Located in Studio 319

This competitive juried residency provides meaningful support to emerging artists who have recently completed formal academic training in the visual arts. It is an opportunity to address the critical post-graduation juncture in an emerging artist’s career.

Residents have three months of exclusive access to a studio in the Art Center. Therein, they can 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 the academic context.

Applications are open to recently graduated students who earned a bachelor’s or master’s art degree from an accredited university. Submissions were accepted from across the U.S., provided artists submit proof of their permanent residence in the area and/or commitment to contributing to the future of the region’s arts scene.

Congratulations to the 2022 Residents

Painting of a blond woman in red meat lingerie standing with one arm raised. By her left hand is the Saint Teresa figure from Bernini's sculpture L'Estasi di Santa Teresa.

Mrinal Joshi, Shook, 2019. Oil on Canvas.

Mrinal Joshi • January – March
Spring Hill College, 2018
B.F.A.s in Studio Art and Graphic Design
Website: 111rinal.com

Artist Bio

Mrinal is an artist and graphic designer based in Washington, DC. Born in Kathmandu, Nepal, he emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 14. Mrinal’s artistic practice lies at the intersections of his lifelong fascination with culture and the collective consciousness.

The lighthearted synthesis and juxtaposition of classical western art and contemporary visual culture seen in his work become a vehicle to explore the temporal nature of existence with the digital era as the backdrop. His approach to and philosophy on artmaking is a meditation on mortality and change.

Mrinal holds two degrees in Studio Art and Graphic Design from Spring Hill College (2018). He has participated in several juried exhibitions throughout the country. Mrinal is currently a graphic designer with the in-house creative team at the Nature Conservancy. In his free time, he can be found reading, cooking, going to museums, hanging out or simply vibing.

Artist Statement 

My artistic practice is a marriage of classical western art and contemporary culture, the old and the new, the highbrow and the lowbrow, the timeless and the transient. It is a continuous exploration of time and space as I synthesize art history with contemporary visual culture in order to question where my generation fits in the collective psyche and the human experience. I have instilled in my work a sense of longing for the past and a desire to preserve the present while understanding that nothing lasts forever.

The works of art I have chosen from the western canon serve as departure points in order to create a sense of familiarity and times gone by while being veiled with lightheartedness and satire. Underneath, however, is a ground to ponder the ephemerality of beauty, power, fame, glamour, and youth, and a sense of isolation and alienation. The glaring appropriation is a reflection of the digital culture with blurred lines of originality and ownership. Ironically, the choice of medium and the meticulous process adds to the technical narrative by being the opposite of instant gratification.

Residency Goals

“The challenges I faced in the last 20 months, while acclimating in a new city at the onset of a global pandemic and a time of isolation, have been fruitful for personal reflection, and, in turn, artistic ideation. During this residency, I intend to execute a body of work that addresses the themes of coming of age, identity, emotional vulnerability and interconnectedness—in a digital age—as I define my artistic practice and narrative in this transitional phase. Although emanating from deep introspection, this oeuvre will simultaneously be an exploration of the zeitgeist and a collective psyche. This residency would provide a much-needed dedicated space and time to realize this vision.

I am drawn to Torpedo Factory’s unique public engagement format as it fosters a space where creativity unfolds before the audience. Sharing a traditional approach to oil painting and being mindful of my process while depicting a deeply personal subject matter will be cathartic healing for myself, and I aim to dovetail this into the public engagement as we all move into a period of collective healing. With its many prospects for professional development, networking, community engagement and dialogue, this residency would certainly be a crucial stride in my artistic career.”

A sculpture of an anatomical heart which is white at the top but fades into gold at the bottom. At the midpoint, organic forms rise from the surface that resemble coral.

Julia O’Bryan, Broken Hearted, 2019. Porcelain, ceramic glaze, acrylic paint.

Julia O’Bryan April – June
Southwestern University, 2019
B.F.A., Ceramics

Artist Bio

Julia O’Bryan is a graduate of Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. Her work stems from her childhood growing up in southwest Missouri as well as from her struggle with an aggressive auto-immune disease. Her work is an accumulation of her experiences; from her childhood, from her struggle with an aggressive autoimmune disease, all of the things that have made her who she is. Based on the destroying and scarring found throughout her lungs and body from her struggle with her autoimmune disease, the coral is a reflection of the beauty that can be seen through decay. The wide range of color throughout the coral on her work is meant to reflect the passage of time through the “bleaching” effect it creates. Gold accents throughout the work is meant to draw attention to the beauty in the human body over time and the beauty through brokenness that can occur throughout life.

Artist Statement

The time we are given is an elusive commodity. The passage of time is the one thing we all have in common and yet, not many of us stop to contemplate. We cannot change it. We all go through the same days, hours, and minutes, and yet we all spend them differently. We define our own time by the memories we create and our experiences. You are the only person that can decide how to use the time you are given and whether it has been a time well spent. My work is inspired by my struggle with an autoimmune disease that has greatly altered my view on time and the way that I spend the time I have. Much like the coral I use as a metaphor to represent the destruction throughout my lungs, as it is slowly being choked by the toxins around it as it continues to fight for survival in its environment, I am trying to survive when the odds are stacked against me. I hope that my work gives the sense of a beautiful life well lived. I hope that my work gives joy, hope, and support to others in a similar position.

Residency Goals 

“Through this residency I hope to further explore some of the concepts within my earlier works. I hope to expand on the difficulties of living with an aggressive medical condition, especially amidst the current Covid-19 Pandemic and the difficulties these things can cause. I want to explore the ideas of art and mental health and the use of art as a coping mechanism as well as a way to express your thoughts when words don’t seem to be enough. Art can have major impacts on the maker as well as those that view it. Through this residency I hope to share my story with others that I wouldn’t typically come into contact with and hear their stories as well. If my work can bring joy to just one person through this experience I would call it a success, however, I am hopeful to reach much more than that.”


Life-sized figure standing on a wooden box wearing chest-high hip boots and rubber gloves. It is draped in a garland of dozens of red rubber gloves.

Sarah Reagan, Sockeye Glovepopper, 2021. Plaster, rubber, salmon scales, fishing lure.

Sarah Reagan • July – September
Virginia Commonwealth University, MFA Candidate
Craft/Material Studies
Website: sarahreaganstudio.com

Artist Bio

Sarah Reagan is a cross-disciplinary artist who blends her forms with kinetic sculpture and social practice. She is currently teaching and completing her MFA Program in the Craft/Material Studies Department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She received her BFA from Iowa State University (2017) and served in the Peace Corps in Togo (2017) and in Mexico (2018-2020). Her work has been exhibited at the Minneapolis International Airport, The Anderson Gallery in Richmond, Virginia, and the Biorenewables Research Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.

Artist Statement

From childhood, we are told which toys we can play with, which clothing we can wear, thoughts we should and should not have, even the nuances of behaving in public vs. private spaces.

I spent much of my youth trying to stick to a straight path and ended up spending my time reckoning with punishment and discipline (self-inflicted and otherwise). In navigating that environment, I learned how to regulate my response to aggressive behaviors from authority figures through defense mechanisms: fight, flight, fawn, and freeze. Because of this, the work I make expresses my desire to control painful memories through another mechanism; humor in imaginative storytelling.

Focusing on the anguish and ecstasy of youth, my objects toy with function giving rise to comedic stories of childlike resistance, discipline, and the precarity in between. I contrast the harshness of wooden and concrete structures with the playful qualities of balloons enveloping space, colorful vinyl casting vibrant shadows, and holographic glitter spilling over surfaces. This generates questions for viewers about conflicting power systems like the silly/serious, the adult/juvenile, and comfortable/uncomfortable.

Residency Goals

My practice is rooted in paying homage to my inner child by respecting their wildest dreams and acknowledging their greatest fears. During the Torpedo Factory residency, by using the visual language of contemporary architecture and queer theory, I will craft a line of camp-informed inflatable protective gear, transforming into gaudy garments as they release air through their seams. I will also craft the hand-carved wooden human figures wearing them. These garments serve as a form of armor depicting defense mechanisms as “wearables.”

My mission with this body of work is to investigate the complex nature of the discourses and conventions of talking about difficult experiences to children and as children. Through a social practice component, I will invite viewers of all ages to collaborate with me in the public setting of the Torpedo Factory to design the specific details of the work by imagining and modeling what their “defense armor” looks like- giving me the opportunity to see a creative community come to life through the collaboration of imagination.

The vital importance of engagement in this work resides in our collective ability to express hope, hopelessness, and rebellion that ultimately links all of us together as humans.

In my studio practice, many of the materials I use are rough and raw (like logs, lumber, and metal scraps) but integrating toy-like details, bright colors, and kinetic objects into my work serves as a conceptual counterweight.

My process reflects my childhood view that there’s intrinsic value in both the hilarious fantasy and the painful reality. Because of this, I will use the studio space to carve full-scale human figure wood carvings using a flex shaft and hand tools. I will also use the space to craft inflatable “wearables” by patterning, sewing, and sealing vinyl and polyethylene sheeting. In addition, I will engage with local, national, and international visitors and artists in discussions of childhood resistance, defense mechanisms, and imagination.

Detail photo of the interior of a bowl covered in repeating pattern of vintage floral motifs.

Keil Posner, Bowl Glitsh (detail), 2020. Vintage ceramic waterslide decals, thriftstore ceramic bowl.

Kiel Posner • October – December
Virginia Commonwealth University, 2020
Craft and Materials Studies

Artist Bio

Kiel is a Queer Jewish ceramicist currently living in Bethesda, Maryland. Their work investigates the legacy of the button factory their great grandfather worked his way up to owning after immigrating to NYC, from Eastern Europe, in 1912. 109 years later, after producing for Macy’s and Disney, what’s left of the now defunct factory are some ceramic decals and a dusty kiln. Kiel received their BFA in Craft and Materials Studies in 2020 from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. While in Richmond they were awarded
a Fellowship from the Virginia Museum of Fine arts and rented space at Shockoe Bottom Clay. Since relocating to the DMV They have started teaching ceramics classes at Vis Arts
Rockville and The District Clay Center.

Artist Statement

“Glitch” is defined as a minor malfunction. A word now inseparable from popular vernacular is derived from the Yiddish Glitsh meaning “slippery place”.

In my most recent body of work, I have been collaging the waterslide decals remnant from the factory on mass-produced second-hand ceramics creating glitchy surfaces that are intended to challenge the viewer’s sense of focus.

I want to confront the viewer with optical illusions that play on their sense of trust. The same lack of trust I feel when double-taking at reports of demands for book burnings and new alternative “sides” of Holocaust being added to curriculum. I am stuck in a slippery place, submerged in an untrustworthy information-hungry culture that pines for my attention while trying to erode my own history.

In attempts to translate this dishonesty and slippage in canon, I have become very interested in techniques of Trompe l’oeil and Op art as avenues for making work that pushes back against the viewer’s gaze, staring back and concealing information. I never realized the truth is such a Glitsh and I hope to bring to light the warps and mistakes usually camouflaged.

Residency Goals

My most recent body of work is indicative of the direction I will pursue while at the Torpedo Factory. I have thousands of vintage decals that I hope to archive in their entirety before using them. Additionally, I want to add my own digitally manipulated photography to the work in the form of custom printed decals.

Parallel to that project, I will scale up my compositions on larger scale hand-built surfaces that are specifically tailored to each collage. As a young maker, I see myself benefiting greatly from uninterrupted time to experiment freely. Occupying a public facing community-engaged role would create an opportunity for vulnerability that I haven’t had access to in studio spaces previously and would push me to be a more active part of both the artist and maker community within the space but within the greater Alexandria area as well. I hope that the openness required of me would provide the opportunity to create open dialogue, with the community, on how history is processed through different contexts, frameworks, and intersections. This application of trust and directly engaging with my audience is what I anticipate as being the most challenging and fruitful aspect of the residency.

My current process is divided between decal archiving, photo editing, wet clay/glazing, and finally the decal application and firing. Each piece is fired 3 times in total, the decal firing happening last as it is a much lower temperature than the initial glaze firing. Post firing I would have the space to troubleshoot installation and develop strategies for presentation. The resources needed for these processes would be tables suitable for clay, internet connection, and kilns. Outside of the freedom to take up space and make larger work, the studio acts as a concrete space where I am able to anchor myself in routine. Whether I am researching, scanning, making, documenting, or welcoming in the community, a studio is a multipurpose space ready to shift from private to public on a dime. I am excited at the prospect of becoming acquainted with the facility and other artists as well as letting my process detangle and develop in a new space.

2022 Residency Jurors

Jordan Brown (she/her) is the current Director of Education and Programs at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond (VisArts). She spent her childhood in Minnesota, but now considers Richmond her home. She has a B.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University in painting and printmaking and a Masters in Arts Administration from Goucher College. She is currently a board member of Partners in the Arts. She has a special fondness for all things printmaking, and still has her own art practice outside of her role in VisArts’ education department. 

Oshun Layne (she/her) was born and reared in Brooklyn, NYC with a passion for visual arts and its ability to communicate a sense of inclusiveness across cultures, genders, and generations. Over the last decade, she has developed and nurtured an extensive career in arts leadership that includes institutional, gallery, and non-profit project management experiences. Through arts education, programming, artist development, strategic partnerships, and mentorship, she has been successful in bringing multicultural and multidisciplinary art forms to diverse populations. Most recently, she has carved out her curatorial imprint in museums and galleries regionally, working with scores of local and international artists. 

Graduating from Howard University with a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology, Oshun’s educational and professional journey lead to her becoming the Director of Galleries for Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. In this role, she increased regional audience participation and engagement by supervision of exhibitions and programming in multiple venues such as Rush Arts Gallery in NYC, Corridor Gallery in Brooklyn and Rush Arts Philly in Philadelphia, PA. Prior to Rush, she coordinated arts education programs where she oversaw the administration of educational volunteers, docents and interns for the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. 

Oshun is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Urban Policy and Planning with an emphasis on Non-Profit Management at Hunter College. Merging cultural studies, art, and policy, she seeks to create innovative pathways to bridge gaps between urban communities and private interests with a focus on arts awareness, cultural competency, and community partnerships. 


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