On this date in 1974, Torpedo Factory Art Center officially opened its doors to the public. Join us for an afternoon honoring 45 years of history and toast to the founding artists of the Art Center.
Several special guests will honor the sapphire anniversary, with remarks starting at 3:30 p.m.
U.S. Rep. Donald Beyer and Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson will both present proclamations. Marian Van Landingham, the Art Center’s foundress, will speak and meet with visitors.
To commemorate the anniversary, guests can create a silkscreen print to take home, visit select studios for artist demonstrations and craft hands-on projects. Light refreshments will be provided.
In 1974, Van Landingham, through her role in Alexandria’s Bicentennial Committee, proposed to renovate the 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. It is managed by Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities through the Office of the Arts.
This year also marks the building’s centennial year on the waterfront. To mark the combined anniversaries, the Art Center will host an Anniversary Ball on Saturday, November 16, from 7 to 10 p.m.