Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day in Alexandria, VA & Washington DC Images

Torpedo Factory  Alexandria, VA
A. Paul with Sheep Jones
It was a very chilly day here in the DC area.  Given this, A. Paul and I decided to use the car for shelter and visit the Torpedo Factory, a WWII torpedo factory converted into an Arts Center, across the Potomac River.  The Arts Center sits along the riverfront in historic Alexandria, Virginia, and houses 6 galleries and 82 working studios occupied by 165 artists.  Artists' works range from ceramic, fiberwork, metalwork, paintings, jewelry, and prints.  Each artist at the Torpedo Factory is selected through a juried process in order to gain space in a studio. The studios that were open, we found the artists to be informative, welcoming and open to sharing insights into their techniques. 

Our first encounter was with Sheep Jones of Studio 7,  who introduced A. Paul to her use of cold wax medium in her paintings, providing a hands on demonstration of its properties in oil painting. Sheep's works, whether small or large, are rich with intense color and layers.  You can check out her work at or at

A. Paul with printmaker Phyllis Cohen

Cecelia Burnett
 In the next two studios, we met up with Cecelia Burnett, who works in acrylic washes that have a fine silkscreen appearance on canvas, and with Phyllis Cohen, a printmaker who has been with the Printmakers Inc at Torpedo Factory since its inception 35 years ago. Phyllis was very familiar with our small town as she has a personal collection of whiteline wood block prints from Provincetown, though she herself pratices the Japanese woodblock printing technique in her work.  To see these two artirsts' works, visit  and the printmakers site

As of last year, the Torpedo Factory began offering summer artist in residence programs, which was very successful and will be implemented again this summer.  You can read more about the studios, galleries, art school, and visiting artists programs on the Torpedo Factory site .

torpedo on display inside the art center

Clint & Kerry Filiberto at Principle Gallery
A short walk down King Street , one of the major mainfares in Alexandria, was the Principle Gallery.  We made a quick jog into the gallery and spoke with Clint, who gave us a more personal introduction to main artists of the gallery.  You can check out the gallery site  .

Also helpful was Zoe Atarodian, Assistant Gallery Director at PC Art, next door to Principle Gallery, who provided us information on a new artists complex in Lorton, VA, called the Workhouse Arts Center.  We are not sure that we will be able to put it on our schedule due to the facility being closed until Wednesday,  which is a great loss for this trip given the size of the complex.  The Workhouse Arts Center has been open only since 2008 and is a converted correctional facility over 200,000 square feet that now houses working artist studios, galleries, and workshops.  Artists, whether interested in teaching a workshop or taking one, can check out their website at  .

Washington, D.C.

Ascending the metro to Dupont Circle

Washington Monument
 A quick jog back across the Potomac and a quick metro trip to Dupont Circle, A. Paul and I scouted out galleries along R Street, Q Street, and 14th Street.  A quick bite at a local eatery and we were off on a cab ride to Georgetown to see what was happening along M Street.  Though the weather was brutally frigid, shoppers still found enough energy to dart in and out of the shops along the way.  A. Paul and I decided that we had enough of the cold and are savoring tomorrow's visit to the Smithsonian and other galleries along the Mall.  We leave you with a small taste of the structural beauty of Washington DC and look forward to sharing our finds at the museums tomorrow.  Tuesday we await our visit to the Phillips Collection.

View down Pennsylvania Avenue