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New Voices Artist Roundtable: Shani Shih, Michelle Chen, Han Jeon, and Amy Lokoff

September 8, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

How does an artist succeed and create momentum when they are just starting out? What resources and tools do they need? How can they be socially conscious while also making a living? These questions and more will be discussed in an Artist Roundtable with current “New Art/New Voices” residents Shani Shih, Michelle Chen, and Han Jeon. Moderated by “New Art/New Voices” juror Amy Lokoff.

Saturday, September 8
Riverview Room (208)
Doors, 1 pm
Conversation, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Space is limited. Please RSVP





Shani Shih

Shani Shih is a multidisciplinary visual artist in Washington DC. Her personal artwork speaks at a visceral level; it features bold linework, gritty textures, and expressive human figures intertwined with harsh industrial structures, and represents everyday social and bodily experience in the stratified landscapes of the modern world. Through her creations, she aims to communicate a shared experience of suffering and endurance, as well as everlasting love and hope – providing comfort, strength, and acknowledgement to all.

Shani is also dedicated to supporting communities in need through public art, teaching and community arts, with a focus on serving underrepresented Asian Pacific American communities. During the 2016 primaries, Shani co-curated Bern the System!, a street art showcase that featured 70+ regional artists and uplifted messages of social change. She then served as a lead organizer for a four-city mural campaign centering the message of the indigenous-led Water is Life movement—which led to the 2017 founding of the 411 Collective, a graffiti/street art collective that supports local and national community advocacy initiatives with public art. In 2018, with the help of 1882 Foundation/Chinese American Citizens Alliance, she founded the Chinatown Art Studio, a youth art space servicing Asian Pacific American youth through multimedia art instruction and creative empowerment programming.



Michelle Chen


Working primarily in acrylic, oil, and spray paint, Michelle Chen explores identity, belonging, and transformation with an eye to how these emerge from shared stories and symbols. She studied traditional Chinese calligraphy and painting as a young child growing up in Maryland, and later had the opportunity to begin her study of Arabic calligraphy while on a U.S. Department of State-sponsored exchange program in Egypt. Between 2013-2014, she assisted master artists in the creation of several works of public art as part of the Murals DC program, and recently painted her first independent mural in 2017. As a member of the Sanctuaries and former member of the 411 Collective, Michelle has worked to support social transformation through the arts. Michelle earned a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, where she studied Culture and Politics. Michelle lives and works in the Washington, D.C. area and is a 2018 New Project Studio Artist-in-Residence at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA.

Han Sol Jeon 

Han Sol Jeon currently lives in Maryland. As an artist, he incorporates his own experience in order to convey his inner minds and how he accepts the current art world. His interests derive from the interaction between the environment and with his own perspective, in which Han develops his own understanding of visual perception of cityscapes and base geometry of architecture. He is currently graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art with Bachelors’ of Fine Arts.

Amy Lokoff


Amy Lokoff is a creative economy catalyst based in Washington, DC. Over the past 10 years she has worked with over 200 visual artists  and coordinated exhibitions and arts programming in a variety of venues in the DMV including Anacostia Arts Center and Honfleur Gallery. She is passionate about finding ways to make art accessible to people who don’t think that art is for them and to support and empower artists who are underrepresented and/or under resourced. In March 2018 she independently curated not too high not too low, a a group exhibition that challenged comic book artists to make new work for a gallery setting at Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center. The opening reception for that show attracted over 150 people and it was written up in 730DC, East City Art, and The Washington Post. She currently serves as the Visual Arts Curator for Little Salon, an intimate multi-media event that takes place in different spaces and neighborhoods every month in DC. Her next exhibition BODIES will open at Otis Street Arts Projects in September.



About the New Project Studio

This community-focused arts incubator space inside the Torpedo Factory Art Center offers a short-term location to test new program ideas, spotlight underrepresented voices, and enhance community engagement. Projects will rotate on a regular basis and are considered based on the following goals:

  • Support new creative collaborations with neighboring organizations and partners
  • Strengthen the connection between our resident artists and the greater creative community
  • Provide opportunities for new audiences to engage with our building and artists
  • Inspire the next generation of artists, innovators, arts supporters, and diverse voices




Torpedo Factory Art Center


Studio 208 – Riverview Room

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.

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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.