Photo by Carla Kutzlo


Historic downtown Leesburg (Photo by Carla Kutzlo)

Take a quiet drive along one of western Loudoun’s scenic byways around sunrise or sunset or stroll through one of the county’s charming and historic towns and villages. What you’ll find is that Loudoun’s landscape is inspiring. So it should come as no surprise that a place with such scenic beauty and rich history as this also has a thriving arts scene. For many years now artists have come from near and far to take in the landscape and tranquility that abounds in Loudoun. There’s sporting art honoring the area’s hunt country traditions, visual artists offering a more modern approach in a variety of mediums, and performance artists, writers, and musicians all sharing their creations inspired by the rolling landscape and storied past that creates a culture that is uniquely Loudoun.  And our towns and villages celebrate these artists in numerous art galleries, performance art venues, and through seasonal festivals and events. With fall approaching it’s the perfect time to visit and experience Loudoun’s landscape as it transitions into autumn and to experience Loudoun’s creative side during one of the area’s upcoming art events.

The Annual Leesburg Fine Arts Festival showcases national and international artists in the town’s historic downtown district. This weekend long event transforms downtown Leesburg into an outdoor gallery of art in a variety of mediums including painting, jewelry, sculpting, photography, woodworking, and more. Leesburg also hosts a monthly First Friday event where the downtown shops and restaurants host local art shows, live music, wine tastings, and sales and specials for event attendees.

Claude Moore Park in Sterling hosts their Annual Autumn Arts & Crafts Festival on September 28th. Local art and craft vendors will be showcased in the park’s historic area. The festival also seeks to inspire the inner-artists of children with a variety of fall themed activities like make-your-own scarecrows and pumpkin painting. Demonstrations, tours, food vendors, and more make this day-long festival perfect for kicking off the fall season.

Artists abound in the horse country capital of Middleburg, particularly in the sporting arts. The National Sporting Library and Museum is open year round and features rotating exhibits from acclaimed sporting artists. This fall, local resident Howard Allen will be releasing his book Unforgotten Times: Jackie Kennedy’s Happy Days in the Virginia Hunt Country, a collection of photographs (many never previously published) from Jackie Kennedy’s years spent in Middleburg. Mr. Allen will be sharing stories, answering questions, and signing books at the National Sporting Library on October 13th and again at The Hill School in Middleburg on November 10th.

At the end of October, the town of Middleburg hosts the inaugural Middleburg Film Fest. This four day festival will feature a carefully curated selection of narrative and documentary films in an intimate theatre environment along with Q&As from world-renowned filmmakers and actors including award-winning director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler). The films include festival favorites, premiers, and Academy Award contenders, including Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Visit the Film Festival’s website or follow them on Facebook to find out when films are added and receive additional updates regarding the festival.