THURSDAY 10/27: Free cartooning workshop with Kevin Rechin

October 25, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Learn from a Pro! This October 27th. 7 – 9:30 pm at ArtSPACE Falls Church.

Please register by e.mail [email protected] to reserve your space, space is limited(street parking and in retail spots in Pearson Square Parking lot).

All ages, please bring drawing materials of your choice.

Kevin Rechin is a local cartoonist whose work, frequently for commercial clients, often falls under the radar. A few years ago, he did drawings for the D.C. Lottery of the Nationals baseball players; they were blown up to life size and displayed in the Navy Yard Metro station by the ballpark. Rechin appeared very briefly on ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition, where he designed and illustrated a superhero room for two young boys. “I basically designed and painted a mural of a cityscape with caricatures of each kid as a superhero incorporated into the scene and also designed personal superhero logos for each kid. These were embroidered on capes for customized costumes and used as decals on a cool car bed built for the show. That’s basically it. Keep in mind I had 4 days to come up with the design, get it approved and then had from about 4 p.m. Friday to 2 p.m. the next day to do the whole room with the help of a couple more people. Needless to say it was an all-nighter! Everything done for that show is done for free or as a donation.”

Kevin is a member of Falls Church Arts and has an exhibit of his work at ArtSpace as part of the Falls Church Arts, ArtWORKS series. Kevin is a native of Northern Virginia and lives in Falls Church. He has done work for the Time magazine, Smithsonian, National Geographic, and the Wall Street Journal. Children would probably know his work from Disney Adventures or packages that he had done for Hasbro, and his work in illustrating Klutz books.


ArtWORKS Series at ArtSpace: Jeff and Kevin Rechin Exhibiting in October

October 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 


Falls Church Arts (FCA) has launched the ArtWORKS series, an annual educational program focusing on FCA
members who earn their living as full-time artists.  In addition to art exhibits, the ArtWORKS series includes field trips that will bring local art students to ArtSpace Falls Church to interact with accomplished professional artists and learn about their various pathways to success and to a life of working in art.

In October, there will be two ArtWORKS exhibits featuring sculptor Jeff Rechin and cartoonist Kevin Rechin.

The Rechin brothers were born in Washington, DC and grew up in the suburbs of Springfield, VA. They both enjoyed childhoods shaped by the larger-than-life influence of their cartoonist father, Bill Rechin, creator of the nationally syndicated comic strip, “Crock.”  Art and humor were a constant in the lives of Jeff
and Kevin and their five siblings. The creativity of their father was matched by their mother, who met Bill while studying art at the Albright Academy of Art  in Buffalo, NY.

Although all seven children are artistic in one way or another, Kevin and Jeff are the only ones who pursued art with a passion and ultimately made it their chosen careers. Jeff, who was enamored with the outdoors and wildlife at a very young age, began to carve and sculpt when he was eleven years old.  Kevin was always fascinated with the world of cartoons and began doodling characters from the time he could hold a pencil.

Both brothers have achieved great success in their chosen fields and continue to grow as artists. Jeff Rechin is recognized as one of the preeminent sculptors of wildfowl art in the United States. Specializing in bird sculpture and honing these skills, he began to compete in the early 1970’s. Entering “world class” level for the first time in 1998, Jeff won the “Best in World” title and earned this title again in 2000. Jeff later contracted with the Danbury Mint where he worked creating the original masters for reproduction which were marketed throughout the US and Great Britain. He is regularly called on to judge the annual Ward World Championship. Both his original and reproductions of Jeff’s work can be found in private collections throughout the country as well as original work in the permanent collection of the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury MD.

Brother Kevin Rechin received his degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1989 and then worked at several small daily newspapers.  Kevin was eventually hired as a staff artist at USA TODAY where he created cover illustrations, weekly caricatures and complex informational graphics. During those years he indulged many freelance projects, eventually building a substantial clientele.

Kevin struck out on his own in 1999 and his work has since appeared in most major American publications including Time, Smithsonian, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and National Geographic.  In addition to editorial work, Kevin has pursued more commercial projects with Hasbro, Disney, DreamWorks and Fox
Sports.  In 2009, he was chosen to create and design a mural and all the artwork for a superhero-themed children’s room on an episode of Extreme Home Makeover. The National Cartoonist Society
recognized Kevin’s work in 1999 with a Reuben Award for magazine illustration.

In May of 2011, the brothers lost their greatest inspiration and mentor when their father passed away after a
long battle with cancer. Since then, Kevin has taken over the drawing duties of the beloved “Crock” comic strip and creates it along with his brother-in-law, Bob Morgan, who writes the strip.

Kevin now works out of a studio shared with fellow cartoonist and friend, Nick Galifianakis in Falls Church
City. Jeff lives and works out of his studio in Amissville, VA.

The “Wildfowl in Wood” exhibit of Jeff Rechin’s sculpture will be at ArtSpace October 6 – 16.  Meet the artist at a reception and discussion on Thursday, October 13 from 7 to 9 pm.

Kevin Rechin’s cartoon art will be on display at ArtSpace October 19 – 30.  Meet Kevin at a reception and discussion on Thursday, October 20 from 7 to 9 pm.  Learn to cartoon at a free cartooning workshop with Kevin on October 27 from 7 to 9:30 pm.

ArtSpace Falls Church is located at 410 S. Maple Avenue in what is known as the Pearson Square building.  Free parking is available in the garages at 400 and 410 S. Maple Avenue.

For more information about the ArtWORKS series, go to


Halloween Storefront Painting, This Weekend & Next

September 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

It is time to pick up paint brushes and conjure up spirits, goblins and magical pumpkins as the Fourth Annual Falls Church Hallowe’en Paint-in arrives.

Artists of all ages can sign up to paint a designated Falls Church store window on Oct. 1st and 8th between 10 am and 2 pm, and on Oct. 2nd and 9th from 2 to 4 pm.

Paints will be supplied by the Falls Church Arts organization, in partnership with Falls Church Recreation and Parks, Creative Cauldron, the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce and the Business in Education Partnership.

Join in making this a festive occasion for merchants, shoppers and strollers in our city center.

To register, please send a sketch to Marty Behr, Falls Church Arts, 412 N. Cherry St.,  Falls Church, VA  22046, or [email protected].

Farmers’ Market is Number One Again

May 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment 


"The Farmer's Market" by Meg Walsh took first place at the 2nd Annual Plein Air Art Festival sponsored by Falls Church Arts. (Photo courtesy of Shaun van Steyn)

Special to the Falls Church Times

For the second year in a row, a painting of the Falls Church Farmers’ Market won first place in the Falls Church Arts Plein Air Festival juried show.  This past Saturday, May 28, prizes were awarded during a ceremony at the Falls Church Community Center. The juror, noted local artist and teacher Gwendolyn Bragg, commented that she had a hard time picking the first-place winner but “enjoyed jurying this group as there was a lot of variety and style represented.” 

Joe Wetzel, VP of Falls Church Arts, Meg Walsh, Winner of the Don Beyer Volvo-KIA First Place Plein Air Prize, June and Mike Beyer. (Photo courtesy of Shaun van Steyn)

The $500 Don Beyer Volvo-KIA Plein Air First Place Prize was awarded to Meg Walsh for her painting titled “The Farmer’s Market”.  The second place prize – a $100 gift certificate from Art and Frame of Falls Churchwas awarded to Leni Gurin for her painting “Locally Owned, Sustainably Grown.”  Gurin’s painting also won The People’s Choice Award, a $100 gift certificate to Argia’s Restaurant.

Leni Gurin's painting won both 2nd Place and The People's Choice Award. (Photo by Shaun van Steyn)

A $75 gift certificate for art supplies was the third place prize and was given to “Summer Days I – The Falls Church Community Center” by the artist V.T.

The Plein Air Show and Sale continues in the City Hall Permanent Gallery on the lower level of City Hall, outside the Dogwood Room, through June 24. 

The 2nd Annual Plein Air Festival, whose theme again this year was “Scenes in the City,” was open to all artists who had their canvas and papers stamped with the Falls Church Arts Plein Air stamp and drew or painted outdoor scenes in Falls Church City during May.  Generously assisting FCA in making the stamps available were two local retail businesses, Art and Frame of Falls Church and Stifel and Capra.

Organizers from Falls Church Arts expect next year’s Plein Air Festival to attract more artists to create vibrant and interesting “Scenes in the City.” The 2012 Plein Air Festival will be extended, running during May and continuing into June, to allow artists more time and opportunities to paint during Memorial Day activities, the Tinner Hill Blues Festival, and other outdoor events.  Details will be released later this year and posted on FCA’s web site

Saturday, 5/28: Plein Air Art Show & Sale

May 27, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Special to the Falls Church Times

Falls Church Arts is holding the 2nd Plein Air Festival on Saturday, May 28 from 10 am to 4 pm.  Come to the Farmers’ Market and then drop in to the Community Center and view the art created during the Falls Church Plein Air Festival.  Every painting and drawing in the “Scenes in the City” exhibit was painted in and around Falls Church during the month of May.

Falls Church Arts is holding an outdoor art show and sale at the Farmers' Market and in the Community Center on Saturday, May 28 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Vote for your favorite entry to win the People’s Choice Award.  All are welcome to vote and winners will be announced at 3 pm at the Community Center.  A juror will select the winners for several awards including the Don Beyer Volvo-KIA Plein Air Award for first place and gift certificates from Argias,  Art and Frame of Falls Church, and Plaza Arts.

Posters and notecards of last year’s winning entry by Isabelle Babington will be available for purchase.  All art entered into the Plein Air Festival is for sale.

For further information go to

THURSDAY 6/2-6/12: TINNER HILL: Portraits in Black and White

Falls Church, VA- Creative Cauldron in collaboration with the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation will remount “Tinner Hill: Portraits in Black and White,” an original work of theater based on the stories of local African American civil rights heroes. Developed through funding from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Arts Council of Fairfax County this original work played to standing ovations when it premiered last season.

“Tinner Hill: Portraits in Black and White” plays June 2 through 12 at ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Avenue, in conjunction with the Tinner Hill Blues Festival. Press Night is Saturday, June 4 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $15 for Adults and $12 for Students/Seniors.

Working closely with Nikki Graves and Edwin B. Henderson from THHF, Creative Cauldron Producing Director Laura Connors Hull and veteran theater artist Oran Sandel researched oral histories and documents from African American residents of Falls Church. Lisa Hill-Corley and Jennifer Goldsmith, two MFA candidates in George Mason University’s Creative Writing Program were tasked with creating a final performance script inspired by the material.

This ground-breaking work explores the history of Falls Church, as seen through the lens of some of its most influential African Americans. Through a series of monologues, scenes and blues-inspired music, we are taken on an inspiring journey of resistance and resilience that began before the Civil War and continues to the present day. We encounter an early American community where former slaves and their descendants become significant property owners, merchants, and even serve as members of the town Council; in short, a community where blacks and whites live and work side by side in relative harmony. Then, in the changing political climate of post Civil War America, we witness the swinging pendulum of race relations and learn about the persistent efforts of town segregationists who want a line drawn between the races. Throughout the play, we explore a history that doesn’t appear in official textbooks, and come to better understand the experience of being an African American in the early days of a growing and changing Virginia community.

“Tinner Hill Portraits: in Black and White” is the last offering in Creative Cauldron’s 2011 season. The ensemble cast includes: Keith Irby, Lisa Hill-Corley, Ayesis Clay, Talmach White, Raquis Petree, Oran Sandel and Judy Butler. Matt Conner is providing the musical underscoring for the piece. Scenic design is being provided Margie Jervis with additional contributions from Falls Church Arts scenic painter and collage artist David Barr and multi-media artist Teddy Wiant, and costumes by Eileen Levy.

Creative Cauldron is a non-profit arts organization whose innovative programs in the performing and visual arts embody collaboration, experimentation and community. It has been operating in Northern Virginia since 2002. In June of 2009, Creative Cauldron acquired a permanent home in ArtSpace Falls Church, a 3,000 square foot flexible arts space that provides a venue for year-round classes, live performances of theater, music and dance and visual art exhibits.

Tickets for “Tinner Hill Portraits in Black and White” can be purchased at or by calling 571-239-5288.

Performance Schedule:

Previews: June 2* & 3 at 7:30pm and June 4 at 2:00 pm

Press Opening is June 4th at 7:30pm.

Additional performances:

June 5 at 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm

June 9* & 10 at 7:30pm,

June 11 at 2pm and 7:30 pm

June 12 at 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm

*Pay What You Can Performances

**Tinner Hill Blues Festival, (June 10-12) is a city-wide festival featuring performances by blues headliners: Deanna Bogart, Tom Principato, Gaye Adegbaloka, Nadine Rae, Pluckerland Band, Patty Reese, Curtis Blues, Jr., Bynum & the Groove Masters.

For more info:

Outdoor Art Festival Going on Now

By Falls Church Times Staff

Falls Church Arts’ 2nd Annual “Scenes in the City” Plein Air Festival will award a $500 cash prize, donated by Don Beyer Volvo-Kia, for a winner picked by the juror at the May 28 Plein Air Festival Show and Sale.  Other awards, including the People’s Choice, will also be presented.

Isabelle Babington won first prize in last year's Plein Air Festival. Her winning painting of a scene from the Falls Church Farmer's Market is featured on this year's festival poster. The outdoor art festival, sponsored by Falls Church Arts, culminates with an exhibition and sale outside City Hall on Saturday, May 28. For more information, go to

Until May 28, artists are invited to paint or draw outdoors on canvas, paper or any other material and submit their best work for judging.  Plein Air Day is Saturday, May 28 and will feature an outdoor exhibition from 10 am to 4 pm on City Hall grounds.  From May 30 – June 24, the “Scenes in the City” exhibit will hang indoors at City Hall.

The Plein Air Festival is open to all artists.  Artists paint on materials that have been “stamped” by Falls Church Arts.  Each “supports stamp” is $10.00 and is the price of entry to the Plein Air Festival.

Paint supports can be stamped until May 27 at two locations: Art and Frame of Falls Church, 111 Park Avenue, Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and at Stifel & Capra, 260 West Broad Street, during regular business hours Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, noon to 5 pm.   Also, stamps can be purchased at the Falls Church Arts tent at the Farmers’ Market from 10 am to noon on Saturday, May 21. 

Artists can enter up to two of their stamped works for judging and exhibition on Saturday, May 28 from 10 am to 4 pm in the Harry Wells Park outside City Hall (corner of Little Falls Street and Park Avenue).  An award ceremony will be held at 3 pm that day.

For a lot more details and an entry form, see

Plein Air Painting Workshops in April and May

April 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Bill Abel, popular local watercolor artist, will teach an introductory workshop in plein air (outdoor) painting. (Photo by Gary Mester)

Falls Church Arts is accepting registrations for workshops in oil and water media plein air (outdoor) painting.  Award-winning instructors Bill Abel and Denise Philipbar will help artists learn how to produce unique plein air works. Workshops will be held rain or shine in various Falls Church City locales.

Denise Philipbar is offering four three-hour Saturday afternoon workshops in oil media. The sessions are “Introduction to Plein Air Painting” on April 16, “Introduction to Urbanscapes” on April 23, “Introduction to Natural Features and Streams” on April 30 and “Celebrating Contemporary Plein Air Painting” on May 14. Each successive session is designed to build on the previous workshop but also able to stand alone.  Artists can sign up for individual workshops or for the entire series. 

"Nousas" by Denise Philipbar is an example of the artist's plein air painting work.

Bill Abel will teach a 2 ½ hour introductory plein air workshop in water media on two Saturday mornings, April 23 and May 7.

For more information including fees and registration forms, go to

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