Torpedo Factory Art Center

January 24, 2012

So, a few weeks ago I was made aware of an awesome little place called the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia. It sounded awesome and I quickly dismissed the idea of going there in the near future because of its proximity to Houston. Well, it just so happens that I went there yesterday and I wanted to tell you all about it.

I flew up to Baltimore for a few days on Sunday and I was looking around for some cool things to do, and of course there is Washington, D.C. and all of its terrific things, as well as the stuff Baltimore has to offer, but since I was in the area I made sure to take that hour drive down to Alexandria to check out the Torpedo Factory.

The cool thing about it is that it used to be an actual torpedo factory dating back to both the world wars. But in the 70's it was converted into a very unique artist gallery and collection of studios.

The unique thing about the work displayed in there is that it is all created there as well. Essentially the massive building is divided up into a couple hundred studios that artists use to create their work that also doubles as their gallery. So, you can walk into their studio and watch them work and browse all of their artwork and purchase it directly from them as well. It is a really awesome idea and I need to look more into finding more places similar to it.

A little tip: The Torpedo Factory opens its doors at 10am and stay open until 6pm. Well, that sounds really great but I arrived at about 9:50am and it really took a good while for artists to begin rolling in. In fact many post their hours to be 11am onward. But I stayed to well after noon and there still wasn't that many. This could be that it was a Monday in January, I'm not too certain. But if I were to come again I'd try more of an early afternoon time instead to maximize the number of artists available.

I'd like to mention one artists that had some work that really stood out to me. One of them was a watercolor artist whose primary content consisted of the unique buildings that Washington is known for and some paintings of nature, such as trees. Her name is Margaret Huddy and you should definitely check out her work.

On top of all this Alexandria is just an awesome city. It is a little cold for my taste, though. Definitely plan a trip in the spring or summer if snow isn't your thing. The whole town is filled with awesome shops, from coffee to collectibles, to antiques and jewelry. It's just a quaint town filled with an awesome aura.

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