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23rd Annual Art Safari

October 13, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

An Alexandria tradition for more than two decades, Art Safari returns for a day of hands-on activities for kids and families. Dozens of artists lead budding arts enthusiasts in hands-on projects throughout the building. Children should wear clothing that can get a little dirty. Most activities are appropriate for ages 5 – 11. Some parental participation may be required.

This year, scientists affiliated with the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) will work alongside artists to help participants understand and appreciate the interplay of art and Earth-system science. Art Safari takes place on the eve of AGI’s Earth Science Week, which runs October 14–20. This year’s theme is “Earth as Inspiration.” Earth Science Week reaches more than 50 million people worldwide, offering free education resources, information, and activities on earth science and art. This year, former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell is AGI’s 2018 Earth Science Education Ambassador.

List of Activities

  • Grand Hall – Giant Papier-Mâché Dinosaur – Led by Lisa Schumaier
    Inspired by Earth Science Week and in partnership with AGI, children use simple paper and paste to transform a wire frame into a mighty T-Rex. As an extra incentive at this year’s Art Safari, many of Schumaier’s previous Art Safari sculptures, along with additional animal-themed artworks by studio artists, are on view in Site 3 (on the third floor) through the remainder of the year.
  • Various Locations – Earth Science Scavenger Hunt – Led by the American Geosciences Institute
    Explore the three levels of the Art Center to find scavenger hunt clues provided by AGI. Each clue is inspired by an element of earth science (air, metal, water) while also celebrating the arts and culture of Alexandria’s most iconic building.
  • Various Locations – STEAM-Powered Art Projects – Led by the American Geosciences Institute
    Discover the various STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) projects powered by AGI at this year’s Art Safari. Pick up our program map for all the pop-up locations.
  • Sand Paint Stratum – Led by Alison Sigethy
    Play with different colors of sand and aquarium gravel to create your own work of art, inspired by Earth Science and AGI.
  • Third Floor – Scrap City – Led by AIA Northern Virginia
    Celebrate the month of Arch-tober with our friends at the American Institute of Architects (AIA)! The popular Scrap City project returns. Build your own buildings and insert them into a tabletop city grid to reimagine Alexandria. 
  • South Hall – Painting Gemstones  – Led by UpCycle Creative Reuse Center
    Visitor are encouraged to create their own gemstones using watercolor paints made from old recycled markers.
  • Studio 21 – Gallery scavenger hunt – Led by The Art League Gallery
    The Art League’s scavenger hunt explores their current exhibition. Each completed scavenger hunt can be shown at the gallery desk to receive a special prize.
  • Studio 22 – Clay Experience – Led by Tracie Griffith Tso
    Children play and experiment with a piece of wet clay to mold and shape into any form they can imagine. Potters will demonstrate their technique for throwing clay on a pottery wheel.
  • Studio 29 – Fiber collage – Led by Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery
    Artists help children create a dynamic collage using bits of fabric and fiber.
  • 2nd Floor Hall – Easel stations – Led by Christine Cardellino
    With acrylic paint and paper, children paint anything they can imagine at the easel stations located on the 2nd floor.
  • All 3 floors and Studio 325 – Silk screen printing – Led by Patrick Sargent of Printmakers Inc and Andrea Gettings of Discover Graphics Atelier 
    Children progress through four different color stations to create their own full-color silk-screen image, inspired by elephants and the ongoing work of Save the Elephants
  • Waterfront – Portside History – Led by the Office of Historic Alexandria
    Stop by the Waterfront side of the Torpedo Factory Art Center and visit the many booths and activities celebrating Alexandria’s vibrant waterfront history. Check out the tall ship the Godspeed as it makes a weekend visit to Old Town during the Portside in Old Town Festival.
Photos by Jingwei Li/Villa Li Photography


October 13, 2018
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Torpedo Factory Art Center

Contact Us

Torpedo Factory Art Center
105 N. Union St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Telephone: Please use the staff directory
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Modified Hours for COVID-19

Wednesday - Sunday10 am - 6 pm

Entrance and exit are via sliding doors on the Waterfront and Union Street only. No capacity limit, but masks are required for admittance and social distancing should be observed for the duration of the visit. Check Today’s Hours for expanded information.

Artists maintain their own studio hours. It's best to confirm availability before your visit.

Torpedo Factory Art Center is closed for New Year's Day, Inauguration Day, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

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Torpedo Factory Art Center is part of the City of Alexandria Office of the Arts, a division of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities.