Yesterday was the first day of my residency with the Visiting Artist Program at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. This month, I will work in the studio daily while interacting with the public. I will also give a lecture on my work and participate in the exhibit Synergy, hosted by the independent Target Gallery. I am very excited to spend part of my summer in this sunlit and open space, steps away from King Street and the waterfront!
There are a few reasons that I love this center. First of all, it is a place where the non-art-minded public can be exposed to artists and their process. More than once yesterday I had explained to me that visitors – many of them tourists -will be reticent to come inside the studio because they may be intimidated by artists at work. This was brought home to me when I found myself compelled to coax a group of timid-looking women into my space at one point during the day.
The second thing I love about TFAC is that it serves as an encouraging model for artists who do not have gallery representation. Artists have a well-lit space with frequent foot traffic and a built-in gallery for their work they run independently.
And finally, there’s the Art League and the Art League School, which offers some of the highest quality but lowest-cost art classes in the area, thanks to admirable support from patrons and the local and state government. The League also organizes high-visibility exhibits, including solo shows, for its members. Many successful artists in the area have studied at the Art League over the years.
So that’s my tribute to the Torpedo Factory – which is also cool, by the way, because it was a real torpedo factory during the second World War … which is just one more reason to stop by and visit some time, if you can.