Founded in 1974 in an old munitions plant, the Torpedo Factory Art Center is home to a very largest collection of publicly accessible working artist studios.
Historically it was a torpedo factory and munitions storage site. Marian A. Van Landingham (born September 10, 1937) spearheaded the transformation of the decrepit former military storage building into the Torpedo Factory Art Center. In 2006 she was designated Women’s History Month Honoree by the National Women’s History Project.
The mission of the Torpedo Factory Art Center is to foster connections among artists and the public that ignite the creative spirit. They provide dynamic interactions with the arts through the community of visual artists, exhibitions, and programs. They offer art up close, in person, and in progress.
It houses more than 82 artists’ studios, 6 galleries and two workshops, and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, with some 165 professional visual artists who produce a diversity of artwork, ranging from painting, ceramics, photography, jewelry, stained glass, fiber, printmaking, and sculpture.
The six galleries located at the Torpedo Factory include the Target Gallery, The Art League Gallery, Enamellists Gallery, the Multiple Exposures Gallery which specializes in photography, the Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery and the Scope Gallery which specializes in ceramics.
The center attracts around 500,000 visitors annually.