Tag Archives: Featured

Artist Talk with 2020 Post-Grad Resident: Vi Trinh

As her three-month post-grad residency comes to a close, Vi Trinh talks with moderator Leslie Mounaime, Curator of Exhibitions at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, about her experiences during her time at the Torpedo Factory . Hear her speak about how her residency inspired her work and process, her project  interactive digital media project “The Station”she created during her time here, and what she will be doing next.

Join us in the main hall of the Art Center for her talk and then a mingle in the Post-Grad studio #319 after the talk is over.

March150 Art Party and Opening Reception

March150 Art Party is still on for Saturday, March 14 at 7 pm!
Tickets can be still purchased at the door for $30.
In light of current events, our staff will take extra care and cleaning precautions for the event!

The March150 Album is now Live for you to preview on Target Gallery’s Facebook page. Panel sales for the public will begin on Sunday, March 14. You can call in your panel purchase starting Sunday.

Target Gallery’s popular annual exhibition and art sale, March150, returns to the Torpedo Factory Art Center for the 10th year. Proceeds benefit future exhibitions and programs at Target Gallery and the Torpedo Factory Art Center.

This yearly all-media exhibition features over 200 works created and donated by artists local to Alexandria and the greater D.C. region. Emerging and established artists are shown together displayed a wide variety of styles and media. The only requirement to be on view in the exhibition is that artists use the gallery-supplied 10” x 10” panel. All work in the show is priced at $150.

For this special 10th year anniversary, the Art Party will be an opening reception! Allowing Art Party patrons to get the first chance at art sales. VIP patrons will get early access and first choice at sales. Art Party patrons will not only enjoy first access to the exhibition but also will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, beer by Port City Brewing, and wine supplied by Sonoma Cellar; a special March150 themed photobooth; live and interactive art making by artists Tara Barr, Michaela Japec, and Vi Trinh; a raffle to win prizes from Port City Brewery and Paint This!, as well as glow in the dark themed dance party in the last hour. The Best in Show among other prizes will also be announced that evening for participating artists in the exhibition.

Art Party and VIP Opening
Saturday, March 14 
VIP Access: 6 – 7 pm
Art Party: 7 – 9 pm
Dance Party: 9 – 10 pm

Get Your Art Party Tickets!

Interested in being a sponsor? Learn more here!


March150: 10th Annual Special Exhibition & Art Sale

*The Torpedo Factory Art Center and Target Gallery is closed to the public through May 17 in response to COVID-19. Therefore we are extending March150 to stay open through May 31.

Artwork may be viewed online on Target Gallery’s Facebook album. To purchase or to make inquiries, please fill out our March150 Purchase Request Form or call the gallery at 703.746.4590 or email us targetgallery@alexandriava.gov . Please keep in mind that since we are closed to the public, staff will only be working Monday – Friday.

Torpedo Factory Art Center’s popular annual exhibition and art sale, March150, returns to Target Gallery for the 10th year. Proceeds benefit future exhibitions and programs at Target Gallery and the Art Center. The show is on view Saturday, March 14, through Saturday, May 31*, 2020.

All work in the exhibition is created on gallery-supplied 10” x 10” panels and is priced at $150. About 200 original works are created by artists of every ability from the greater metropolitan area. Professional, emerging and amateur artists participate with artworks featuring a diversity of topics and media, including painting, photography, etching, mixed-media, fiber and more.

“March150 has become a staple at the Art Center and people look forward to it all year,” said Leslie Mounaime, director of exhibitions at Torpedo Factory Art Center. “This exhibition is a low-pressure environment for both artists and patrons. It encourages new collectors to buy original art, exposes seasoned collectors to new local artists and sets the stage for artists to test new techniques and ideas. It is accessible and affordable.”

Starting on the last weekend of the exhibition from Saturday, May 30 – Sunday, May 31, all unsold artwork is priced at $100.

In 2019, Target Gallery grossed more than $17,000 from March150. Proceeds benefit exhibitions and programs at the Art Center, such as the annual Solo Exhibition, The Late Shift, and others.

For more information about the exhibition and ticket sales, visit torpedofactory.org/march150. Follow #march150 to join the conversation online.

My Queer Valentine Reception

This Valentine’s Day, include the Art Center in your evening plans!

Start with Target Gallery’s reception for My Queer Valentine, a playful but poignant show exploring non-heteronormative relationships with a juror and gallery talk with exhibition juror Andy Johnson and participating artists. Stay to enjoy an evening of interactive performance art, a photo op at our kissing booth by exhibiting artist Linda Hesh, DIY art-making activities in the grand hall. Learn more about and support local LGBTQ+ organizations, too.

Free, but RSVP requested.



In the Gallery: 

7- 10pm – photo-op at participating artist, Linda Hesh’s Kissing Booth.

8pm – Juror and gallery talk with exhibition juror Andy Johnson and participating artists.

In The Grand Hall:

“Instigating Bliss: Infinite Love”
Performance & Video by Jessica Kallista (she/her)
Performance Art and Video Art piece for Vis Arts
“The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.”
—Audre Lorde
“Prioritizing ourselves in love is a political strategy, is survival.”
—Adrienne Maree Brown

Love and Bliss are revolutionary acts. We must lay claim to the everyday moments of our lives and demand that they are filled with Love and Bliss.
Rooted in the belief that what we practice we become, Jessica Kallista’s Instigating Bliss: Infinite Love disrupts the passive nihilism intrinsic in many of our everyday lives by countering with the intentional, active, manifestation-oriented pursuit of revolutionary everyday Love and Bliss through meditation and play. She counters with consensual touch, books, sweetness, music, light, flowers, laughter, community, luxury, comfort, pleasure, eroticism, feeling, and sensuousness.
Love sometimes requires only the most minimal of interventions in order to dissolve our mindless programming and help us engage with the gorgeous reality of our interconnectedness and our connectedness to our erotic selves. Jessica invites you to participate with her in her Everyday Love and Bliss Meditation. As a Valentine gift to yourself, love, laugh, taste, touch, dance, play. Slow down. Rest. Acknowledge and embrace the power of your sensual and feeling self.

Video of will be playing throughout the evening with the Live Performance starting at 9pm.

Interactive Performance by Jo Laing (they/them)

“All our sensory input has to pass through the reptilian part of our brain before it even reaches the cortex. Our reptilian brain always asks the same question: is this dangerous or safe?”

—Resmaa Menakem

This interactive performance by Jo Laing will be happening throughout the evening in the grand hall, the goal to foster connection and healing through one-on-one discussion and somatic experiences.  They will also be providing resources to support both mental and physical health in response to stress or trauma.

“Something that being in a queer relationship with a nonbinary person as a nonbinary person has brought up for me again and again is how the inherent trauma of being queer in a society that oppresses and represses queerness can impact our ability to feel safe and seen in our bodies as ourselves. When that trauma remains unprocessed, our nervous system becomes dysregulated, triggering fight or flight responses that make it difficult to connect with ourselves or others. For me, queer love is an act of reclamation; the creation of a sanctuary in which to practice connection somatically in order to rebuild trust in ourselves and the ones we love.

It is through engaging in new narratives and somatic experiences that we create corrective healing experiences. Being able to safely give and receive love from ourselves and others allows us to let go of unhelpful beliefs and reclaim our right to love and pleasure. In Sanctuary, I create a space to share what safety in love feels like, and to demonstrate how consensual connection can be a powerful source of healing.”

— Jo Laing

By Lucas J. Rougeux (he/him)

“Longing” is an hour-long performance piece in which a performer, sitting at one end of a long table, extends a hand and slowly reaches with full body to the chair at the other end of the table. Viewers are welcome to participate by sitting in the empty chair and respond to the performers desire for connection. This piece presents a strenuous desire for connection and forces participants to weigh how far they would go to make connection in spite of the challenges faced.

This performance will start at 9pm.


Tiny Queer Zines
by Kim Sandara (she/her)

2019 Post-Grad Resident Kim Sandara will be displaying and selling her Tiny Queer Zines. Which was a collaborative project done during her residency at the Torpedo Factory Art Center summer . The project was inspired by the kids who would come into her studio and come out to her after reading about Origins of Kin and Kang, the graphic novel she working on her coming out story. She collected anonymous stories from the DMV area from people in the LGBTQ+ community and allies, all centering queer stories/personal experiences. Then she paired the stories randomly to LGBTQ+ and ally artists who were interested in illustrating one. The goal of this project was to bring people together, destigmatize queerness and make queer stories accessible. The final product ended up being dynamic in variation of stories and illustration styles. The zine printing was also fundraised for so that people may purchase them by a donation-basis with a $5.00 minimum.

Learn more about and support local LGBTQ+ organizations!

My Queer Valentine

The newest group exhibition in Target Gallery, the contemporary exhibitions space of Torpedo Factory Art Center, offers a poignant look at love and relationships for LGBTQ+-identifying people.

My Queer Valentine explores love through non-heteronormative and non-binary relationships. The exhibition features 16 artists, 8 who are from Virginia or the D.C. greater metropolitan area.

Participating Artists

Nicholas Aiden, St. John’s, NL, Canada
Veronica Barker-Barzel (Studio 320), Alexandria, VA
Brandin Barón, San Francisco, CA
Adam David Bencomo, Baltimore, MD
Miki Beyer, Herndon, VA
Louis Chavez, Rochester, NY
Mandy Chesney, Baltimore, MD
Evin Dubois, Paducah, KY
Aurele Gould, Richmond, VA
Cat Gunn, Baltimore, MD
Linda Hesh, Alexandria, VA
Rachael McArthur, Brooklyn, NY
Annika Papke, Alexandria, VA
Lucas J. Rougeux, North Bethesda, MD
Todd Stonnell, Richmond, VA
Matt StormWashington, DC

Exhibition juror Andy Johnson, a D.C.-based independent curator and gallery director of Gallery 102 at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at The George Washington University, has dedicated much of his curatorial career to unpacking queer intimacy.

“While My Queer Valentine has everything to do with the relationship to those around us, it’s also equally invested in the relationship we have with our queer realities, and the ways in which queerness shapes and informs our lived experience,” he said. “My Queer Valentine is as much a love letter to ourselves as it is a disclosing of longing to our community.”

Queerness or identifying as LGBTQ+ encapsulates many identities that are not necessary set within a spectrum. This diversity in perspective is represented in a various styles, mediums, and tones in this exhibition.

For instance, Aurele Gould has three works on view that explore concepts of intimacy for queer women through different narrative portraits of her girlfriend. Alex captures the act of undressing, creating a flirtatious dialogue between the subject and the viewer.

Matt Storm has two works from his Act of Looking series, which articulates and recognizes inclusive ways to see his trans body. The piece Act of Looking II, 17, Crossing My Fingers, Getting Away with Something is a playful love letter to the artist’s sexuality as a transmasculine person.

Artist Miki Beyer’s mixed-media work You’re Already There. You Already Have Me. is also a love-letter, but this time between the artist and their partner. They use dialogue from past conversations between the two of them that addresses the panic of identity-erasure as a non-binary person while in cisgender/heterosexual-presenting relationship. It also speaks to the love for each other that promises for a better tomorrow.

Don’t miss the special Valentine’s themed reception on Friday, February 14, 7 – 10 pm, with juror talk at 8 pm. The evening features interactive performance art, a photo op at our kissing booth, and DIY art-making activities. Learn more about and support local LGBTQ+ organizations, too.

About the Juror

Andy Johnson is a DC-based art historian, curator, and arts writer. He is Director of Gallery 102 at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design; contributing editor at DIRT; and serves as Assistant Curator and Artist Liaison for Art on the Vine, hosted by the Agora Culture. He was the 2018 Apprentice Curator for the DC Arts Center, and a 2019 Visiting Arts Writer and Critic for The Chart. He has curated and juried exhibitions with Gallery 102, DC Arts Center, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Dupont Underground, the Smithsonian Institution, among others. He has presented research and spoken on panels at universities, galleries, and museums including Rutgers University, UC Santa Barbara, University of Georgia, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, GW Museum, Washington Project for the Arts, and others. He has published articles, exhibition reviews, and catalogue essays with DIRT, The Chart, Common Field’s Field Perspectives, The Rib, Pelican Bomb, BmoreArt and more. He holds a M.A. in Art History from The George Washington University.


Image: Aurele Gould, Acrylic, 2017, Photograph.

Olde Year’s Day

Celebrate the close of 2019 with the Art Center. Find hands-on activities for every member of the family. Meet working artists in their studios and get inspired for 2020. Also, get your tickets for First Night Alexandria. Free admission.

Post-Grad Residency: Homecoming

The Art Center looks back at the first five years of the Post-Grad Residency Program with a lively art event. We celebrate the opening reception for Target Gallery’s 2019 Post-Grad Residents exhibition featuring this year’s cohort: Michaela Japec, Nava Levenson, Katana Lippart, and Kim Sandara. We welcome returning Residency alumni and introduce the new 2020 cohort. In addition, the Mason Art Project Studio hosts a reception for their 2019 retrospective of their months at the Art Center.

Image Credit: Kim Sandara, Origins if Kin and Kang (detail image), 2019. Animation.

2017 Resident, Fumi Amano, hosts guests in her studio during a Late Shift event.

Inaugural residents from 2015: Justin Raphael Roykovich, Stephanie Booth, and Jenny Wu.

2019 Post-Grad Residents

2019 Post-Grad Residents Exhibition
December 13, 2019 – January 19, 2020

Homecoming Opening Reception: Friday December 13, 7 – 10 pm • Talk at 8 pm

The Gallery will be closed on Wednesday, December 25 and Wednesday, January 1 in observance of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.*


Target Gallery, the contemporary exhibition space at Torpedo Factory Art Center, celebrates the work of the four artists who participated in the 2019 Post-Grad Residency Program. The group exhibition will feature the work of Michaela Japec, Nava Levenson, Katana Lippart, and Kim Sandara and will be on view Friday, December 13, 2019, through Sunday, January 19, 2020. Torpedo Factory Art Center is located at 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA.

This competitive juried residency provides meaningful support to emerging artists who have recently earned an accredited degree in the visual arts. Residents had three months of exclusive access to Studio 319 in the Art Center, wherein they create and sell work, interact with the public, and connect with other arts professionals. It’s an opportunity for professional development, networking, and a chance to define a practice outside of an academic context.

The jurors for this opportunity were Nicole Dowd, Program Director at Halcyon Arts Lab, and Leslie Holt, DC- based artist and co-founder of Red Dirt Studios.

The 2019 Post-Grad Residents exhibition will be on view in Target Gallery, located in Studio 2 of the Art Center, through Sunday, January 19. Target Gallery and Torpedo Factory Art Center is open daily from 10 am – 6 pm, Thursdays from 10 am – 9 pm. Hours are modified for the holidays. Visit http://torpedofactory.org/hours to confirm availability.


Homecoming Opening Celebration
Friday, December 13 ● 7 – 10 pm

For the exhibition opening, the Art Center looks back at the first five years of the Post-Grad Residency Program with a lively Homecoming art party. Meet the 2019 artists and hear them talk about their work. Reconnect with returning alumni and meet the new 2020 cohort. The Gallery Talk begins at 8 pm.


About the Artists

Michaela Japec (BFA George Mason University) Michaela is an artist currently based in Alexandria, Virginia. She recently completed her bachelor’s of fine arts in 2018 from George Mason University. Through her art, she works through conflicting thoughts she has about her sexuality, body insecurities, and feelings of oppression. During her residency, Michaela pushed her themes and visual style of photo realism vs exaggerated abstraction to reflect this inner dialogue. She has three figural works in the exhibition that show the evolution of her concepts.

Nava Levenson (BFA James Madison University) Nava is a multidisciplinary artist, instigator, and collaborator based in Richmond, Virginia. She completed her bachelor’s of fine arts in 2017 from James Madison University. Her work combines installation surrounding concepts of gender and queer identity as well as anthropological and archival documentation. During her residency, Nava was focused on her project, Practice Preserves: Studio Dirt. In the same way thrift stores reveal things about American culture, she seeks to archive artists’ practices. She invites artists to add studio scraps and discarded material in quart-sized canning jars, which she then opens, catalogs, and photographs for an anthology she hopes to publish. For this exhibition, Nava creates an installation of the jars reminiscent of an archival collection and invites viewers to investigate and engage with the materials.

Katana Lippart (BFA George Mason University) Katana is a collage artist and printmaker based in Brunswick, MD. She graduated from George Mason University with her bachelor’s in fine arts in 2018. During her residency, she has concentrated on a collage series that will help resolve the broken ties between self and home. This has held a significant amount of weight in her life and has manifested into her work. Through her residency and this culminating exhibition, Katana’s goal has been to share printmaking, book arts, and collage with the surrounding community. platform to reflect on both personal and collective narratives relating to home.

Kim Sandara (BFA Maryland Institute College of Art) Kim is a queer, Lao/Viet, artist based in Falls Church, Virginia. In 2016, she graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a bachelor’s of fine arts. Accessibility to art is a key part of her creative process. Her overall focus is to encourage empathy, wonder, self-reflection, and connection. During the residency, she continued her animation series documenting her coming out story. She created a stop-motion animation, The Origins of Kin and Kang, which is aimed at helping parents of color, particularly first-generation immigrants, to understand and accept their queer children. The animation will be on view during the exhibition as well as installation featuring the sketches and puppets featured in the stop-motion film.



Image credit: Michaela Japec, Like, 2019. Acrylic.

Santa Claus sitting with a young boy

Holiday Festival 2019

The Art Center joins in the fun on Alexandria’s most festive holiday weekend of the year! Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at 3:30 pm. Music and singing fill the halls all evening. After sundown, the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights passes by our riverfront doors. Visit artists are all three floors to find the perfect gift of art.


Schedule of Activities:

10 am Open Studios and Galleries
2 pm Face painting Artist Station begins
3 pm Silver 5 Brass Quintet begins on the Waterfront
3:30 pm Arrival of Santa Claus on the Waterfront
3:45 pm Santa Claus at the Art Center
4:30 pm Pro Choral Alexandria pop-up performance
5:30 pm Holiday Boat Parade of Lights begins
5:30 pm 2nd Annual Torpedo Factory Holiday Light Show (curated by Monica Stroik) begins on the Waterfront
6 pm Studios and Galleries stay open late (until 8 pm)