Torpedo Factory Art Center Welcomes New Emerging Artists to Post-Grad Residency Studio

By Editorial Team on January 30, 2018

For the fourth year, the Torpedo Factory Art Center welcomes four emerging artists to participate in the Post-Grad Residency Program: Alexis Gomez, Kelly Johnston, Lyric Prince, and Sara Roberts. The jurors for the exhibition were: Christine Neptune, founder and director of Neptune Fine Art; Amy Cavanaugh Royce, executive director of Maryland Art Place; and Ginevra Shay, curator of the site-specific Rose Arcade project and previous artistic director of The Contemporary Museum.

This competitive juried program provides three months of exclusive access to Studio 12, located in the center of the Torpedo Factory’s Grand Hall. Therein, artists can create and sell work, interact with the public, and connect with other arts professionals. The residency is unique for addressing the critical post-graduation 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.

Applications were open to recently graduated students who earned a bachelor’s or master’s art degree from an accredited university. Submissions were accepted from across the nation, provided artists submit proof of their permanent residence in the area and/or commitment to contributing to the future of the region’s arts scene.

“This program is about welcoming the next generation of artists into the Torpedo Factory community,” said Brett Johnson, director of the Torpedo Factory Art Center. “The program is a fitting example of working toward our mission of igniting the creative spirit. We’re fostering connections among artists and the public with this residency. My hope is that we have a dynamic exchange of perspectives, techniques, and ideas throughout 2018.”

The program culminates in a group exhibition in Target Gallery, the Torpedo Factory’s contemporary exhibition space, October 27 – December 2, 2018.

Meet the 2018 Post-Graduate Residents

Work by Lyric Prince. Courtesy of Torpedo Factory Art Center.

Lyric Prince
January – March
Lyric Prince creates symmetrical geometrically inspired digital and analogue art that often touches on racial and physical dysmorphia. Her work calls to a need to recognize and identify patterns of all types in every day life, and juxtaposes them in kaleidoscopic and repeating forms. Her use of bold colors and sharp, contrasting lines construct an environment that will immerse and gradually split apart the subject at hand, drawing the subject into a gradual progression of increasing abstraction. She often takes drawings and paintings and digitally rearranges parts into something new. This process allows her to recycle art and ideas, as she may have several reuses from one piece. Her work becomes a self-regenerating kaleidoscope of inspiration.

During her residency, Prince would like to engage the public about art appreciation at the Torpedo Factory. She’d also like to use the space to complete several large kirigami (cut paper) sculptures.

Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Prince received her bachelor’s of fine arts from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and recently completed a master’s in science, technology, and society from Drexel University in Philadelphia. Her interest pertains to cultural anthropology, specifically on how art can be designated for political and personal representation. Her practice is project-specific and often includes digital installations, paper sculpture and art criticism. She currently lives and works in DC.

Work by Alexis Gomez. Courtesy of Torpedo Factory Art Center.

Alexis Gomez
April – June
Alexis Gomez’s work investigates the internal and external spaces we inhabit as human beings. Using illusionistic patterns and figural forms to represent both literal and metaphorical space, he creates settings that induce an inner and outer body experience, reflective of the constant transition that our consciousness undergoes.

During his residency, Gomez will continue to integrate the virtual and physical realms as he experiments with new-media including VR/3D animation in conjunction with figural sculpture.

Originally from Fairfax, Virginia, Gomez received his bachelor’s of fine arts from the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at the George Washington University. Gomez is an interdisciplinary artist with a focus in figural sculpture, painting, and animation. He is a Sparkplug member at the District of Columbia Arts Center and Flatfile artist at Transformer Gallery. He is currently living and working in Virginia.

Work by Sara Roberts. Courtesy of Torpedo Factory Art Center.

Sara Roberts
July – September
Sara Roberts’ sculptures capture the dynamic nature of 21st-century womanhood as it evolves in definitions, concepts, and expectations in the contemporary socio-political landscape. Influenced by personal experience as well as conversations with other women, she creates sculptures that incite dialogue and undercut the anxiety that often results from a renegotiation of social boundaries. Her selected media often contrast one another. For example, the softness, femininity, and domesticity associated with fabric juxtapose the hard, masculine, and industrial quality of the concrete, resin, and metal casting material.

During her residency, Roberts would like to conduct interviews with local women and incorporate that information into her work. She hopes to foster a cross-regional artistic and cultural exchange to connect her with the surrounding community and re-center herself within the conversation about contemporary womanhood.

Roberts is a sculptor based out of Orange County. She was raised in Twentynine Palms, California and attended California State University Fullerton. In May of 2017 Sara graduated from CSUF with a double major in Sculpture and American Studies. She primarily focuses on mold-making and casting; her work often features life castings of women.

Work by Kelly Johnston. Courtesy of Torpedo Factory Art Center.

Kelly Johnston
October – December
Kelly Johnston explores identity by utilizing natural materials, employing their forms and textures. Her intuitive practice draws on her own lived experiences. She creates sculptures and installations, often casting human figures, to encourage her viewers to reflect on their own personal histories. Her sculptural works have branched into two major forms: 1) Exploring body discomfort by incorporating different organic materials such as hair, palm fiber and oxides into finished pieces. 2) Including man-made objects to create physical presence that resonates with viewers.

During her residency, Johnston will challenge herself to explore new ways of making her castings and installations in order to be innovative and expressive of her ideas.

Originally from Washington, DC, Johnston completed a bachelor’s in anthropology and in studio art at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Johnston has exhibited internationally. Her work explores inherent tensions between emotional and physical discomfort. By using natural materials on large scales to create sculpture and installation, she hopes her viewers connect and address issues in their own lives. Her use of the human form can be seen as a common theme throughout her work, along with incorporating mixed-media to create visceral environments.

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