August into autumn: news from Torpedo Factory artists

With the coming of Labor Day weekend, we reach the turn in the year when, in the words of poet and Poe paramour Sarah Helen Whitman, “Summer gathers up her robes of glory / And, like a dream of beauty, glides away.”

Fortunately, art endures—and thrives—all year long. Before autumn settles over Alexandria, here’s the latest from several Torpedo Factory artists who are well worth your attention.

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From September 6 through October 2, 2013, the work of painter and printmaker Laura Edwards will be featured at the Cooley Gallery in Leesburg, Virginia—a wonderful pottery studio, gallery, art space, and all-around cool place just 50 minutes west of Alexandria and D.C.

“There is a place where the abstract takes on the image of the realistic,” Edwards says. “The painting within the painting, an evolving image developing as the composition grows. My paintings are about the illusion—the painting you see and the one you imagine.”

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Congrats to painter Susan Makara, who made the cover of élan, the magazine that celebrates the northern Virginia art scene. Fans of Makara’s work will recognize the painting as part of her Masks series—which helped earn her Torpedo Factory Artist of the Year in 2012.

“There is a haunting dream-like quality with the figures, all hidden behind masks,” observed potter and ceramicist William Schran when he chose Makara for last year’s honor. “Behind the mask, who is looking at whom?”

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What does it mean to see and be seen? From September 3 through October 13, 2013, you’ll find new visual explorations of this question at the Multiple Exposures Gallery in studio 312.

Whether using an iPhone camera or a high-end Nikon, Colleen Henderson strives to bring a deliberate sense of contemplation to her art. In “Daily Differences,” she’ll show images from her ongoing, five-year-strong “shot of the day” series. (She’ll also be exhibiting a limited edition of hand-bound artist books.)

With “Street Portraits,” Karen Keating shows off her sharp eye for daily life. Work and travel previously took her to Honduras, Bulgaria, Cuba, and Africa; now, her new shots from Sicily and Key West will show why she’s known for turning people-watching into a truly fine art.

Keating’s purpose is clear: “I observe the ordinary moments knowing that there is the inherent possibility that these moments are extraordinary.”

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Congrats to enamelist and metal worker Charlene Cross, who has been certified by the Artisans Center of Virginia as a Juried Virginia Artist—which means her work is considered among the best Virginia has to offer.

“An Artisan creates objects of three dimensional craft, often to be used functionally, but always with a high degree of artistry and quality craftsmanship,”the ACV explains. “Tat the goal of the Artisan is to achieve heirloom quality is an unspoken assumption.”

Cross, who specializes in wearable art, was recognized by the ACV for professional achievement “in the areas of originality, design, technical execution, and marketability.” Nature provides her with endless inspiration: “From the obviously beautiful to the unsettling, there is no end to the opportunities for interpreting nature’s creations with metal and enamel.”

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