Experience Creativity: Torpedo Factory Art Center Hosts Interactive Work by Melanie Kehoss

Melanie Kehoss’ “Through the Kitchen Door can be seen at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. (Photo courtesy of the City of Alexandria)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Have an interest in innovative art? There is a new installation at the Torpedo Factory Art Center where visitors can become part of the artist’s vision.

Melanie Kehoss designed “Through the Kitchen Door” with the idea that her audience would be central to her work. It involves six household scenes from 1790 to the present that viewers can walk through to get a real sense of how America’s history has evolved.

When I investigate the histories of commonplace customs and objects, I uncover how they have shaped society,” Kehoss said. “The history of kitchens, for instance, is also a history of evolving gender roles.”

Melanie Kehoss (Courtesy photo)

The Wisconsin-bred artist who lives in Arlington is revered for her papercut and lightbox art that employs an understanding of the importance of this country’s history. For this installation, she decided to go bigger – using life-size cutouts  and structures she not only designed but built.

“Through the Kitchen Door” can be experienced through September 27 at the Art Center’s New Project Studio. The studio is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Visitors are asked to adhere to current guidelines to stop the spread of coronavirus. This includes maintaining social distance, wearing a mask, and using hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Staff, for health reasons, will allow just two visitors at a time to walk through the installation.

For those who would like to experience “Through the Kitchen Door” from their own homes, there are plenty of chances to do so. Kehoss will take viewers on a live walk-through on her Instagram account on August 8. There will be another tour on August 12 that will be uploaded to the Torpedo Factory’s social media accounts. Find their Facebook page HERE. Both tours will be archived on their YouTube page.

Have a question about Kehoss’ work? You can submit it on the Facebook and Instagram links above. She will provide answers before a virtual Late Shift event on August 14 at 7 p.m.

This exhibition is free. For more information, click HERE.

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Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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