New faces, new perspectives: The 2014 Visiting Artist Program

What’s it like to work among more than 100 artists—and in front of a curious public? Torpedo Factory artists love to discuss the challenges and rewards—and this summer, thanks to our Visiting Artist Program, artists from across North America will add their voices to this vital conversation.

Now in its fourth year, the program invites artists to join us between June and September for residencies that may range anywhere from four weeks to three months. They set up shop in the studio of an artist who’s traveling or on sabbatical, and they work in front of, and interact with, the public five days a week, including weekends, our busiest time. Veterans of the program tend to speak highly of their time here, telling us that they were alternately excited, moved, and inspired by directly engaging the public with art.

This year, the application process for the Visiting Artist Program took place entirely online, and we were delighted when the number of entries nearly doubled. Tasked with reviewing 70 diverse and highly competitive portfolios, juror Zoma Wallace selected 16 artists to spend part of their summer with us, with some coming from as far away as Texas and Quebec.

Wallace, a curator, arts administrator, and experimental artist in Washington, D.C., was impressed not only by the quality of the applicants’ work, but also by the various genres, styles, and media in which they excel.

“The review process has been a wonderful experience,” Wallace says. “The artists range from masterful ceramicists, painters, and illustrators to sculptors, installationists, and jewelry makers. I envision a strong gallery exhibition featuring these artists, and I can also see the potential growth and development that the artists can experience within the Torpedo Factory community.”

If you’re thinking about applying for full Torpedo Factory membership, the Visiting Artist Program is a great way to experience life here on the Alexandria waterfront. Artists typically apply more than once before they’re accepted, so if you’re not joining us this summer, don’t hesitate to try again next year! Whether you’re an emerging artist or an established professional, we invite you to share your work with us—even as we find innovative ways to share our creativity with you.

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