Friday, June 20, 2008

Torpedo Factory Art Center

I visited the Torpedo Factory Art Center (TFAC) located on the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria (in Virginia, just south of Washington, DC). First of all, old town was SO cool, with the old-style, beautifully maintained row houses with planters, and box/window gardens. Some houses even had the faux burning lampposts. The front doors and back gates are brightly painted, ivy winding up the old brick walls.

The TFAC was actually a torpedo factory for several years after World War 1. The inside of the factory has been changed into more than 160 artist studios. The artists have open studio and you can walk in and see their art on display in the front of the studio space, and talk with the artists as they work. My favorites included (no particular order, and not comprehensive, though I noticed I tend towards painters and printmakers who use outrageously bright colors): Printmakers, Inc, Betsy Anderson, JoAnn Clayton, Kathy Beynette, Tory Cowles, Susan Finsen, Marcia Dale Dullum, Murney Keleher, Marsha Staiger (plus her website is cool how it is set up with portfolios and folders - check it out), Mina Oka Hanig (particularly the picture below), and Ann Barbieri. I talked to Rosemary Covey, who is friendly and talented. She had many prints from woodcuts on her gallery walls.

I saw many inspiring works of art. You MUST go browse the innards of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, AND the surrounding environs. It is a tremendous concept (and execution) to have a bunch of artists working together and in studios open to the public, both for the artist(s) and for those of us who make the opportunity to visit. You will not be disappointed, or you can have your money back (it's free!).

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