Torpedo Factory Art Center’s 45th Anniversary

By Editorial Team on September 11, 2019
Courtesy of Torpedo Factory Art Center.
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Reception: Sunday, September 15 from 2pm to 5pm
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The City of Alexandria will host a free public reception to celebrate 45 years since the Torpedo Factory Art Center opened in 1974. The 45th Anniversary Salute will take place on Sunday, September 15, from 2 to 5 p.m., at the Art Center (105 N. Union St.).

Several special guests will honor the sapphire anniversary with remarks starting at 3:30 p.m. Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson and U.S. Rep. Donald Beyer will both present proclamations. Marian Van Landingham, the Art Center’s founder, will speak and meet with visitors.

To commemorate the anniversary, guests will be able to create silkscreen prints to take home, visit select studios for artist demonstrations, and craft hands-on projects. Light refreshments will be provided.

Housed in the former US Naval Torpedo Station in Alexandria, the Art Center is one of the nation’s earliest examples of creative reuse of an industrial space and has inspired similar cultural spaces around the world. It is now America’s largest community of publicly accessible working artists’ studios under one roof.

As a member of Alexandria’s Bicentennial Committee in 1974, Van Landingham proposed to renovate the then-derelict plant into usable studio spaces. The City agreed and hired her as director in what was expected to be a three-year experiment.

Almost a half-century later, the Art Center is a cultural destination in Alexandria with 165 visual artists, 82 studios and seven galleries, including Target Gallery, the Art Center’s contemporary exhibition space. The Art Center is managed by the City’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities through the Office of the Arts.

This year also marks the building’s centennial on the waterfront. To celebrate the combined anniversaries, the Art Center will host an Anniversary Ball on Saturday, November 16, from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets will soon be available at torpedofactory.org/events.

For more information or request reasonable disability accommodations, email torpedofactory@alexandriava.gov, or call 703-746-4570.

About the Torpedo Factory Art Center

Founded in 1974 in an old munitions plant, the Torpedo Factory Art Center is home to the nation’s largest number of publicly accessible working artist studios under one roof. The City of Alexandria manages Torpedo Factory Art Center through the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities as part of the Office of the Arts’ family of programs and facilities. Just south of Washington DC., 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 studios and seven galleries. For more information, visit torpedofactory.org or follow the Torpedo Factory on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest via @torpedofactory.

Torpedo Factory is located at 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA.