|ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — As part of the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s 40th anniversary celebration, resident glass artist Alison Sigethy (http://www.alisonsigethy.com) will install five of her large-scale Levitation Towers in the building’s public space. One of a few public works popping up around the Factory to celebrate the anniversary of this community institution, the Towers provide interactive engagement between visitors and the building itself.
Centered about a prominent third floor smokestack, a remnant of the building’s original designation as a munitions factory, the dynamic Levitation Towers stand over 7 feet tall, each containing brightly-colored orbs suspended within glass panels. “They remind me of flags waving outside of the United Nations building,” Sigethy says, and believes they speak to the international demographic of the Factory. With the largest collection of working artist studios in the United States, including 165 visual artists in 82 studios, 6 galleries, and 2 workshops, the Torpedo Factory boasts a large international population of artists.
The Towers speak to the eco-artist’s interest in kinetic energies. “The movement of the balls within each tower is very much like fireflies in a jar, so I think of them as summer sculptures. They are also very appropriate works for the anniversary celebration since the Torpedo Factory is always buzzing with activity. There are five towers which symbolize community — we are a community of artists and part of the Alexandria community as well. The energy from our guests, when they visit our studios or attend our events, is an intrinsic part of the work that we create, and we would like to think that the feeling is mutual with our contribution to the unique personality of historic Alexandria.”
Sigethy is an active member of the Torpedo Factory Artists Association. Juried in to the Center (http://www.torpedofactory.org/) in 2007, she has maintained a solo studio since 2009. To celebrate her own fifth anniversary in the space, the artist’s studio will undergo major renovations and a grand re-opening event slated for early July. In seven years’ time, she has forged meaningful connections with fellow Factory artists and members of the community through community-building initiatives — from guiding Factory tours and being involved with Factory-wide events to opening her studio for her popular personalized art classes.
The Torpedo Factory’s 40th anniversary officially kicked off in early June with a mural unveiling from another Factory artist, Rachel Kerwin, and an opening reception in the Target Gallery. For the next month, the Alexandria Community Arts Library pays homage to the Torpedo Factory’s distinguished history with an exhibition including a cabinet of curiosities, an art lending library, and a reading area. Commemorative festivities and exhibitions are planned for the remainder of the year. Sigethy is thrilled to be a contributor to the mission of the Torpedo Factory, helping to forge bonds between artists and the greater community. The public installation of her Levitation Towers speaks to these daily interactions taking place at the Center.