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Updated 3/29/22

Click here for the general FAQ for the 2022 Jury.

Why are Art Center Resident Artists being re-juried?

Torpedo Factory Art Center aims to be a 21st-century, leading arts institution with broad and deep connection to Alexandria residents, visitors, and regional artists. It’s built on equity and high performance with a curated building of artists at its heart.

Scores of artist communities in converted industrial-type buildings have sprouted globally in the last 50 years; many modeled after Torpedo Factory Art Center. Best practices have evolved and adapted over time and the Art Center seeks to do the same.

One contemporary process includes regular re-jurying of Resident Artists, in an average of every 3–5 years. With the Art Center being founded in 1974, many artists have held studios for multiple decades without being reevaluated.

On December 14, 2021, Alexandria City Council approved and directed staff to implement the Action Plan for Vibrancy & Sustainability at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. The plan was based on a 2019 City-commissioned meta-analysis of 15 public and private reports. This included the 2016 KAPTIVATE report, commissioned by the Torpedo Factory Artist Association (TFAA), which called for a “Re-assessment of work and production in a jury system conducted by external expert evaluators” every few years (page 45).

The Action plan listed three Core Strategic Directions (CSD):

    1. Re-establish the Art Center’s Identity for a 21st Century Audience
    2. Curate the Building, with a Focus on the First Floor, for Improved Visitor Experience and Artist/Studio Program
    3. Establish Policies and Procedures that Identify the Art center as a High Performing Organization and Rebuild the Art Center’s Role as a Leader in the Country

Action items in the plan calls to “expand the artist studio program to better reflect contemporary best practices, diversity, and public interaction.” With an outcome to, “Design and implement an impeccable, credible, artist selection process to determine studio leases. Grounded in best practices, selection is based on art quality, ability to work and interact with the public, working for greater good of Art Center/community, and diversity including media, place in career, and personal background.”

Regular and transparent reviews for artistic quality and professionalism ensure the Art Center is ever-evolving, adapting, and responding to the broader trends and conversations in the larger art world.

There are no limits on how many years an artist can remain at Torpedo Factory Art Center, provided they continue to be accepted in the jury.

Who is being re-juried?

All artists with a studio at the Art Center shall be re-juried. Founding Artists (had studios in 1974) and their studio mates will not need to re-jury while the Founding Artist maintains their studio at the Art Center. The Founding Artists’ studios will receive year-to-year leases. After a Founding Artist leaves the Art Center, all remaining studio mates will be required to apply in the next available re-jury to receive a three-year lease.

Are Galleries and Arts Organizations included in the re-jurying?

Currently, galleries and arts organizations including Scope Gallery, Fire On, Enamelists Gallery, Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery, Multiple Exposures Gallery, Printmakers Inc., Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association, The Art League, and Discover Graphics Atelier, are not subject to the re-jurying process. The re-jurying and selection processes may evolve over time.

Do I have to pay to be re-juried?

No, there is not an application fee if you are being re-juried. Email [email protected] to receive a private link to your free application. Please note, if you do pay for the application, you will not be reimbursed.

When are artists re-juried?

The studios at the Art Center are broken into three (3) groups—A, B, or C—based on the jury date of the artist in the studio who was juried the longest in the past. However, if any single group is clustered in one area of the Art Center, that group may be divided to ensure no section or floor is unduly burdened by the jury process. In 2022, this is not an issue and studios are broken into groups as follows:

    • Group A studios have no artists juried in 1974 and have an artist who was most recently juried between 1975 – 2003. Group A shall be re-juried now, with applications due April 19, 2022.
    • Group B studios have no artists most recently juried between 1974 – 2003 and have an artist most recently juried between 2004 – 2017. Group B shall be re-juried in 2023.
    • Group C studios have no artists most recently juried between 1974 – 2017 and have an artist most recently juried between 2018 – 2021. Group C shall be re-juried in 2024.

Accepted applicants will receive a three (3) year lease and be re-juried every three (3) years.

Why is the Art Center jurying in this order?

Jury Groups (A, B, and C) are based on artists’ last and most-recent jury to be a part of the Art Center, not when they became a leaseholder. Some artists have gone more than 20, 30, or 40 years without a critical review or evaluation, which exceeds the industry standard of an evaluation every 3–5 years.  This process prioritizes these artists so they can be re-juried the soonest.  Artists who were more recently evaluated and are set for later re-jury dates.

How does the Art Center know when an artist was juried?

The Center referenced archived Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association’s membership books, records from the Torpedo Factory Art Center Board, recent jury records, and asked all leaseholders to confirm their date.

Are there free application instructional resources? Are they mandatory?

The Art Center is offering two (2) free staff-led webinars for all prospective applicants to review the online process and find the answers to application-related questions. Both webinars will provide the same information and be held on March 30 at noon and March 31 at 7 p.m. The webinars are optional to attend and will have no bearing on juror’s scores.

These webinars will only address topics related to the application and online process.


What are the selection criteria?

Selection criteria may be found on the application [link].

In short, the application is three (3) phases and is worth a total of 100 points.

    • Phase I considers artistic merit and is judged blind, with jurors only viewing the art. Jurors will be looking for deliberately crafted artwork with an authentic and original point of view that reflects an awareness of current trends and aesthetics in the larger art world. It is worth a maximum of 50 points. Applicants need 33 points to advance.
    • Phase II is non-blind and considers applicants’ backgrounds. Jurors will look for artists who can explain their art and who want to engage and interact with the public through their work. They will review applicants’ career highlights and how they have marketed themselves or their work. It is worth a maximum of 25 points. Applicants need a combined 50 points from Phases I and II to advance.
    • Phase III gives the jurors an opportunity to meet and interact with the applicants. This is the first time jurors are seeing the work in-person to review it for quality. Jurors consider the applicants’ ability to communicate about their artwork, with an eye toward their desire to positively engage with the public. It is worth a maximum of 25 points. Presentations will be open to the public.

Is this a blind jury?

The Artist Communities Alliance defines a “Blind” selection as: “selection is based on work samples, without consideration or awareness of personal information.” It defines “Non-blind” selection as: “jurors take into consideration other factors in addition to the quality of work, e.g., project proposals and statements of intent, demographic information, and/or education/exhibition/residency experiences” (from Artist Communities Alliance, Best Practices At-A-Glance Artist-in-Residency Selection, 2011, page 1).

A blind application is more frequently used for jurying exhibitions where the quality of the art is the only factor. Non-blind jurying is frequently used for programs such as acceptance into a school or resident program.

The Art Center uses a combination of Blind and Non-blind systems for its application. Phase I, artistic merit, is blind. Phases II and III are non-blind.

Torpedo Factory Art Center juries for publicly subsidized studios that are open to visitors and within a dense community of artists. It is important that artists are able and eager to engage and interact with the community and other artists. Factors that help identify these characteristics include artists’ experience, professional history, intended use of the studio, and ability to communicate their ideas.

Reference questions “What are the selection criteria?”  for more.

Do I have to crop my images to obscure my signature for the Phase I Blind review?

If your signature is part of the artwork, for example, if it is painted over the surface of the painting, then you do not need to crop it out or cover it because it would be manipulating the art. If it’s not part of the artwork, for example it’s signed on a mat, then it should be hidden.

Why are there no 2D or 3D categories?

The nature of art has evolved, and many art schools, galleries, and museums are breaking down traditional barriers of 2D and 3D art. Limiting an artist to one category is a disservice to the artist’s practice and to the viewer. The Art Center selects jurors with backgrounds in multiple forms of art. Additionally, the Art Center is jurying for studios and therefore a group of applicants who may have both 2D and 3D art are being juried together as one.

How are the Jurors selected?

The Jurors shall consist of four (4) experts from the field of art: curatorial, galleries, museums, or academia. Jurors shall be paid an honorarium for their time, talent, and expertise. In order to foster a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic, efforts are made to include jurors from a broad spectrum of demographic and philosophical differences, including age, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities, educational background, and work experiences.

Each of the four (4) jurors shall take part in each Phase of the application process. Jurors will attend an orientation session provided by staff on how to use the Submittable application platform and the scoring system.

Jurors shall not have a current financial or artistic relationship with the Torpedo Factory Art Center or the City of Alexandria. Jurors shall sign a Juror Artist-Selection Agreement.

Who are the 2022 Jurors?

    • Zoë Charlton, MFA, Acclaimed artist and Professor of Art at American University
    • Jaynelle Hazard, MA, Executive Director and Curator of Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art
    • Jack Rasmussen, PhD, Director and Curator of the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
    • John Ruppert, MFA, Acclaimed artist and Professor of Art at University of Maryland

Zoë Charlton

Zoë Charlton, MFA, is a Professor of Art at American University in Washington, D.C., holds a seat on the Maryland State Arts Council, and is a board member at the Washington Project for the Arts in D.C. She received her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. Her artwork has been included in national and international exhibitions including The Delaware Contemporary (DE), the Harvey B. Gantt Center (NC), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (AR), Studio Museum of Harlem (NY), Contemporary Art Museum (TX), the Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Poland), and Haas & Fischer Gallery (Switzerland). She is a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner grant (2012) and a Rubys grant (2014). Museum collections include The Phillips Collection (DC), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (AR), Birmingham Museum of Art (AL), and Studio Museum in Harlem (NY). She’s participated in a number of residencies, including Artpace Residency (TX), McColl Center for Art + Innovation (NC), Ucross Foundation (WY), the Skowhegan School of Painting (ME), and the Patterson Residency at the Creative Alliance (MD). Charlton co-founded ‘sindikit, a collaborative art initiative, with her colleague Tim Doud to engage their research interests in gender, sexuality, and race. Charlton is serving on an 8-member steering committee at the Baltimore Museum of Art to reimagine equitable and accountable structures and functions of cultural institutions within diverse local and regional communities.


Jaynelle Hazard

Jaynelle Hazard, MFA, is the Executive Director and Curator of Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (Tephra ICA), where she builds a critically engaged practice by introducing methods to advance scholarship; extend reach in interdisciplinary experimentation of contemporary art and ideas; and engage audiences of all backgrounds and identities. In previous roles, she has served as Director of Exhibitions at Workhouse Arts Center, supported various art programs such as the corporate contemporary art collection at UBS, and worked with Blank Projects, a contemporary art gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. Hazard holds a Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Arts from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York. She currently serves as the Co-Chair for the Washington, DC Chapter of Sotheby’s Institute of Art Alumni and on the executive committee for the DC Chapter of ArtTable, Inc., a professional organization dedicated to advancing the leadership of women in the visual arts.

Jack Rasmussen

Jack Rasmussen, Ph.D., is the Director and Curator of the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, D.C. Rasmussen earned his Bachelor’s in Art from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, before moving to Washington, D.C., and completing an MFA in Painting, an MA in Arts Management, and an MA and Ph.D. in Anthropology at American University. He worked in the Education Department of the National Gallery of Art before becoming the Assistant Director of the Washington Project for the Arts when it opened in 1975. He then owned and operated the Jack Rasmussen Gallery, a vital part of D.C.’s art scene until he closed in 1983. From 1989 to 1992, Rasmussen helped conceive, launch, and operate the Rockville Arts Place in suburban Maryland (now VisArts). He then became executive director of the Maryland Art Place (MAP) in Baltimore, a nonprofit contemporary arts center serving the Mid-Atlantic. In his 10 years at MAP, he curated a series of cutting-edge shows and off-site projects, introduced a new cabaret space, and heightened community involvement. Rasmussen’s next post—before the Katzen—was executive director of the di Rosa Preserve: Art & Nature, a contemporary art museum and natural habitat in Napa, Calif. There, he oversaw the care and exhibition of 2,100 artworks indoors and out, and organized traveling exhibitions to establish the di Rosa’s reputation and identity as the premiere venue for Northern California contemporary art. Rasmussen is president of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums and is a member of the board of directors for the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival.

John Ruppert

John Ruppert, MFA, has been a Professor of Art at the University of Maryland, College Park since 1987 and has served as Department Chair for 13 years. He earned his MFA from the School for American Craftsman at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York in 1977. Ruppert has been working in cast metals for more than 40 years and more recently included video, digital 3D printing, and digital composite photography in his process. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in museums, sculpture parks, and galleries across the United States and abroad. His work has been on view in Grounds for Sculpture (NJ), Omi International Sculpture Park (NY), Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (NC), Kreeger Museum (DC), Katonah Art Museum (NY), Miami Sculpture Biennale (FL), Katzen Art Center (DC), and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Internationally, Ruppert has shown in China, Latvia, Finland, and Poland. He’s held international residencies in Iceland, Italy, and France, and the Arctic Circle. His art has been reviewed in Art in America, New Art Examiner, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, The New York Times, Art China, and Sculpture magazine. He’s been awarded five Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist grants, the Mary Sawyers Baker Award, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award.

What is staff’s involvement, and who is involved?

Staff is not involved in the scoring of applications, only expert jurors (who are not part of the Art Center or the City of Alexandria) shall score the applications.

Staff developed and will facilitate the application process and selects the jurors. The application is based on industry best practices as they relate to current art spaces and artist communities. The application was developed after a series of four (4) Art Center artists forums (discussions with artists) and one (1) community forum held in 2018, as well as a survey with experts in the field and a survey of other arts institutions. The results and analysis of the forums and surveys were shared with Art Center artists in an email in September 2018. The Art Center is also a member of the Artist Communities Alliance, which has provided support in application development.

Since 2018, and every year thereafter, the Art Center staff has administered applications for studio leases with outside expert jurors. Over that time, the application has been refined based on experience and feedback.

Primary staff involved in the application development and administration have a wealth of experience as jurors and application administrators. They include:

    1. Diane Ruggiero, MA, Director of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts
      Diane brings a strong background in arts leadership roles in municipal and nonprofit arts organizations. She has extensive experience in strategic planning, public art, operations, budgeting, fundraising, grant writing, project/resource management, educational programs, marketing, and community engagement. Former roles include being Superintendent of Cultural Arts for the City of Asheville, N.C.; Executive Director of Creative Art Exchange in Cornelius, NC; and Gallery Manager and Program Coordinator of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, N.C. She has an outstanding record of promoting and managing change to grow and advance organizations. Diane’s management and selection process of the City of Alexandria Public Art program includes Site/See: New Views in Old Town, a public art series in Waterfront Park that featured work such as Mirror Mirror by SOFTlab in 2019, Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies by Olalekan Jeyifous in 2020, and Groundswell by Mark Reigelman in 2021. Diane holds a Master’s in Arts Administration and Bachelor’s of Art History/Museum Studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
    1. Brett John Johnson, MFA, Director of Torpedo Factory Art Center
      Brett joined Torpedo Factory Art Center in 2017. He implemented several innovative programs and partnerships at the Art Center and was recognized in 2018 as one of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce’s 40 Under 40. Brett previously served as the director of visual arts and acting as head curator at Workhouse Art Center in Lorton, Va., overseeing seven buildings with more than 70 studio artists. He also held positions as gallery director at VisArts in Rockville, Md; studio programs manager at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, De.; exhibits specialist at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; and preparator at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, College of Art and Design. Brett holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in painting and drawing from Temple University, Tyler School of Art, and a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University in painting and printmaking.
    1. Leslie Mounaime, MA, Curator of Exhibitions at Torpedo Factory Art Center
      Leslie focuses on supporting emerging and mid-career artists with professional exhibition opportunities in Target Gallery and other common areas throughout Torpedo Factory Art Center. She manages the existing online application and jurying process for all open calls for the exhibition spaces in her purview. She is dedicated to bringing world-class artwork that captures that public’s imagination to the D.C. region. Leslie first came to the Art Center as a gallery assistant in 2015. Prior to that, she worked in contemporary art venues such as Artisphere and Art Whino, both in Arlington, Va. She is an art historian and curator with a Master’s in Art History with a focus on contemporary art and post-colonialism from George Mason University. She also earned a Bachelor’s in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University.

If I am not selected this year, can I apply again the following year?

Yes. There is no restriction for artists applying for studio space and they’re encouraged to apply again the following year.

Additionally, artists who advance through all three phases of the jury process and earn a score of 70 out of 100, but do not have high enough scores for a studio, are invited to become an Artist Pro Tem and eligible to sublease. Check the box on the application to indicate you would like to become an Artist Pro Tem in the event you don’t get a studio but score high enough.

Moreover, you will receive juror feedback when you apply. You will also gain experience and have a pre-built portfolio ready to apply to other opportunities.

Group Studios

Can artists be re-juried in groups or individually?

Both. The Art Center juries for studios and does not pair artists for space. Studios with multiple artists may apply together in one application for a shared space, but there is no requirement that those artists must apply to the re-jury with their current studio mates.

Groups of up to four (4) artists may apply together and they are scored as one unit. If one (1) artist is weaker than the other three (3), they may decrease the group’s overall score. For this reason, artists should carefully consider who to apply with.

Artists in a solo studio may apply individually if they wish to continue with a solo studio. If accepted, Resident Artists may bring in an Artist Pro Tem to sublease.

I am currently in a shared studio in Group A, but I do not want to apply with my current studio mate(s) for the re-jury. Can I change to a different Group studio in B or C and move to a later jury?

Resident Artists do not have to re-jury with their current studio mates. However, if you are in group A and don’t want to re-jury with your current studio mate, you have three choices:

    1. You can jury as a solo applicant in the Group A process.
    2. You can ask other artists to apply with you in Group A (including those who aren’t currently part of the Art Center community). If an artist in Group B or C chooses to become part of Group A with you, they would break their existing lease and be subject to all processes of Group A.
    3. You can wait a year or two (without a studio) to apply with an artist(s) in Group B or C.

All artists in a group application are evaluated together, so artists should carefully consider who to partner with for a re-jury.

My Jury Group is based on a studio mate who is leaving our lease and not re-jurying. Does that change our Jury Group?

Yes, if you alert staff in writing before the re-jury application deadline on April 19, 2022. Please contact Sandy Depew via [email protected].

Jury Groups are defined as:

    • Group A studios have no artists juried in 1974 and have an artist who was most recently juried between 1975 – 2003. Group A shall be re-juried now, with applications due April 19, 2022.
    • Group B studios have no artists most recently juried between 1974 – 2003 and have an artist most recently juried between 2004 – 2017. Group B shall be re-juried in 2023.
    • Group C studios have no artists most recently juried between 1974 – 2017 and have an artist most recently juried between 2018 – 2021. Group C shall be re-juried in 2024.

If by the jury application deadline (April 19, 2022), any current Resident Artists decide not to re-jury, their studios’ Jury Group would shift to what is applicable for the remaining Resident Artists.

If those remaining artists would like to add a new artist to the studio lease, they would have to re-jury to do so.

I am currently in Jury Group B or C but would like to change my studio location. May I jury sooner?

Yes.  Artists may choose jury earlier if they wish to change studios.  However, their current studio would become available as part of the 2022 Open Call because they would break their existing lease and be subject to all processes of Group A.  If artists wish to jury sooner, they should alert staff in writing by February 27, 2022. Please contact Sandy Depew via [email protected].

I am currently in Jury Group B or C. May I add a new leaseholder to my studio?

Yes. To add a new leaseholder, you would be required to jury as a group in the next available jury cycle. To add a new studio member in 2022, you would jury with Group A.  By doing so, will break your existing lease and be subject to all processes of Group A.


What will rent cost?

The City of Alexandria paused the 3% rate increases as a relief measure for the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning in October 2022, rent will increase to $16.88 per square foot per year. There will be a 3% increase every year.

I am in Group A, what are the dates of my lease, should my studio be reselected?

Current Art Center artists reselected in 2022 to remain in their current studio shall have a residency date of October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2025. If selected but granted a different studio, the lease shall be November 1, 2022 – September 30, 2025.

If I am successfully re-juried, will I get to keep my current studio?

There is a portion on the application for artists (or artist groups) to list four (4) desired studio spaces in order of preference. If you want to remain in your current studio, list it as your top choice. If you score high enough to be awarded a studio, you will keep your current studio.

If you wish to change studios, put your preferred studio as your top choice. If you put another studio as your top choice, you may not be guaranteed to get it or to maintain your current studio.

Is there a minimum score to maintain my current studio?

The minimum score requirement applies only to invitations for Artist Pro Tem status, eligible for subleasing. There is no limit on how many artists can become an Artist Pro Tem, so long as they score 70 or higher and complete Phase III of the application.

There are a limited number of studios open for consideration during each jury cycle. For example, if there are 20 studios being re-juried, only 20 studios would be awarded in that year cycle. An incumbent artist or artist group would have to score in the top 20 in order to maintain their current studio. Ranking only plays a role for non-incumbent applicants.

In this same example, an incumbent artist who does not score in the top 20, could stay involved as an Artist Pro Tem, if they satisfy the requirements listed above.

The final number of studios is subject to change up to the application deadline. Artists may decide not to renew their leases, other artists may try to change locations in the building and re-jury early, etc. These factors change how many spaces are open for availability in any given year.

After signing a lease, may I change studios or add a new Leaseholder?

Artists are specifically selected for a studio based on their applications. Once a studio lease is signed, it is a covenant with the artist(s) and Art Center. At any time during the lease, Artists Pro Tems, may temporarily join in a sublease.

Artists may add an additional leaseholder or change studios only by breaking their existing lease and re-jurying in the next available cycle.

Artists can re-jury earlier by notifying staff at least one week prior to the date that studio availability is announced each year. This year, that date is March 1, 2022.

To notify staff / break a lease, artists should complete the Intent to Vacate Notice write “Re-jurying” as the “Reason for the leave?” answer. If an artist breaks their lease, they are not guaranteed to be re-juried back into the Art Center and the existing studio will be added to the list of the available studios.

What is an Artist Pro Tem? What if I am not selected for a studio but am invited to be an Artist Pro Tem?

The term “Pro Tem” is short for “Pro Tempore,” which is a Latin phrase that roughly translates to “for the time being.”

Applicants who are not accepted for a three-year lease as a Resident Artist may be selected as an Artist Pro Tem and eligible to sublease. Applicants may also apply directly into Artist Pro Tem pool.

To become eligible for Artist Pro Tem status, applicants must complete all three phases of the application and score a minimum of 70 out of 100 points. Eligibility is for a minimum of one year before being required to re-jury.

As an Artist Pro Tem, you may be invited to sublease with Resident Artists in their studios at various points in the year. Artist Pro Tems can also participate in Art Center public programs and exhibitions, may be included in the artist profile listing on, and may use the name “Torpedo Factory Art Center” when promoting oneself. Your name will also be added to an eligibility list to lease a studio, should one become available within a year of your application.

If a studio becomes available between annual jury cycles, the Artist Pro Tem with the highest score on this application, but did not receive a studio, will first be offered the open studio for the remaining months of that year as a Resident Artist. The studio would be included in the jury cycle the following year. To remain in that studio with a three-year lease as a Resident Artist, the Artist Pro Tem would need to apply through the jury and would be treated as the incumbent artist for the space.

How long can I have someone sublease?

The current Operating Rules and Procedures allow an artist to sublease in the same studio for a total of four (4) months in a calendar year, except during a leave of absence by an artist. See Operating Rules and Procedures for details.

If I am part of the existing subleasing pool in 2022, do I qualify to jury/re-jury with the waived application fee?

Yes. Email [email protected] for a link to a free application. You are not required to re-jury at this time but the re-jurying process may evolve over time.

Download the 2022 Information Packet and Map
*Updated 4/13/2022

How to Use Submittable

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