Reston Art Gallery and Studios Presents Marthe McGrath Kinetic Energy

By Editorial Team on November 8, 2021

Sat, 13 November 2021 - Tue, 30 November 2021

Marthe McGrath, Dancing in the Street, 9 ft x 5 ft.
Receptions: Saturday, November 13 and Saturday, November 20 from 2pm to 4pm

A show of “Kinetic Energy” by Marthe McGrath is now on display at Reston Art Gallery and Studios, through November 30. In her new Kinetic series, McGrath’s original paintings range in size, from 5 feet tall by 9 feet wide to 2 feet square, with playful titles such as Magic Carpet Ride and Zest for Life. Her bold, colorful abstracts are full of energy and movement.

“This new show expresses a sense of freedom and joy,” says McGrath. “A teacher once said, ‘Marthe paints with reckless abandon.’  It’s true. When I painted for this exhibition, especially the two oversized unstretched canvasses, I was truly lost in the process, a delightful place to be. I painted mostly with acrylics though I utilized spray paint, charcoal, oil pastels and many mark making tools in this collection. Some collage is evident as well as many layers in the underpainting. It’s often hard for me to know when to stop. One of the paintings on the wall changed radically after it was hung. I will be tempted to make changes to the 5 by 9 canvas during the show. I remain excited and enthusiastic every day I am allowed to paint.”

McGrath’s art training began in childhood when her grandfather was a curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. “I spent countless hours there with him as he told me stories of each artist and how they created the masterpiece we were viewing,” McGrath describes. “A lot of classes followed, mostly at the Corcoran.” Despite her classical background, she is not constrained by any rules and is constantly experimenting with mediums and methods. McGrath emphasizes this with a quote from Thomas Merton: “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

McGrath’s travel experiences in exotic places and throughout Europe and the U.S. have also played a large role in her work. “The cultures, colors, sounds, bustle, music, landscapes – they all enter my compositions in abstractions.”

All are invited to meet McGrath at receptions on two Saturdays, November 13 and November 20 from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m., and view “Kinetic Energy” through November 30 on weekends at Reston Art Gallery and Studios (RAGS), open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. For an appointment to view the show outside of regular hours, or inquire about smaller giclees of the large paintings, email or contact the gallery via See more works and information about Marthe McGrath on her website,

While viewing the featured display of “Kinetic Energy,” gallery visitors can also see work created by the seven other member artists of RAGS who represent a range of artistic expression and styles. The next feature at the gallery is Holiday Sparkle, a show and sale of authentic, unique, giftable works by all RAGS artists – paintings, mixed media, jewelry, mobiles, fine craft objects, and cards – from December 4 through 31.

Reston Art Gallery and Studios, 11400 Washington Plaza West, Reston, VA 20190, is located at the “ART” sign on the lakeside of historic Lake Anne Plaza and is just steps away from the Saturday morning Farmers Market. For GPS directions and parking information, search “Lake Anne Plaza.” Follow @RAGSReston on Facebook, @RestonArtGallery on Instagram, and learn more at

About Reston Art Gallery and Studios (RAGS): A variety of works created to intrigue and inspire the viewer is on display and available for purchase at RAGS, a cooperative gallery of eight artists – Gail Axtell, Dorothy Donahey, Sandra Dovberg, Rosemarie Forsythe, Pat Macintyre, Julia Tova Malakoff, Marthe McGrath, and Wayne Schiffelbein. During the week, the artists are working on site, or at their home studios, preparing commissions, new works, and their next special exhibits. RAGS presents new shows each month with a focus on the latest works of individual artists, open every weekend. Gallery owner, director, and artist Pat Macintyre continues her tradition of providing art enrichment for children with free, themed Crafts for Kids every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at RAGS. The orange “ART” sign at historic, scenic Lake Anne Plaza leads to the glass-front entrance of Reston Art Gallery and Studios, a Reston landmark established in 1987, located on the lakeside of 11400 Washington Plaza West, Reston, VA 20190. GPS: “Lake Anne Plaza” for directions to the parking area. Follow @RAGSReston on Facebook, @RestonArtGallery on Instagram, and get more information at

Reston Art Gallery and Studios, 11400 Washington Plaza West, Reston, VA.