The Torpedo Factory Artists Association will present the results of its regional painting competition at its Mosaic District art gallery, beginning on July 23 and running through August 22.
“It’s our very first open regional painting show,” says Vero Barker-Barzel, president of the artists association. “We want to do outreach and bring the community in closer.”
More than 30 paintings selected from nearly 400 submissions across the region will be on display in the space. Attendees and visitors will have the opportunity to purchase the paintings. Prices range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
A Post-Pandemic Art Revival
It’s a moment of renewed community connection for the gallery. The Gallery @ Mosaic was founded in October 2017 as a new, separate location from the association’s popular main residence in Alexandria. But it closed during the pandemic.
Having reopened at the end of quarantine, the gallery will host its first post-pandemic, in-person reception to celebrate the regional artists on July 29, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The reception will feature a talk by juror Philip Hutinet, publisher of East City Art, a digital publication for alternative art.
A Haven for Art at Mosaic
It’s good news for the district. The Mosaic District art gallery is a refreshing stopping point for shoppers looking for a touch of arts and culture. It was brought into the space through an offer from EDENS, the developer of Mosaic.
“The space we’re in now used to be a shoe store. So instead of having an empty storefront, they asked us to come in and fill it with art,” Barker-Barzel says. “We’ve been in the game for a while, so we know how to put on shows.”
The gallery changes its showings about every six weeks, drawing from the work of more than 200 associate members. Mediums range from pottery to jewelry to oil paintings and photography. When stopping by, feel free to strike up a conversation with the artists that’ll be staffing the store.
“It’s always kind of cool that someone can come in and talk to the artist,” Barker-Barzel says. “If they want to have a conversation about how things are created or why that subject matter was chosen, we’re here for that. And we love talking to the public.”
The Importance of a Gallery
For Barker-Barzel, community and a physical space are critical to the artistic process. Not just for the artist to be able to show and sell their work directly, but also for the consumer.
“As we move into a virtual world, physical galleries are still important,” she says. “It’s one thing seeing it on the computer screen, and it’s another seeing it in person, where you can see more of the textures and how the piece breathes.”
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