South Lakes High School STEAM Team 

Installation on Lake Thoreau spillway June 2023 I Dimensioned Lumber, Paint, Polycarbonate Panels, Dichroic/Holographic Film, Screws, Wire Cable, Metal Hitching Rings

STEAM Team Public Art Club: Bethel Agyeman, William Daly, Anne Ehrlich, Joshua Garnett, Bryant Kalunga, Connor Kehde, Brianna Le, Aiden McHale, Sofia Pakhomkina, Sophia Paradowski, Rhiannon Stevens, Ghazal Tanavade, Andrew Wood, Aiden Tong 

STEAM Team Statement:

“Our 2023 sculpture, Rise, is inspired by the rapid development of Reston since its founding in 1964. When Robert E. Simon, Jr. bought the land to develop Reston, it was rural farmland without access to downtown Washington, DC. Simon dreamed of turning into a modern suburban utopia for residents and commuters alike. His dream would be realized decades later with the construction of 267, the Dulles Toll Road. Since then, Reston has grown from a nationally renowned, but relatively small, planned community, into a hotspot for international corporations and contemporary housing developments. Nevertheless, Reston retains its core values and remains an intertwined, multi-faceted place to live, a place like nowhere else. Rise represents the growing success of Reston, one that was founded on humble beginnings.

The objective interpretation of Rise is the growth of the population and literal construction of high-rises and infrastructure. Furthermore, Rise abstractly represents the community’s goals of reaching new heights in progress, innovation, and diversity.”

Project Partners: Public Art Reston, Reston Association, South Lakes High School

Project Sponsors: Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association, Mary and David Prochnow, Red’s Table, Reston Association, Public Art Reston, South Lakes High School, and the supporters of the STEAM Team Calendar Fundraiser. 

Watch the STEAM Team’s presentation to the Reston Association Design Review Board. The presentation starts at 9:30 and ends at 26:00. 

Photos by Sean Bahrami

Project HistoryRise is the 9th temporary installation realized by students at South Lakes High School (SLHS) for the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Team public art club. Lake Thoreau resident James Pan approached Reston Association (RA) in 2012 with the idea of involving SLHS students in transforming the unattractive, concrete spillway platform into a work of art. With this initial financial funding, RA partnered with Public Art Reston to support SLHS art teacher, Marco Rando, who leads the STEAM Team after school club. Over the course of a school year STEAM Team members gain real world experience in all aspects of the design, development, and construction of a work of art through a professional public art process. They create design concepts and present them for initial review by the Public Art Reston Public Art Committee and then to the RA Design Review Board for final approval. The final design is tested for durability and constructed by students at the high school where it is disassembled and then reinstalled on the spillway by RA staff for all community members to engage with over the course of the installation.