Moore Rec Ctr. in Sterling. Go to for complete descriptions and registration information or call (703)404-2977. To register call (571)258-3600.  

Loudoun County Public Schools Summer in the Arts Camps. Summer in the Arts (SIA) is an enrichment program sponsored by Loudoun County Public Schools for county youth going into grades 6th – 12th during in the fall of 2010. SIA consists of workshops in the performing, literary, visual and creative arts. Offerings range from beginner/introductory to advanced/intensive workshops. For course descriptions and registration, go to  

Round Hill Arts Center has a full offering too! Classes like “Animal Art in the Dog Days,” Venetian Paper Arts Card Workshop, Introduction to the Pottery Wheel, and Felted Flowers Workshop make me want to sign up! For more information and registrations, go to  

Abrakadoodle Art Camps inspire kids to reach beyond and create art that is unique to them. By doing so, kids feel empowered to be creative and expressive. It’s amazing to see just what kids design when given the freedom to explore and to express themselves creatively! Imaginations soar!

Whew!  Sorry if I missed any…send me a note if you’re offering summer art camps, or better yet, submit them online under CLASSES at



rosalba negrete

April 13, 2010

Rosalba joined the Loudoun Arts Council a few months ago and I got to meet her for a few minutes yesterday when she stopped in to see the Loudoun Sketch Club exhibit.

Rosalba is a sculptress and a member of the Round Hill Artists Coop. She’s got a brand new website to explore at

Rosalba Negrete (sculpture)
Germinar, 14″ x 10″
stoneware, coil technique and cone 6 glaze

It was lovely to meet you! Welcome!

~ lee


libby stevens

April 7, 2010

This piece hangs here in my office building this month as part of the Loudoun Sketch Club’s First Friday exhibition. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by such beauty. Libby Steven’s work is both vibrant and soft.

Leighfield Garden

Here’s another piece from Libby’s website. I love its lushness.

To learn more about Libby Stevens or to see more of her work, visit her website at

To see the Loudoun Sketch Club exhibition for yourself, give me a call at 703.777.7838.  I’m here Monday-Friday during the day.


Instrument Petting Zoo Tomorrow!

March 26, 2010

Bring your kids
to an

Musicians from the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra give kids the chance to hear, touch and try out musical instruments.


Saturday, March 27

@ 2PM

@ Rust Library

380 Old Waterford Rd NW
Leesburg, VA 20176
(703) 777-0323

For ages 6 and up!




Sponsored by Melodee Music, Rust Library, and the Loudoun Symphony