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40 YEARS OF ART AND COMMUNITY: THE TORPEDO FACTORY, ALEXANDRIA,VA
(2014)

When you spend two years working behind the scenes with a community of artists, you never run out of stories to tell. The Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia, is still animated by the spirit that reigned when artists took over the dilapidated industrial site in the 1970s and drove the recovery of the city's historic waterfront.

From mid-2012 to mid-2014, I researched and wrote nearly 200 blog posts about the 250 artists affiliated with the Torpedo Factory Artists' Association, the professional organization that keeps the art center thriving. My posts promoted exhibitions and community events, highlighted member news, provided information for aspiring members, and covered subjects of interest to working artists. My work culminated in writing a 10,000-word history of of the art center for the TFAA's 40th-anniversary book.

Torpedo Factory artists pioneered the "working artists, open studios" philosophy, and their desire to encourage creativity among their visitors is genuine. I'm living proof of concept: In the years since, I've taken figure drawing classes and studied the basics of oil and watercolor painting.