Torpedo Factory Art Center Welcomes Four Emerging Artists to Second Annual Post-Graduate Residency Studio

By Editorial Team on February 23, 2016

For the second year, the Torpedo Factory Art Center welcomes four emerging artists to participate in the Post-Graduate Residency Program. Jihee Kang, Paulette Palacios, Anne Smith, and Danielle Smith, were juried by Paul Shortt, new media curator for Arlington Cultural Affairs.

The four-month Residency is a competitive program that provides meaningful support to recent, promising graduates who have recently completed master’s of fine arts degrees. This program is conducted in partnership with accredited MFA programs in the region and the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association. It is unique for addressing the critical post-graduate juncture in an emerging artist’s career, offering an opportunity for professional development, networking, and a chance to define their practice outside of the academic context.

The Post-Graduate Residency Studio in located on the first floor in Studio 12 at the Torpedo Factory. Therein, artists can create and sell work, interact with the public, and network with other artists. The program will culminate in a group exhibition in the Torpedo Factory’s contemporary exhibition space, the Target Gallery, on October 22 – November 27, 2016. The reception will take place during Second Thursday Art Night, November 10, at 7 pm.

“This program is about welcoming the next generation of artists into the Torpedo Factory community,” said Eric Wallner, CEO of the Torpedo Factory Art Center. “The program is a great example of working toward our mission of igniting the creative spirit by fostering connections among artists and the public. My hope is that we have a dynamic exchange of perspectives, techniques, and ideas throughout 2016.”

Meet the 2016 Post-Graduate Residents

Paulette Palacios
Through April 1
A recurrent theme in Paulette Palacios’ work is self-portraiture. She turns her own visage into a pattern to be repeated over and over again. Regardless of how painstakingly designed and crafted it is, it becomes a background object, devoid of meaning. “The human face is a pattern in itself, as well as an object in the pattern of humanity. At the end of the day, it just becomes a beautiful object. Considering it from this perspective gives it new breath.”

Palacios has not had a formal studio space for her art since finishing her degree. Her current series has some sculptural objects, but she is also planning on creating screen prints during her time in Studio 12.

Palacios received her bachelor’s of fine art as well as master’s of art in teaching from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. She also has an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Palacios has shown her work in and around the D.C. region at locations like Pyramid Atlantic, Washington Print Makers Gallery, Carol Square, and Hillyer Art Space. She predominately works in printmaking and alternative processes.

Anne Smith
April 2 – July 1
Anne Smith’s interest in real and imagined spaces is evident in her drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. A line becomes a path, which can serve as an edge, boundary, and transitional marker.

During her time at the Torpedo Factory, she will focus on the Potomac River as it flows beyond the building’s walls and create regular screen prints based on her observations and research. Each print will be displayed on the walls of Studio 12 so that during the course of her residency, it becomes full of interpretations about this singular spot on the riverside. “I consider all of my work, no matter the medium, to be a sort of drawing, searching for the articulation of spaces both intimate and far away. This residency will allow me to learn more about the Potomac, which is itself a path, and continue experimenting with silkscreen printmaking.”

Anne Smith is an artist and teacher based in Washington, D.C. Smith received her MFA from George Mason University, where she was honored with the 2015 School of Art Graduate Award for Academic and Artistic Excellence. She received a BA in Studio Art from Williams College, Williamstown, MA, in 2007. Smith has also studied woodworking at the Penland School of Crafts in Baskersville, NC. She is currently a teaching artist with the National Gallery of Art.

Danielle Smith
July 2 – October 1
Danielle Smith work is fueled by her personal experiences as an African-American woman. Her figurative paintings tell stories surrounding pivotal life moments leading to identity fragmentation from childhood to adulthood. She probes feeling a sense of belonging, yet being displaced in terms of race, gender, and class. She layers her canvasses with paintings, drawings, and text to reflect the many layers of her content. Her current focus on young black girls examines their pressures to absorb or reject Eurocentric aesthetic ideals as they form and reconstruct their adult identities.

Smith’s exploration of this theme extends to her medium. During the residency, she plans to experiment with watercolor and oil to investigate how these two opposing media interact, yet remain separate on the same surface. “I plan to use the space as a transition from my MFA studio, which serves as a visual sociology lab. I would also love to use the residency as an opportunity for community engagement, especially with children. This is a chance to let exploration, growth, and play continue after I complete my degree, which is so valuable as I transition into becoming a professional artist.”

Danielle Smith is a Washington, D.C.-based painter and writer, originally from Monterey, California. She received her BFA from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and is expected to graduate from the MFA Studio Art Program at the George Washington University in May 2016. Dani has traveled to China and Australia to participate in artist residencies and her work has been featured in the Franklin Furnace artists’ book series.

Jihee Kang
October 2 – January 1
Jihee Kang creates irrational juxtapositions and modifies the scale of her work in such a way that she brings lightheartedness and humor to her soft sculptures. Her work, which is quite detailed and labor-intensive, examines issues of dualism and identity, a product of being split between two cultures, Korean and American. Her current series focuses on the transformation of an object from one shape to another. In one work, a giant stuffed sushi, embellished with sequins, beading, and leather that turns inside out to become a goldfish cracker.

Kang is looking forward to her time at the Torpedo Factory as an opportunity to demonstrate and teach her techniques to others. “I have always wanted to work in an artistically stimulating environment like you find at the Torpedo Factory. Because I work mostly with fabric, I expect my studio will be warm and cozy. I look forward to welcoming visitors and hope to let them participate in my art making.”

Kang was born in South Korea and currently lives and works in Washington, D.C. She completed a BFA with distinction at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Design in 2013. She is enrolled in the MFA program at American University and will complete her thesis in the spring of 2016. Kang works predominantly in sculpture and her work crosses media including installation, painting, drawing, and printmaking. She has been the recipient of the International Prize “Marche d’ Acqua” Fabriano Watercolor 2012, presented by the Museo della arta e della Filigrana (Museum of Paper and Watermark) in collaboration with InArte Fabriano in Fabriano, Italy, a UNESCO Creative City.

About the Torpedo Factory Art Center
Founded in 1974 in an old munitions plant, the Torpedo Factory Art Center is home to the largest number of publicly accessible working artist studios in the U.S. The organization’s mission is to foster connections between artists and the public that ignite the creative spirit. Just south of Washington, D.C., the Torpedo Factory Art Center overlooks the Potomac River in the Old Town section of Alexandria, Va. Each year, more than a half million national and international visitors meet and interact with more than 160 resident artists in 82 working studios and six galleries. The Torpedo Factory Art Center is also home to The Art League School and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum. For more information visit or follow the Torpedo Factory Art Center on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram via @torpedofactory.

(via Torpedo Factory. Photo courtesy of Torpedo Factory.)