Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, Virginia

If there was ever a mismatch between the name of a building and what goes on inside of it, the Torpedo Factory building near the Alexandria waterfront would undoubtedly be the poster child for this contradiction.  Of course, the place was indeed a busy torpedo factory during the period between 1918 and 1945, but since then it led a somewhat circuitous path until it began its artistic transformation about three decades later.  Today it is one of the premier art venues in the area, with a myriad of resident artists who busily go about their work while vast amounts of visitors marvel at their creations.  These pretty much run the gamut from wire sculptures to colorful abstract renditions of imaginary landscapes.  Don’t get me wrong, this is high-end art, but with a definitive modern twist.

The place is quite photo friendly too.  All the artists and gallery people I talked to had no problems with me taking some pictures, and the only restriction I heard all afternoon was that no direct closeups of the completed paintings were allowed.  But not all the galleries will allow you to snap away, so you need to look out for the “no pictures” signs that some of them had prominently displayed near their entrances.  And if it is low-light (high ISO) photography that you are after, this is certainly the place.  Next time, though, I’ll make sure I bring that big, old tripod along.

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