Local Business

Summer Brings New artWorks Exhibits at Old Ox Brewery

Image: Crossing the Ward by Samantha Marshal

Image: Crossing the Ward by Samantha Marshal

Show Features Works by Samantha S. Marshall
Press Release: May 22, 2017

The LAC's artWorks program will feature the work of an accomplished Loudoun artist this summer. Photographer Samantha Marshall's arresting digital images will adorn the walls of the Old Ox Brewery Tasting Room.

Marshall's work inthe show "If These Walls Could Talk..." is based on photographs she alters digitally for effect. Her images have a breathtaking sense of imagery and staging. The exhibit will be up at Old Ox Brewery at 44652 Guilford Dr #114, in Ashburn June through August. The Tasting Room is open Tuesdays through Sundays; check www.oldoxbrewery.com for details. Meet Samantha at a special Artist's Reception on Friday June 16 at 7 pm.

Over the past two years the artWorks program has launched several art exhibits at area venues, each curated for the individual space. These shows and accompanying Artist's Receptions have resulted in new connections between artists and patrons, as well as art sales. Patrons can buy art on the spot using the LAC's new tagging system, which uses QR codes. Purchasers can pay for art using their smart phones, show the receipt to staff, and take their artwork home. "It's important to make the art purchase as easy as possible for patrons," says LAC President Jill Evans-Kavaldjian. Interested in learning more about becoming an artWorks artist or venue? Visit our artWorks page.


The artWorks Exhibit Program matches local venues with local artists.

In Front of My Lens: A Christmas Tree Farmer

Reston has been a host to this wonderful Christmas Tree lot for 8 years.  The owner and operator, Travis of Hopkins Farms was nice enough to let me wander and just take in all the nostalgia these beautiful douglas firs bring.  From the trees (including a few HUGE 8-9 foot ones), to the fresh wreaths, the strung lights and old RV, this Christmas tree lot made me wish Christmas was already here...  and wish it would never end!

There is nothing like a fresh Christmas tree!  Surround yourself with all the magical wonder of scents, lights and treats of the season, and think back on all your Christmas memories and traditions!

You can find Travis's fresh trees and wreaths (awesome prices, BTW!) until Christmas week in the lot at the corner of Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley.

Enjoy your holidays and stay safe!

In Front of My Lens: The Escape Room Artist

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be IN a game?   Well, now you can!

A clue flashes up on the LCD screen...  you begin to look around the room first at your teammates, then past a mirror seeing your own puzzled look and then you realize... the timer is started and you better look for more clues and fast!  You have 60 minutes and counting to solve riddles, unlock safes, locks and cabinets and work out codes. The name of this game? “Escape Room” 

The Escape Room Herndon was opened this past Summer with three themed rooms ranging from beginner to advanced.  The rooms are decorated in timely fashion with nods to Agatha Christie and Hannibal Lecter among others.  My experience there was fast paced and so much fun watching my family work together, sometimes bumbling over clues and over-analyzing them to get to our main goal... find the key and Escape!

This installment of In Front of My Lens features Omer Aru, owner of Escape Room Herndon.

Where are you from originally?  I was born in Istanbul Turkey but I’ve lived in Northern Virginia most of my life. 

What is your fondest memory growing up?  We would spend our summers at my Grandmother's house on an island off the coast of Istanbul.  My fondest memories come from there.  My brother and I would race down winding stone steps to the beach 100 yards below our house.  From there we would run off the dock and dive into the ocean.  It was the type of magically experience that took decades later to truly appreciate how special it was.

When/how did you decide to take the plunge into owning your own business?
  I was on a family vacation last summer.  My brother-in-law and I were discussing possible business ideas.  I had grown fond of starting a 3D printer supply company.  He encouraged me to visit him in Richmond to play his Escape Room RVA before trying anything.  So early Fall I went down to play the original MindTrap room.  After 60 minutes, I left high-fiving strangers and was hooked immediately.  I agreed this was all I wanted to do, and I immediately started designing our first room, Mary In The Black.

What is most important to you?  
As a business, it’s providing a unique experience that friends, co-workers, and family can relive well after it’s over.  We’ve become fixated on screens sometimes texting with the person sitting right next to you, or socializing with people across the globe.   It’s rare to find an opportunity where true interaction takes place.  I like to think Escape Rooms help people gain back a few moments of wonder.  We like to say, nothing bonds like being locked up in a room for a game of wit, wisdom and adventure!

Who inspires you?   
I’m inspired by the people around me.  My wife has been an inspiration since I met her.  She’s created a career for herself from something she loved.  I’ve been inspired in kind by friends and family who have done the same.  They choose a life in purpose of their passions.  Our customers inspire me to make great games.  Listening to them laugh and cheer lets me know we are doing something right, but also helps me to create more of those moments.

Escape Room Herndon

Can you escape in sixty minutes?
Solve the codes, crack the safe, and find the secret passages to win the game.
Think you and your friends have what it takes?

Book online at:  http://www.escaperoomherndon.com
404 Elden St. Herndon, VA 20170

Visit again soon for another "In Front of My Lens" addition featuring local
businesses and artists!  
If you would like to be featured in a future publication, contact me soon!

In Front of My Lens: A Queen Bee

Kathy Jordan is not only a devoted wife and mother to five boys, she is also a successful business owner.  As an Independent Sales Director in Mary Kay, Kathy touches lives daily with her beautiful attitude and drive to help others.  

Where are you from originally?  I am from Peru, Illinois.

What is your fondest memory growing up?  My fondest memory growing up is really a theme. I loved going to my maternal Grandmother's house and walking in to find her sitting at the kitchen table either praying the Rosary or playing Solitaire. I still do both!

When/how did you decide to take the plunge into owning your own business?  I decided to own my own business once I had a family and realized no one would give me the freedom, flexibility and income I desired except me.

What is most important to you?  My husband and children are most important to me.

Who inspires you?   I am most inspired by people who never make excuses. Personal responsibility in spite of circumstances.

You can find more information on Kathy's Mary Kay business here!