Friday, January 30, 2009

Torpedo Factory in Alexandria

A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to visit the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria. I didn’t realize just how much astonishing talent is in our area. When most people think of DC, they think politics, lobbying, defense contractors, maybe tech or biotech if they’re in the know. I’ve never heard DC described as a great artistic Mecca, but I was truly impressed by the quality of some of the work at the Torpedo Factory. Here are a few of my favorites:

First is Nancy Reinke, a painter and print-maker. Her paintings seem very introspective, but her woodcuts are the real standouts. Would you believe that the above is a woodcut?

Next, Matthew Harwood, whose work just literally cannot be appreciated online so you will just have to visit and see it in person. These extraordinarily detailed drawings and watercolors are three-dimensional. Rather than being a quaint conceit like some I’ve seen though, these really jump off the page, I think due to their stunning level of detail. He’s draftsman-like in his precision.

Carol M. Dupre might not be to everyone’s taste, but if you enjoy M.C. Escher or the collage art of Dave McKean, you should really check out her studio. Again, these have to be seen in person to be believed.

Finally, something completely different: the Enamelists Gallery. A collective of fifteen different artists, this gallery features jewelry, wall hangings, bowls, trays and lots of decorative enamelwork. If you’re into color, the colors of enamel just can’t beat. None of the pictures on the site really picture how wonderful this gallery is.

And our own Mark Gatterdam’s mom, Barbara Gatterdam, has stoneware on display in the Scope Gallery. Such a talented family!

The weekend is coming so get out and take in some of DC's local art scene. The Torpedo Factory is a great place to start. Just wear comfy shoes because you'll want to stay all day.

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