AI & Us

By Carol Nahorniak

AI and Us art by Leah Zhang

Reston, VA – Reston Art Gallery and Studios recently hosted AI & Us, an exclusive pop-up art exhibit featuring works created by numerous artists exploring the impact of Artificial Intelligence on our society. The concept for this special exhibit was the brainchild of Leah Zhang, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSS). “Like it or not, AI is here to stay,” stated Zhang. “Our goal was to raise awareness while sharing the anxieties and inspiration that come with this exciting—and often unnerving—innovation in our lives.”

The works created especially for this show were submitted by artists from the Northern Virginia region, including high school students in the Fairfax County area. The entries were juried for the exhibition by artist Pat Macintyre, owner and director of Reston Art Gallery and Studios (RAGS), and artist Jennifer Duncan. With their support and provision of the gallery space for the exhibit, Zhang began the development of the show by launching a call for artists last fall. Zhang’s vision for the show included a philanthropy factor – the art works of AI & Us were available for purchase by silent auction, and all sales proceeds were donated to The Arc of Northern Virginia, a local nonprofit that utilizes assistive technology to help people with disabilities.

With the intrigue, pros, and cons of Artificial Intelligence, there was promise that this show would be as eye-opening and thought-provoking as art can be. “One of the many exciting aspects of AI & Us was seeing the exhibit unfold as we finalized the art selections,” said Macintyre. “We were amazed at the caliber of work that students are creating, and we are proud to work with Leah in presenting this exhibit.” Macintyre and Duncan also judged the displayed works, and awards were presented for the best entries during the show reception held from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 3. The AI & Us event successfully raised around $3000 for The Arc of Northern Virginia.

Following AI & Us, Reston Art Gallery and Studios will continue its roster of new shows each month, open every weekend afternoon, with a variety of displays that range from invitational group exhibitions to solo exhibits of new works by each of the gallery’s collective of seven artists. 

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