From folk art to wearable works: shows by Torpedo Factory members in June and July

At the Torpedo Factory, we’re delighted to host so many styles, techniques, and media under one roof. This summer, throughout the region, our artists are busy showing the public the full range of their talents. Whether you’re intrigued by folk art, photography, painting, or wearable decor, the odds are good that an exhibition in Maryland or Virginia is bound to catch your eye.
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Fiber artists are vital to the Torpedo Factory community, and the members of Fiberworks never disappoint.  Through July 21, 2014, visit them here in studio 14 and be delighted by “Body Decors,” a show that does what fiber artists tend to do best: blur the lines between the wearable and the ingenious.

You’ll see wild felted hats and various neck pieces made of everything from vintage fabrics to knitted metal wire, with others incorporating old dominoes and repurposed jazz eight-track cartridges—as well as pins, bracelets, cuffs, and belts. With its emphasis on wearable art, “Body Decors” is a fun reminder that every day, each of us has the potential to make a statement and push the objects we wear well beyond the realm of functionality.

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Ann Noel, “Studio View,” 20″ x 24″

If you live or do business near Leesburg, Virginia, check out “Seasonal Moments,” an exhibition of paintings by Ann Noel at the Loudoun County Government Center. Through July 8, 2014, Noel’s paintings will give county employees and visitors to the center reason to pause and reflect, perhaps bringing a lovely new dimension to their day.

“I use color to create drama, tension, and a sense of space or narrative,” the artist explains. “My goal is to have the viewer stop and think about the moment, the setting, the movement, the happening.”

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Jo Ann Tooley, “Two Flowers”

Formerly a popular amusement park, Glen Echo Park in Maryland is now a beloved local sanctuary for the arts. Through July 6, 2014, two Torpedo Factory photographers—Sandy LeBrun-Evans of Multiple Exposures Gallery and Jo Ann Tooley—will show their work at Glen Echo’s Popcorn Gallery in “Environments: Built and Unbuilt,” a show that highlights what happens when four local artists are tasked with taking “environmental pictures,” guided by whatever that expression might mean to them.

Sandy LeBrun-Evans,
“Good Morning, Yellowstone”

From morning mist over the Potomac to the beauty of Yellowstone National Park, the images in this show offer unique impressions of natural and man-made objects and settings. Displayed at varying sizes, from striking large-scale landscapes to small, delicate nature studies, “Environments” includes an array of framed prints, note cards, and even books printed on unexpected media. Whether you’re at Glen Echo for an art class, dance lessons, or children’s camps, stop by the Popcorn Gallery—and see the outside world anew.

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Sissy Cutchen, “Pies for Sale”

Art brings people together—and with “Everybody’s Cookies,” her current exhibition at the Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth. Sissy Cutchen reminds us that food also gives us openings for children and adults alike to discuss their experiences and relate to one another.

Featuring a wonderful array of Cutchen’s folk-art-inspired creations, “Everybody’s Cookies” was inspired by the artist’s twelve moves as the wife of a Naval aviator and the experiences she had with food in each new location. Everywhere she went, children asked Cutchen why she cooked certain kinds of food—and a story was born.

Sissy Cutchen, “Fin Fish”

Thanks to the museum’s education department, kids have been learning all about folk art while also enjoying many of the artist’s favorite subjects: flowers, fish, food, fowl, and furniture. Open through July 12, 2014, “Everybody’s Cookies” is sure to bring a smile to children’s faces.

“Kids love my artwork because it breaks the rules for art,” Cutchen explains. “I paint on windows and tables and chairs. When you open a drawer on a chest, there are fried eggs in it.”

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