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$10.00 USD

Open to: All artists currently eligible to sublease or current leaseholders at Torpedo Factory Art Center. Click here for FAQ regarding subleasing or leasing.

Artists may apply individually or as a group for a studio. Artists will be asked to select up to three studios in their application in order of preference but are not guaranteed those spaces. Leases will begin on August 1, 2021, and end on March 31, 2022, with the possibility of renewal.

Note: Artists may apply and not include a studio number if they wish to join an active lease (they should indicate this in the application).

Available Studios:

  • Studio 302 (234) Sq. ft): Located on the third floor overlooking the Potomac River.
  • Studio 320 (339 sq. ft.): Located on the third floor and overlooking the south hallway.
  • Studio 344 (224 sq. ft.): Located on the third floor and overlooks the north hallway.


  • June 29: Applications due by 11:59 PM
  • July 16: Announcement of outcome no later than this date
  • August 1: Lease term begins

About Torpedo Factory Art Center

Founded in 1974, Torpedo Factory Art Center is the home of the nation’s largest collection of working-artists’ open studios under one roof. An Alexandria landmark for 45 years, it is the highlight of the Potomac Riverfront, attracting approximately 500,000 visitors annually.

The community of about 150 working artists, includes a wide variety of media—painting, ceramics, photography, jewelry, stained glass, fiber, printmaking, sculpture and more—in 82 studios.

Torpedo Factory Art Center is an equal-opportunity organization with high-quality art as the highest standard for artist selection. Artists may work in any visual media that can be reasonably accommodated in a studio at the Art Center.

The mission of the Art Center is to foster connections among artists and the public that ignite the creative spirit. We provide dynamic, public interactions with the arts through our community of visual artists, exhibitions, and programs. We offer art up close, in person, and in progress to the public.

About Our Values and Priorities

Torpedo Factory Art Center is a space for artistic growth and inspiration. Growing as an artist, producing new and fresh art, and interacting with the public are the top priorities of having a studio.

While marketing one’s art and self is an important part of being a professional artist, art sales are not the top priority of being an artist at the Art Center. All art, however, should be of the highest originality with space to evolve and diversify over time.

We believe in the power of artists working cooperatively as a community—for economic viability, support, feedback, and the nurturing of new ideas. We believe in artistic excellence, innovation, and all forms of creative engagement. We strive to support artists at all stages of their careers from diverse communities, artistic genres, and traditions.

We value:

  • High-quality artwork as shown via a portfolio review.
  • An artist’s ability to interact with the public and talk about their art.
  • Artists having clear career goals to grow professionally, be it via exhibitions, teaching, being represented, residencies, or sales.
  • Creating a kinship among creatives who work together to inspire one another and foster goodwill among the community.
  • Inclusiveness of voices across media as an outcome of representation across ethnicities, gender, economics, sexuality, age, ability, education, and career level.

Costs:  $10 per application

Eligibility: Visual artists over age 21 who are currently eligible to sublease or current leaseholders at Torpedo Factory Art Center. Click here for FAQ regarding subleasing or leasing. Those who have received a default notice or notice that they may not lease/sublease in the future from the City of Alexandria via the U.S. Postal Service are ineligible to apply.

Applying as a group or individually: Artists may apply as a group or individually for a studio. A studio is granted to the application. The Art Center does not pair artists together. Groups of up to four artists may apply together. If accepted, additional artists may be eligible to sublease in the studio. An artist may apply only once, not in multiple applications.

Space activation: A goal for the studios is to activate the spaces. Applicants should consider how they will actively engage with the public.

About the jurors: The jurors shall consist of three (3) professionals in the curatorial, gallery, art museum or art academic field.

Jury Panel

  • Chawky Frenn, Associate Professor Painting and Drawing at George Mason University
  • Raven Featherstone, DC-based artist and Associate Professor of Photography with an emphasis in Computer Graphic Design and Motion Design
  • Erica Harrison, the Associate Curator and Festival Director at Tephra ICA (formerly Greater Reston Art Center)

Lease and Operating Rules and Procedures: Accepted artists shall follow rules of the Lease and Operating Rules and Procedures found here. Additionally, artists would be required to obtain a business license and renters insurance. Staff can help advise on this process.

COVID-19: The pandemic is a fluid situation and the Art Center is following all state and local guidelines to safeguard artists, staff, and visitors.

Placement: Applicants will note their first, second, and third choose of studios. Staff will work with jurors to select the best location for accepted artists. Studio placement will be based on score, with the higher score getting their preferred locations. If a space becomes available due to one artist moving, staff can place an accepted applicant into a new space not listed above. Applicants have right of refusal, but it may forfeit their ability to secure a studio in the Art Center during this round of applications.


  • 8 images (or video) of artwork produced in the past two years for each artist applying as part of the application. A maximum of four artists may apply as a group for one studio. Therefore, there may be 8 – 32 images pending on how many artists are included  within the application.
  • An image list explaining media, size, and date. If more than one artist is applying , it should be denoted that it is a second, third, or forth artist.
  • Short written statements:
  1. An Artist statement (less than 200 words) for each artist on the application.
  2. A process statement (how you make your art, less than 200 words) for each artist on the application.
  3. Engagement statement: How will you (as a group and/or as an individual) engage with the public and utilize the space (less than 300 words) 
  • Resume or CV for each artist applying to show career progression
  • Active social media and website links if applicable for each artist applying to illustrate professionalism and online engagement .

Selection criteria

Quality of Art

  • Artwork shows an understanding and desire to contribute to the dialog of contemporary art as well as clearly reflecting and expressing their conceptual ideas in their artwork. (scale of 1 – 10,10 being the highest score)
  • Artworks reflect a strong understanding of presentation and technical skill. (scale of 1 – 10, 10 being the highest score)
  • Artist displays a clear ability to produce a comprehensive body of work. (scale of 1 – 10,10 being the highest score )

Diversity of Art

  • Medium and/or subject is new, or not frequently seen, at Torpedo Factory Art Center. (scale of 1 – 10,10 being the highest score )

Public Interaction

  • Artist clearly expresses their creative process and conceptual ideas. (scale of 1 – 10,10 being the highest score )
  • Artist will use studio to engage the public and create artwork that will be engaging to the public. (scale of 1 – 10,10 being the highest score )

Career Progression

  • Artist demonstrates a progression in their artistic career and has an active online professional  presence. (scale of 1 – 10,10 being the highest score )

Working in a Community

  • Artist has demonstrated a strong interest in being at Torpedo Factory Art Center and expresses a positive working attitude, professionalism, an interest in working within a community of artists, and a desire to engage with the public. (scale of 1 – 10, 10 being the highest score)

Note: All information provided is subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

For reasonable translation or disability accommodations, contact torpedofactory@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.4570, Virginia Relay 711.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.