Being Bold for Change

Studio 5 presents three bold female artists who stand with all women to be bold for change. Painter Barbara Muth and mixed-media artist Fierce Sonia are no strangers to being bold in their work. Photographer Julie Patrick joins as a studio guest.

On March 8, International Women’s Day asked each of us to #BeBoldForChange. The campaign’s 2017 theme asks each of us to play a role challenging bias, inequality, and violence, while also celebrating, honoring and uplifting the achievements of women and support their continued advancement. Studio 5 is proud to live these values and celebrate strong female artists in their new show.

Meet the artists for a reception on Sunday, March 26 from 3-5pm.

For more information, contact Julie Patrick:

Fuller Study Findings

In Fall 2016, the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association (TFAA) commissioned the Stephen S. Fuller Institute to conduct the attached study to better understand the effect of our unique organization on the City of Alexandria. The resulting Economic Impact Study confirms the Torpedo Factory Art Center is critical to Alexandria’s economy, and offers a broad perspective on what needs to happen in order to capitalize on the Art Center’s history and grow it’s success.

Facing increased competition from neighboring tourism industry attractions and the prospect of dwindling federal spending, the Art Center needs a management structure that is flexible, forward-looking, and, crucially, versed in what makes us unique.

The Torpedo Factory Art Center is an economic powerhouse; it is Alexandria’s strongest catalytic force in generating tourism year-round. The Fuller Study finds that $35.2 million in direct spending is generated annually from non-resident Torpedo Factory visitors, and the City benefits from $47 million in transactions associated with the total spending.

What is driving that traffic? A one-of-a-kind experience:

  • Working artists engaging with the public
  • High quality artwork with standards set by a blind jury process
  • Something new to see on every visit

The Art Center’s uniqueness lies in the ability of visitors to engage with artists during the creative process. With dozens of the world’s finest museums and galleries within a few miles, the 43-year legacy of the Torpedo Factory continues to succeed because of the dedication from an ever-changing group of artists and the one-of-a-kind immersive experience. This experience is found not only in our artist studios, but also in the Arts League classrooms, the Archeology Museum, and the special events and projects artists create with the public.

The Fuller Study illustrates how we can succeed in a rapidly changing economic environment. The artists (all small business owners) have the greatest motivation to manage this resource effectively: their economic success is intertwined with that of the Art Center. Allowing artists to be creative, flexible, and collaborative is essential to the Art Center’s continued success.
The City of Alexandria will always be a stakeholder in the Art Center, but without the constant constraint of cumbersome bureaucratic decision-making, the TFAA can more easily create partnerships with retail enterprises, neighboring arts organizations, corporate sponsors, and private giving sources. Artist governance of the Torpedo Factory Art Center will provide the City of Alexandria with more visitation, increased tax revenue, and expanded community programming without increasing City spending.  We encourage you to read our plan for governance at

To read the full report, click here: The Impact of the Torpedo Factory Arts Center.

To watch a video of Dr. Fuller’s presentation, please click here.

The Impact of the Torpedo Factory Art Center on the City of Alexandria’s Economy

The Stephen S. Fuller Institute for Research on the Washington Region’s Economic Future and the Schar School of Policy and Government George Mason University recently completed a study titled The Impact of the Torpedo Factory Art Center on the City of Alexandria’s Economy.

Economist Stephen Fuller will be presenting the study, commissioned by the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association, at a press conference on Thursday, March 2 at 2:30 pm at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Gallery 311.

“This new research confirms what has been concluded in previous research; that is, the Torpedo Factory Art Center is the most significant single visitor attraction in Alexandria and that, in combination with other attractions in Old Town, together they generated a substantial level of visitor spending to the benefit of the City” says Fuller. Fuller also stated that “the attractive power of this destination is its unique experience: the ability for visitors to interact with artists and the creative process. Our research has shown that this experience makes it a compelling destination for all ages and income levels.”

Previous research studied for analysis of the Torpedo Factory’s current impact on the City included the 1994 Torpedo Factory Art Center Visitor Impact Study, The Visitor Market in Alexandria: Present and Prospective by the GMU Center for Regional Analysis in 2007, and the 2010 A Study of the Torpedo Factory Art Center by MAI, prepared for the City of Alexandria.

Fuller further said “The totality of economic impact leveraged by the Torpedo Factory is very significant and could be even greater by strengthening the City’s complementary attractions.  These complementary attractions, combined with the Torpedo Factory, generate local visitor spending and can be increased by marketing and managing the Torpedo Factory more aggressively to increase its regional market penetration. That’s the opportunity— but there is also the threat of a more competitive regional market.  A vibrant Torpedo Factory is essential to Old Town’s commercial success; there certainly is unrealized opportunity here to grow the City’s economy.”

The Torpedo Factory Art Center is located on the Alexandria Waterfront in a building owned by the City of Alexandria. After the recent failure and dissolution of a five-year non-profit management board (the TFACB) implemented in 2011 by the City of Alexandria, the City of Alexandria Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities Department’s Office of the Arts has taken over temporary management of the facility until a new entity for management is decided. The Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association submitted a plan for Art Center management in September 2016.

The Art Lounge- Extended to February 13

A special The Associates Gallery project, Class of 2016 Torpedo Factory Artists Naomi Christianson, Greeway, and Michael Fischerkeller host a six week exhibition and collaborative art space. 

From the artists:

The Art Lounge is a community space open to Torpedo Factory residents, associates, art lovers, and artists from as far as the mind’s eye can reach.

We welcome all, for we are a space station for the universal tribe of the human race, standing on the side of love and speaking the same language of art. We aspire to strengthen our bond between all by communing socially and welcoming whatever any artist or art lover can bring.

Join us for our weekly gathering every Thursday evening from 6:00 – 9:00 pm or stop in anytime our doors are open to experience, collaborate, and discuss.

Alexandria Community Collage Exhibition

an inclusive alexandria

JANUARY 12, 2017 – FEBRUARY 28, 2017
Site 3 Gallery
Reception & Collage Making
Thursday, January 12 • 6:30 – 8:30 pm

On November 19, 2016 the Alexandria City Council issued a statement on community inclusivity. During the January Second Thursday community art night, Torpedo Factory Artists, led by Fierce Sonia (Studio 5), worked with the public to create a collage that embraces both the bonds between local artists and community. This piece, utilizing the original Torpedo Factory primary color target logo for inspiration, is the central element of the Site 3 exhibition: Alexandria Community Collage. Members of the Alexandria visual arts community, including Torpedo Factory Artists past and present, and members of The Art League, have work featured that focuses around the themes of Alexandria, community, and inclusivity. A large typographical version of the Alexandria City Council Statement on inclusivity  is also on display.

Featured Artists: Karen Fitzgerald, Bob Friedman, Willa Friedman, John Gosling, Kara Hammond, Clay Huffman*, Marcel*, Val Proudkii, Fierce Sonia, Marian Van Landingham, and Gale Wallar



Join our Campaign!

You’ve probably heard about the Torpedo Factory Artist plan for the Art Center. The artists at the Torpedo Factory have presented a detailed business plan to the city which returns control of the factory to our creative, small businesses…at no cost to the city.

The Torpedo Factory has been at risk for several years. The City of Alexandria, our landlord, gave control of the Torpedo Factory to a governing board of mainly non-artists. This board failed to make the art center self-sustaining and the City dissolved it. Now the City has taken over. This new bureaucracy comes with limited artistic experience and no long term plan. The early results are grim: departing studio artists, rising city expenses, and declining visitor services.

Please ask the City Council to support this plan by clicking HERE. We also invite you to join us at the City Council Public Hearing on December 17. Torpedo Factory Artist buttons will be available.

Our plan is good for the city:

  • Saves city money and makes the art center self-sustaining
  • Grows local tax revenue
  • Drives over 600,000 visitors to the Old Town business district

It’s also good for our visitors and communities. The plan…

  • Enhances the visitor experience through longer studio hours
  • Offers more, and varied, arts programming
  • Expands our already substantial outreach to local communities and schools

Regardless of where you live, it’s important that the City Council knows that you are coming to Alexandria to visit the artists at the Torpedo Factory and you support their plan. If you’ve already made your voice heard, we sincerely thank you. You can view more information about why our plan is more important than ever here.

To review our business plan for the Torpedo Factory, select the links below:

**To receive updates on this challenge or just to stay in touch with what’s happening with the Torpedo Factory Artists, please join us on Facebook or lnstagram!**



Join us for our Holiday Party

Celebrate the art of the season with the Torpedo Factory Artists! Join us for an evening of art, entertainment, and holiday fun. Shop for unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays from more than 200 artists and fine craftsmen. Enter our free raffle to win art and gift certificates, and take advantage of exclusive holiday party promotions.

Looking for information on Holiday Festival- our family friendly community day? Click here.

RSVP on Eventbrite or email