Make Art, Not War at the Torpedo Factory - Atlas Obscura
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Alexandria, Virginia

Make Art, Not War at the Torpedo Factory

Explore the once-abandoned munitions plant in Old Town that now houses a thriving art community.

Join the Atlas Obscura Society D.C. and the Torpedo Factory in historic Old Town Alexandria for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of the munitions-factory-turned-art-center and a hands-on printing workshop with local artist Patrick Sargent.

Ground broke at the U.S. Naval Torpedo Station (a.k.a. “the Torpedo Factory”) on November 12, 1918, ironically the day after Armistice Day ended World War I. It was most active during World War II when it produced torpedoes for aircrafts and submarines. After production ceased, the federal government converted the buildings into storage space, housing everything from Congressional documents to German war films to dinosaur bones to Smithsonian works of art. In 1969, the City of Alexandria purchased the complex and, five years later, the Torpedo Factory Art Center was born.

Today, the riverfront building contains 165 studios, seven galleries, and welcomes over a half-million visitors a year, making it the world’s largest collection of publicly accessible artist studios under a single roof. It also houses the Alexandria Archaeology Museum

At the end of this event, everyone will be able to create their own work of art to take home in a special workshop with printmaker Patrick Sargent. 

Additional Details

  • This tour takes place during the Torpedo Factory’s “Late Shift Art Night: Uncovering the Waterfront,” but only Atlas Obscura Society ticket-holders will have access to this exclusive tour and workshop.
  • At the end of this event, everyone will be able to create their own work of art to take home in a special workshop with printmaker Patrick Sargent. 
  • Refreshments and a cash bar will be available as part of the Late Shift activities.
  • The event is indoors, but the facility is large and multi-storied, so there will be plenty of walking and climbing stairs.
  • This event is accessible by public transportation. The King Street Station on Metro's yellow line is about a mile walk from the Torpedo Factory, but there's also a free trolley that picks up near the station and goes all the way to the waterfront. 
  • Street parking and garages are available but can be hard to find. If you plan on driving, please leave extra time for parking.

Questions?

Contact Matt Blitz at matt@atlasobscura.com

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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.