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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

This Summer, Discover the Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center!

The Peninsula has a fantastic new home for the visual arts. The Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center at Christopher Newport University opened to the public last October, and has since delighted thousands of visitors with exceptional exhibitions, year-round art classes and workshops, and engaging programs for kids and families.

The Torggler offers many opportunities to explore, appreciate and create visual art. From gallery talks focusing on our exhibitions, to family-friendly programs for children, to classes and workshops designed to unleash your inner artist, the Torggler provides multiple ways to engage with art. Committed to serving the Peninsula and beyond, the Torggler houses five classrooms for community use, including one devoted to ceramics.

The Torggler offers exceptional changing exhibitions, and admission is always free! The Torggler’s four gallery spaces include: the Anne Noland Edwards main gallery, dedicated to the work of professional artists with national or international reputations; the William Grace Community Gallery, presenting artists from the Hampton Roads region; the Academic Gallery, displaying work by students and faculty; and the Microgallery, an intimate space for experimental projects.

This summer, we are especially excited about launching our eight-week summer art camp program and opening our new exhibition, Flora/Fauna/Fiber: Textiles in Contemporary Art.

Summer Art Camp

Are you in search of engaging, creative activities for your kids this summer? Look no further than the Torggler. From painting to pottery to everything in between, the Torggler offers a variety of fun and educational half-day camps to ignite your child’s creativity.

The Torggler’s art camps serve ages 5-14, and run from June 20 to August 18 (excluding the week of July 5-9). We offer morning and afternoon half-day camps, four days per week (Monday through Thursday). You can choose both a morning and an afternoon camp to create a full day of artistic adventures, including a supervised lunch and optional after-care. Each half-day camp costs $150, and includes all supplies. Optional after-care is an additional $20 per week.

Summer art camps offer a great opportunity to explore different types of media ranging from traditional drawing and painting to classes like Insane Insects, Mixed-Media Madness and Terrific Tie-Dye. At the Torggler, all of our camps are taught by qualified professional instructors who love art – and most of whom have decades of teaching experience.

This year, we’ve also added summer classes and workshops for adults, including creative book making, painting and a felting class (which will allow you to appreciate the works on displaying in our gallery this summer!).

To register for summer art camp or adult classes, visit or call us at (757) 594-0800.

New Exhibition

Where can you go to admire the setting sun, while sitting on a hand-tufted carpet of grass and flowers?

Where can you hover beneath a 13-foot crocheted octopus amid a menagerie of fish and baby octopuses?

Where can you experience a swaying garden of striking red poppies, suspended over your head?

The Torggler of course!

Don’t miss the Torggler’s spectacular new exhibition, Flora/Fauna/Fiber: Textiles in Contemporary Art. Featuring 13 artists drawn from the United States, Europe, South America, Asia and Canada, the exhibition explores the compelling ways that contemporary artists incorporate textiles – defined as fabric or the fibers that compose it – into their art.

Nature is the inspiration for all of the work in this exhibition. Artists like Virginia native Heather Beardsley imagine a world in which plants proliferate uncontrollably. Canadian Emily Jan presents meticulously crafted mixed-media creatures that are part flora, part fauna. And New York-based Sui Park uses plastic fibers to create abstract forms that resemble sea creatures or microscopic organisms. Kentucky artist Melissa Vandenberg presents snakes created from antique quilts, while Florida artist Amy Gross evokes the swarming of bees with textiles and beads. Several of the featured artists present work that reminds us of our impact on nature, and of the fragile balance we struggle to maintain.

Amanda McCavour, Poppies, 2018. Polyester thread (Courtesy of the artist)

Flora/Fauna/Fiber offers a glimpse into the myriad ways in which contemporary artists are utilizing textiles and the techniques associated with them (knitting, embroidery, crochet, quilting and more) in expansive and surprising ways. From narrative images created through traditional quilting, to exquisitely embroidered natural leaves, to works that combine fibers and other media such as photography, this exhibition is full of surprises.

The Torggler is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am – 5pm, and Sunday 12pm – 5pm. We are closed on Mondays. Admission is always free!

And, the Torggler’s new café, The Palette, is open most days from 10am – 2pm, so you can enjoy a coffee before visiting the exhibition, or savor a leisurely lunch in the Torggler’s gorgeous rotunda.

Please call 757-594-0800 for more information. We look forward to seeing you at the Torggler this summer!

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