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

Don’t Miss Erika Cleveland in TAG!

TAG delves into fantasy!

“Upside Down: Inside Out: The Fanciful in Daily Life” at the Torpedo Factory Associates’ Gallery (TAG) features three- dimensional work byErika Cleveland. Cleveland’s work was recently exhibited at Arlington Arts Center and in the Torpedo Factory New Project Studio 8. This imaginative fiber artist explores the fanciful in daily life with her needle-felted dolls. From life-sized to small, dolls are doing everything from flying a trapeze to hanging from a vine. Cleveland’s playful dolls will appeal to both adults and children. They are both engaging and sophisticated.

Studio 311
Show closes October 23, 2016

Torpedo Factory Artists Offer Management Plan

Proposal Restores Artist-led, Marketplace Approach to Govern Renowned Art Center

The artists of the Torpedo Factory Art Center have presented a comprehensive business plan for governing the nationally recognized Center and ensuring its long-term financial viability.  The proposal would restore the marketplace, artist-led framework that guided the Torpedo Factory for most of the 42 years that it has been a landmark destination in Old Town Alexandria.

The plan comes in the wake of the City of Alexandria temporarily taking over the Art Center this summer as it considers how it should be managed in the future.  Developed by the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association (TFAA), which represents more than 275 artists, the plan is the only detailed proposal presented to the city, which owns the building.

The TFAA artists “believe it’s time for the organizational structure and governance model to reconnect with the original marketplace framework,” the plan says.  “A reinvigorated marketplace, with substantial changes in operations and in partnership with the City of Alexandria, presents the best scenario for the long-term financial viability.”

TFAA calls for the creation of a new, collaborative Torpedo Factory board comprised of representatives of TFAA, the City of Alexandria, and the Art League, the art education organization.  The new board would oversee the Art Center and execute the business plan.

The plan outlines ways to improve the financial strength of the Torpedo Factory and make improvements to the building.  It would increase revenue by marketing the Center beyond its walls, increasing event-space rentals, partnering with local businesses, and expanding galleries.  New sources of revenue would be secured through corporate partnerships, individual memberships, advertising, and fee-based programming.

“We should embrace a vision for the future that recognizes the original successful concept that the Torpedo Factory is an artisan marketplace,” said TFAA President Don Viehman.  “We are a collection of dozens of small businesses working in 82 studios.  At the same time, we must pursue new opportunities to expand our community outreach, revenue, and partnerships.  But that can only be done through a marketplace framework.”

TFAA shared the plan with city officials last month.  It will present it publicly at a September 9 birthday tribute for Marian Van Landingham, the Torpedo Factory’s founder and long-time Virginia Delegate, who still maintains an active artist studio at the Center.

As artists, were thrilled to apply our creativity to a business challenge that affects our livelihoods,” remarked Rachel Kerwin, an artist at the Torpedo Factory.  Its also exciting to demonstrate that were more than just an ‘artist colony.  Were small businesses committed to making the Torpedo Factory a dynamic marketplace. We all win when that happens.”  

In July, the City of Alexandria let a five-year lease to a hybrid board expire and installed city employees in non-artist positions at the Torpedo Factory.  Top city officials have said they do not intend to retain permanent control of the Art Center operations.  It is unclear how soon Alexandria will make decisions about the Torpedo Factory’s future.

“During this transition period, we must protect the original vision that has made the Torpedo Factory the nation’s largest collection of accessible working-artist studios, while rapidly adopting new approaches to meet the financial challenges of the future,” said Viehman.

To view the plan, please visit


Art Materials Market

At the Fourth Annual Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association Art Materials Market vendors and Torpedo Factory Artists will be selling or trading a variety of art supplies for use across all visual media. You can expect to find common items like brushes, paints, easels, and fabric, but also be prepared for more unique finds!

The market will also feature artist demonstrations, a book-swap table, and a school supply donation area for FACE; 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, there are tables available for purchase here. Visual artists and artist organizations from all media are encourage to participate. All spaces must be reserved in advance and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The reservation deadline is Monday, August 15 at 10:00 pm.

For information contact

Fran Livaditis chosen for inaugural season of City of Alexandria’s Community Supported Art

Torpedo Factory Artist Fran Livaditis (Studio 328) was chosen to participate in the first ever City of Alexandria’s Community Supported Art (CSA). Livaditis, a photographer,  was one of six artists chosen from an open call for artists who are residents of Virginia, Maryland, or DC. Each of the six artists will create 50 pieces that will be sold in shares to the community. To purchase a share, please visit the Community Supported Art website.

From the City of Alexandria Press Release:

What is Community Supported Art?  Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy seasonal food directly from local farms. With the same buy-local spirit in mind, Community Supported Art is a similar endeavor to support local art, artists and collectors. It has been replicated in over 100 cities in North America over the past several years. Interested consumers/collectors can purchase a “share” consisting of six pieces of locally produced artwork (one from each artist). Shares will include photography, glass, pastels, watercolors and ceramics.

Only 50 shares will be available and are expected to sell out fast. Shares cost $250 each and will be distributed at our Pick-Up Party on Wednesday, September 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron St. You will have a chance to mingle with fellow shareholders as well as the artists that designed your artwork, all while enjoying live music and delicious food and beverages provided by Bittersweet Catering. Each shareholder may bring one guest to the Pick-Up Party (tickets required).


Generations: Space Exploration from Inception to Cultural Memory

It will soon be 47 years since humans first set foot on the moon. To commemorate this momentous accomplishment, realist artists James Dean and Kara Hammond bring together their space related works to celebrate the early days of space travel and exploration, in a small, targeted retrospective.

As NASA Art Director, James Dean escorted the likes of Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Jamie Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, and Paul Calle to witness history in the making as they created original works for the NASA Art collection. As the former Curator of Art at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, Dean shows his own considerable artistic prowess at capturing the early heady times of space exploration through original on-site sketches and personal photographs of the artists working at Cape Canaveral in the early 1960’s – 70’s.

Established artist Kara Hammond will show her immaculately rendered paintings and drawings from the 1990’s, of early space technology, including many Soviet era craft virtually unknown to the American public until decades later. Her work investigates the implicit beauty of machines built to withstand the most extreme extraterrestrial forces.

Show Opens July 1 and runs through July 31, 2016

Studio 306
Torpedo Factory Art Center
105 N. Union St.
Alexandria, VA, 22314

The Splashdown Reception will be Sun. July 24 from 1pm to 4pm, to celebrate the 47th anniversary of the return of the Apollo 11 astronauts.

Marcia Jestaedt at the Shanghai Ceramic Art Expo 2016

Torpedo Factory Artist Marcia Jestaedt, a leaseholder in Studio 13, had several pieces exhibited at the Shanghai Ceramic Art Expo 2016. The works were presented by Mr. Heliang Tsi of the Suixuan Art Center and exhibited in the International section of the show.

Mr. Tsi previously invited Jestaedt to Shanghai during the summer of 2014. She she spent five day touring museums and galleries, in addition to her time at the Suixuan Art Center, and Tsi’s ceramic facility, located at the Shanghai Institute.

To read more on her 2014 trip, please click here.
You can view more of Marcia Jestaedt’s work on her website: