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An Alexandria tradition for more than two decades, Art Safari returns for a day of hands-on activities for kids and families. Dozens of artists lead budding arts enthusiasts in projects from plein air painting to silkscreen printing. Get messy constructing a giant papier-mâché creature or squishing clay between your fingers. The Art League and the Alexandria Archaeological Museum will offer even more engaging programming.

Children should wear clothing that can get a little dirty. Most activities are appropriate for kindergarten age, with parental supervision, through middle school.

This event will be held inside the Torpedo Factory Art Center at 105 N Union St. Alexandria, VA 22314 from 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm.

This month's Second Thursday is packed with literary activities as we celebrate The Art of the Book. In addition to receptions in Target Gallery and The Art League Gallery, attend readings in the New Project Studio and Lisa Schumaier's Studio. Visiting artist Hannah Nees will lead a bookmaking activity on the 3rd floor. Post-graduate resident Danielle Smith will lead a writing workshop in Studio 12. Meet players from the forthcoming production of A Dream Within a Dream: Madness and hear folk-rock music all evening by Hearts and Spades.   

Check the full schedule.

Openings, Art Show Listings, Events, and Meetings / Magic and Color
« on: August 08, 2016, 12:58:24 PM »
Throughout the month of August, Target Gallery partners with Latin Expressions Group for Magic and Color, featuring 26 artists that represent: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, USA. Gloria “Tarasca” Valdes and Liliana Dossola curated the exhibition to present individual visual expressions of the vast richness that characterizes the Latin-American Culture.

Meet the curators and artists during a reception on Second Thursday Art Night, August 11, 6 – 8:30 pm.

The participating artists are: David Amoroso, Rosana Azar, Joan Belmar, Josefina Bonangelino, Gerardo Camargo, Olga Castaneda Martin, Gloria Chapa, Felisa Federman, Gustavo Forselledo, Francisco Loza, Marily Mojica, Claudia Olivos, Sergio Olivos, Sandra Perez-Ramos, Margarita Reyes, Karlisima Rodas-Israel, Gustavo Rodriguez, Roxana Rojas, Claudia Samper, Edith G. Sanabria, Michael Sastre, Sara Sittig, Carmen Torruella-Quander, and Carmen Uribe.

General Art Discussion / Visiting Artist Program Talks
« on: August 08, 2016, 12:55:38 PM »
The Visiting Artist Program is a professional development opportunity for emerging and experienced visual artists. Hear them speak about their work and inspirations before the end of their visits.

August presenters are Cynthia Bickley-Green and Monica Stroik. Bickley-Green, a painter based in Greenville, NC, teaches at East Carolina University and is in Studio 317. Stroik, based locally in Alexandria, is a painter who also mixes video for live musical performances. She is in Studio 322.


Wanted, For Sale, and Space Available / 4th Annual Art Materials Market
« on: August 08, 2016, 12:53:30 PM »
Torpedo Factory artists will sell and swap art supplies during the 4th Annual Art Materials Market. Find common things like brushes, easels, beads, and fabrics, as well as more unique materials and items.

The day will also feature a book-swap table, demonstrations, and a school supply donation drop for Alexandria City Schools Family and Community Engagement Centers. The market is free and open to the public.

If you are interested in selling at the Art Materials Market, contact


Two Virginia artists crowd-sourced local makers to create a life-sized handmade mythological ecosystem. After months of free workshops in Target Gallery and other locations in the region, Materialized Magic is on view at the Torpedo Factory in the New Project Studio through August 31. 

Erika Cleveland and Stacy Cantrell launched their CRAVE-sponsored project in 2015. The duo worked together to provide free lessons in crocheting, knitting, and felting to create Materialized Magic: Mythical Creatures in a Yarn Artistry Habitat.

The full installation was on view at the Arlington Arts Center in July 2016. It featured woodland, water, and sky habitats for the large-scale mythical fiber creatures.

The public is encouraged help the installation continue to grow by participating in meet-ups in the New Project Studio.


Before the season wraps up, enjoy an Endless Summer evening during the August Second Thursday Art Night.

Attend exhibition receptions and meet the artists who have work on view in Dotted Space in Target Gallery, Landschap and Taking Shape in The Art League Gallery, Decathect: a verb in The Associates Gallery, and Magic and Color in Sites 2 & 3.

The Glimpses, an Alexandria folk rock/Americana duo, performs all evening. Outside, sit side-by-side with some of the Torpedo Factory's artists to paint plein air by the waterfront.

Full schedule:

July 5 - July 31

New Project Studio Presents “The Silent World”
A CRAVE-funded initiative
Studio 8 through July 31

Isabel Cureux developed The Silent World as a way to explore what happens to the creative human mind as we grow older. Inspired by Jacques Cousteau’s television series, The Silent World asks people to perform a simple task: Make something that’s never been seen before that you think lives in the deep ocean.

In the space, learn about CRAVE, a community micro-granting initiative developed by the Torpedo Factory Art Center and the Convergence Arts Initiative.

Public Reception
Saturday, July 30
2 – 4 pm

The public is invited to meet the people behind the Silent World and hear more about the CRAVE initiative that helped shape the project during a special reception on Saturday, July 30; 2 – 4 pm. In addition to the Silent World, the Torpedo Factory will welcome the Convergence Arts Initiative, as well as past CRAVE winners and supporters.

July 23 - August 28
Public Reception: Thursday, August 11 • 6 – 8 pm • Artist Talk with Wade Kramm at 7pm

Dotted Space addresses the viewer’s perceptual and physical involvement with architectural space. The installations employ dotted lines, as one would find in a cut-here ad, to demarcate invisible rectilinear forms. The perceived presence of dotted spaces relies on our perceptual habits to fill in the missing sides of a partly closed shape. The forms seem to both inhabit and exist outside the gallery walls, as the viewer perceives the dotted lines simultaneously as both closed, rectilinear volumes and empty space.

Kramm was selected by jurors Phil Hutinet and Victoria Milko though Target Gallery’s annual Open Exhibition Call for Proposals. A catalog will accompany the exhibition.

It's not only the month of America's independence, Second Thursday falls on Bastille Day! We partner with the Office of Historic Alexandria to celebrate Red, White, and Blue.

Andy Yoder leads visitors in papermaking for Highest Honor, a site-specific, suspended, 25-ft triangular banner celebrating the Torpedo Factory's naval history. Enjoy live music with jazz duo Entre Nous. 

See Please Touch in Target Gallery before it closes and attend openings for Not a Box and Kathleen Best Gillmann: Vision at Water’s Edge in The Art League Gallery.

Stop by Studio 306 for James Dean and Kara Hammond’s Generations: Space History in Art. Alison Sigethy (Studio 307) hosts a space-themed cocktail hour.

Enjoy three floors of activities, open studios, refreshments, and more.

Openings, Art Show Listings, Events, and Meetings / ASO Sympatico
« on: June 01, 2016, 11:47:55 AM »

ASO Sympatico
June 2 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Torpedo Factory Art Center welcomes back ASO Sympatico for a special night of music. This performance group was developed as a partnership between the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra and the Alexandria City Public Schools to provide high-quality music education for local elementary students who are underrepresented minorities or at-risk youth. This performance will feature three of their music ensembles: Singing Eagles, Strings at Sunrise, and JABBA.

ASO Sympatico seeks to create safe spaces where students can take risks and make strong choices, while promoting student ownership of their role in an interdependent ensemble. Ensembles are hosted at John Adams Elementary School, a Title I and minority-majority school that benefits from a longstanding dual-language program and a Kennedy Center arts-integration partnership (Changing Education through the Arts).

This event is co-sponsored by the Torpedo Factory Art Center as part of the Community Partnership Program.

Openings, Art Show Listings, Events, and Meetings / Performance Art
« on: April 28, 2016, 03:22:43 PM »
Stay a spell, spell a word, cast a spell.

This experimental new performance looks at how we mark time, language that is unspoken, and the everyday rituals that permeate our lives. Can we evade fixedness through abstraction, can gestures be transformative? This performance is about searching through the ordinary for new processes of becoming.

On the eve of the May full moon, dance is an invocation, a celebration of confusion and multiplicity. Armstrong developed the choreography and performs Spell with Hayley Cutler/darlingdance. The duo responds to the unique architecture and long atrium of the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Chris Rasley's live electronic music will accompany them.

Spell is an evening-length event with a discussion following the performance. It is best suited for 18+ audience.

RSVP by May 20, 2016 at:

Openings, Art Show Listings, Events, and Meetings / Art Events
« on: April 28, 2016, 03:20:20 PM »
Join us in May as we celebrate Pets! We welcome the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. By the riverfront entrance, four-legged visitors can help us create a paw-print mural for the "Dog-I-Y" activity.

On the catwalk, Heloisa Escudero invites visitors to join her for a bit of pampering in her interactive performance, Everyone is a VIP. Acoustic guitarist Jay Nixon performs a mix of original songs and favorite covers.

In addition to meeting muralist Erin Curtis, attend the opening reception for May Open Exhibit and Nancy McIntyre: Rhythms of Time in The Art League Gallery. Experience Lisa Kellner's immersive Always into Now in Target Gallery before it closes on May 29.

For more information check out our website at:

Openings, Art Show Listings, Events, and Meetings / Visual Arts
« on: March 22, 2016, 03:30:35 PM »
Paulette Palacios completes her three-month post-MFA residency at the end of March. Hear about the work she created during her time at the Torpedo Factory. She will touch on her work as a printmaker in relation to her heritage and her experiences as a young woman in the arts.

Reception is at 5 pm with a talk starting at 6:30 pm, moderated by Elizabeth Klimek, adjunct instructor at the College of Southern Nevada and former adjunct professor of printmaking at the Corcoran School of Art & Design at George Washington University.

A recurrent theme in Paulette Palacios’ work is her self-portrait. She turns her own visage into a pattern to be repeated over and over again. Regardless of how painstakingly designed and crafted it is, her portrait becomes a background object. Looking at it too long begins to wipe it of its meaning. It is not driven by narcissism, but more as an attempt to understand her own existence.

“The human face is a pattern in itself, as well as an object in the pattern of humanity. At the end of the day, it just becomes a beautiful object. Considering it from this perspective gives it new breath.”

Facebook Event URL:


Paulette Palacios earned her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She received her BFA as well as a MA in teaching Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. Palacios has shown her work in and around the D.C. region at locations like Pyramid Atlantic, Washington Print Makers Gallery, Carol Square, and Hillyer Art Space. She predominately works in printmaking and alternative processes.


Elizabeth Klimek is an adjunct instructor at the College of Southern Nevada. She is of Seneca (Cornplanter) descent, but holds no tribal affiliations. In the fall of 2009 she taught in Italy for the University of Georgia’s Cortona Program. She received her BFA from West Virginia University and her MFA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is the co-curator of the Dog Head Stew Portfolios, an exhibition discussing Native American stereotypes, currently exhibited around the US and other countries.


Target Gallery, the contemporary exhibition space of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, partners with the Women’s Caucus of Art to present Trending: Contemporary Art Now! The exhibition, which is part of WCA’s 2016 national conference in Washington, D.C., is on view through Sunday, February 28, in Studio 2 of the Torpedo Factory Art Center.

Trending features work by 12 self-identified women who are driving the direction of contemporary art. It offers a cross-section of media to reflect the leading edge of contemporary art, including video, collage, 3D photography, found objects, installation, and more.

 “The exhibition title immediately brought to mind hashtag culture, where anything that is au courant can be quickly digested,” said Elizabeth K. Garvey, juror for this exhibition. “We are bombarded by so much imagery that our time is often spent quickly scanning rather than closely looking. I saw this exhibition as a small opportunity to reaffirm the importance of digging deeper and looking longer.”

Garvey, co-founder and owner of Garvey Simon Art Access in New York City, selected more than one piece by each artist, concentrating on artists whose work is unified and consistent. This not only provides wider context for each woman, but it also creates a more focused visual experience in the show.

During the public reception, Garvey will share her insights into her selections as juror starting at 5:45. Full reception to follow starting at 6 pm.

Add this event to your calendar:

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