I definitely wish I knew about the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia when I lived in D.C. Bec and I are always on the lookout for community-based art studios that are open to the public, and this place has it all.
In 2010 we photographed a wedding for Alyssa and Jay, and we will always remember them because it was the Rosso-Ross wedding. Alyssa only had to change one letter to her last name! The wedding was in Philly but they moved to Virginia, and Alyssa took over the new marketing director job for the Torpedo Factory Art Center. She noticed our awesome corporate and non-profit photography at jpgcares.com and knew we were just the team to capture this unique space and the people in it.
We were able to showcase amazing artists and the many guests who visit the center daily to enjoy beautiful artwork ranging from painting, sculpting, and metal work to printmaking and jewelry.
The facility was – you guessed it – an actual Torpedo Factory! The Navy constructed it in 1918 but then became a storage center for artifacts and and objects from museums until 1969, when the city of Alexandria bought it. In September of 1974 the Art Center opened to the public, and has since been a space used by diverse artists to create and showcase their talents.
So, our job was to capture headshots of key personnel and create new promotional material for the facility. As photojournalists we were able to get shots of people performing the movements of their passions, as well as patrons visiting the free center. It was also fun as the space is pet-friendly, so the dogs enjoyed the facility as well! (If only we’d brought along our art-loving dogs, Gus and Trudy!)
Besides seeing former clients and reconnecting (we got to meet Alyssa and Jay’s young daughter) it was great to be asked to create photographic art for artists. From metalworkers to sculptors, landscape painters to textile designers, we love the diversity of art at the Torpedo Factory and were thrilled to be part of this kind of non-profit, creative movement as well.