November 19, 2022
Lynn Lilienthal (center) pictured with fellow volunteers during installation of 2015’s A Bird in the Hand by Patrick Dougherty
Public Art Reston mourns the loss of our board member, champion and friend. Lynn will be sorely missed though her legacy of activism is ever-present in the causes and community organizations she dedicated herself to supporting.
Meet Public Art Reston’s Founding and Community Partners
– A Monthly Q & A Series –
The eleventh and final Q & A in our founding partner series (+ the STEAM Team!) features Shyamali Hauth. As Legislative Director, Multimodal Transportation, Public Safety & the Arts, Hauth represents the Fairfax County Supervisor Hunter Mill District Office on our board.
Among the many hats she wears in her day job, the arts are a personal passion for Hauth. Indeed, she is a valued advocate for Reston’s leading role in public art and placemaking in Fairfax County. Hauth is also a talented musician who teaches Celtic harp and enjoys performing locally including accompanying the Reston Chorale.
Read Haut's Full Q&A Here
Public Art Reston board member Shyamali Roy Hauth is the Legislative Director for Multimodal Transportation, Public Safety, the Arts, and Liaison to the Town of Vienna for the Fairfax County Hunter Mill District Supervisor. An Air Force veteran and a former college professor, she describes herself as “a community organizer who strives to improve whatever corner of the world I inhabit”. Hauth taught courses on communication, team building and leadership and owns and operates a small business. In addition to Public Art Reston, she serves on the boards of the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, Emerge Virginia and The Reston Chorale. Her political positions include 1st Vice Chair of Democratic Asian Americans of Virginia (DAAV); co-Chair, Veterans and Military Families Caucus, Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC); and Vice Co-Chair, Outreach, FCDC. Among her nonpartisan involvements: founding member, Women’s National Political Caucus of Virginia (NWPC-VA); Executive Vice President Outreach, Virginia Equal Rights Coalition (VERC); and Mid-Atlantic and South Eastern Regional Director of South Asians for America (SAFA). In 2021, she graduated from both Emerge Virginia and the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership’s flagship Political Leaders Program. She was a candidate for the Hunter Mill District Supervisor in 2019.
What are your duties in the Hunter Mill District Office?
I handle Multimodal Transportation, Public Safety, the Arts, and Liaison to the Town of Vienna. In my Arts capacity, besides serving on the Board for Public Art Reston, I also ensure local artists and their works are highlighted at the North County Government Center and work with local arts organizations to promote and support their performances and shows.
My primary duties are in the transportation and public safety realm. Since Supervisor Alcorn chairs the Transportation Committee and serves on the Board of VRE, NVTC, and as an alternate on the WMATA Board, there is a lot going on in the transportation realm. One of our priorities has been on making our community safe for pedestrians and bicyclists. Walkability ties in nicely with the work of the Board for Public Art Reston, as walkable communities also are places where public art makes the largest impact.
How did you get Arts in your portfolio?
I asked for it! I grew up in a performing arts family and have first-hand experience with the outsized benefits of public-private partnerships in the Arts. When art is woven into the fabric of a community, all lives are improved. Our family thrived because of the availability of arts funding from the county. So, when I saw an opportunity to impact how our Reston community interacted with art, I knew I wanted to be a part of the process.
Why is public art important to the Hunter Mill District Supervisor and to you?
Public art is something that creates a sense of place. It adds interest and whimsy to our lives every day. Whether its visual arts, performing arts, or public performances, art makes our lives richer through the experience. We have a rich history in Reston of public art. We have long had works that inspire wonder, invite us to interact with them, and bring surprise and delight. Both Supervisor Alcorn and I strongly feel that our public art is integral to who we are as Restonians. Here, in Reston, there is a place for both large iconic art and smaller pieces, functional art, public music, and performance, and works created by the community. All of this creates the sense of place in Reston.
What gratifies you about Public Art Reston’s progress and accomplishments over the past 15 years of its history?
I love when people stop to interact with art. I’ve seen the face of one of our unhoused residents light up as she talked about the way the light hits Thoreau’s Ensemble differently. I’ve seen children delight as they climb on Intent, The Wooden Horse or jump off the steps of Pyramid when I’m at Lake Anne Village Center. And the moment of surprise and joy as someone sees the chalk drawings during ChalkFest at Reston Town Center or uses a functional art piece – like an artist designed bike rack – is truly gratifying.
When I think of these moments, the impact of Public Art Reston is well beyond the resources it wields. Its impact didn’t happen by accident, it was thoughtfully and caringly cultivated in the partnership between public and private entities. Its this partnership that makes Public Art Reston uniquely, well uniquely Reston.
What priorities would you like to see Public Art Reston now set?
I always like setting bold goals that envision where we want to be years in the future. As someone who lives and works in Reston, I would like to see public art touch each person, whether they live or work here. We should consider setting sights on larger pieces as well as small works. Our structure needs to support our goals. Having someone to raise funds needed to acquire and place larger pieces is certainly important. Outreach to the community and inclusion of smaller pieces, functional art, and art that invites you to stay and enjoy the space is also important. Incorporating diversity in the art so it reflects our community is essential. Finally, I believe it is essential that Public Art Reston always keep an eye to ensuring that public art is accessible to the public. I look forward to working with the rest of the Board as we look forward to what’s next for Public Art Reston!
What is your favorite public artwork in Reston? Other places in the world? Why?
One of my favorite pieces is Continuum by Valerie Theberge installed along the wall at the Russell apartments along Sunrise Valley Drive. I love the colors and the patterns, and most importantly the placement. I enjoy seeing it as I drive by, but the magic happens when you walk to it. The benches invite you to sit for a moment. As you do, you might notice the arrangement of the red chairs and wonder who sat there. You might look across and see the statue of the man and young child playing checkers or watch as someone rides by on a bike. Continuum is a delight!
I love when art surprises me. This past year, on our way to visit family in Alabama I came upon “Earth, Wind and Water: The Landscape of Alabama”, a 100 foot long and 14 feet tall “living wall’. This piece is housed in the Birmingham-Shuttleworth International Airport and greets visitors with a wall teeming with 8,000 plants from 60 species indigenous to the state of Alabama. As someone who loves art and is an environmentalist, I loved this piece. Not only does it give you visuals, but as a living wall it provides oxygen.
Another favorite of mine is the St Louis Arch. Every time you approach it, it looks unique and different as it reflects the sky and the mood of the city.
Public Art Walk with Reston Forward
On October 27th, Public Art Reston led its first ever public art walk at Reston Town Center (RTC). To coincide with their monthly meet and greet, members of Reston Forward — joined by Supervisor Alcorn — explored RTC’s vibrant public art collection, including Sue Wrbican’s monumental Buoyant Force (pictured above). Participants also enjoyed live jazz during Sip and Stroll at Town Square Park.
Interested in scheduling a public art walk for your group at RTC or Lake Anne Village Center? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Photo of public art walk participants with Sue Wrbican’s Buoyant Force at Town Square Park
The Calendar Fundraiser is Back!
Back by popular demand, Lake Thoreau resident and avid nature photographer Mary Prochnow (@mprochnow) has once again donated a selection of her lush photos to support the South Lakes High School STEAM Team Public Art Club and their 2023 Lake Thoreau Spillway sculpture.
Public Art Reston and Reston Association are proud supporters of this impactful public art program.