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School FAQ

The Art League School

Is this the Torpedo Factory School?

This is The Art League school — we’re the school you have heard about with classes at the Torpedo Factory Art Center and the nearby Madison Annex. However, the school is part of a separate organization, The Art League. The Art League offered art classes for over a decade before participating in the establishment of the Torpedo Factory as an art center.

How do I choose a class or workshop?

Browse our catalog here or pick up a catalog at the Torpedo Factory. Call us during office hours at 703-683-2323 if you need a recommendation, or email us at [email protected].

How do I register for a course?

You can register online, by mail, fax, or in person. We accept check, cash, money order, Art League gift certificate, VISA or MasterCard. There are term registration dates for classes but you may register for workshops at any time. Upon receipt of your registration form and payment in full, you are registered. If the class is full or cancelled (due to lack of enrollment), you will be notified.

See also: How to Register 

I'm a first-time art student – what class should I take?

This is the most frequently asked question! The short answer is a Basic Drawing class. It is foundational for anyone interested in becoming a painter or a printmaker.

That said, in all the other departments (photography, sculpture, fiber, ceramics, etc.) there are beginner classes that are appropriate for anyone with no previous art experience. The school staff is happy to help discuss class selections with students (in person, by phone, or email at [email protected]).

Who can take classes at the school?

The Art League school is non-accredited and open for all. We offer classes for adults and children ages five and up.

Can I enroll after a class has begun?

You may register late for a class if there is still space available and the instructor agrees to add another student. To see about a specific class, contact the school at 703-683-2323 or [email protected].

Do I receive credits or certificates for completing a class?

Classes are for personal enrichment only and do not award credit or certificates.

Where will my class or workshop meet?

All of our classes meet in Old Town Alexandria, either in the Torpedo Factory building (105 N. Union St) or at the Madison Street Annex (nearby at 305 Madison St). We send confirmation e-mails to all enrolled students with the location of their building and classroom number.

Are materials included in tuition prices?

Most classes do not have materials included in their tuition. Unless specifically noted in the class description, students are expected to bring their own supplies to class.

Where do I find a supply list and supplies?

The Art League store, located on the second floor of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, maintains supply lists for our classes and tries to stock all of the items requested by our instructors. It is a non-profit store staffed by artists who are able to answer your questions about art materials. Students must pick up their list in person at the school store. Come to your first class with your supplies prepared to work unless otherwise noted on your supply list.

Supply lists are kept in hard copy at The Art League store. In order to find the correct list, please be sure to have the name of your class and instructor.

What happens if I can't pick up a list in person before classes begin?

If you know you won’t be able to stop by The Art League before your class begins, you can send a self-addressed stamped envelope to The Art League store (105 N. Union St., Studio 217, Alexandria, VA 22314). Please include a note indicating your class title and instructor’s name. The list will be mailed to you. The store is unable to email, fax or read lists over the phone.

What happens if I miss a class? Can I make it up with another instructor?

For most classes, if you cannot attend a class, it is up to you to coordinate with your teacher for missed assignments. Similar classes taught by different instructors are not interchangeable. Registration in a class only entitles the student to attend the specific section for which the student is enrolled.

How do I buy a class as a gift for someone?

We recommend purchasing a gift card so that the recipient may choose the exact class they wish to take. The Art League gallery (703-683-1780) sells gift cards that are good for the purchase of classes, workshops, gallery artwork, and art supplies.

Where do I park for classes at the Torpedo Factory?

We recommend parking at Solo parking at the intersection of Duke and Union Streets or at Alexandria’s City Hall underground parking at the intersection of King and Fairfax Streets.

Where do I park for classes at the Madison Annex?

During the weekday there is free two hour parking on the streets surrounding the Madison Annex.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Effective May 10, 2022: The Art League is now maintaining a Masks Recommended (not required) policy.

The Art League is maintaining its classroom safety protocols of increased cleaning, social distancing, capacity caps, and active air filtration.
For the time being, The Art League is not requiring Proof-of-Vaccination to attend in-person classes.

If the CDC releases or recommends a fourth shot/booster, The League may reinstate that requirement.

As you’re well aware, Covid-19 has had a significant impact on public health and created new fear and concerns in our community.

We understand that there are differing opinions over the nature and breadth of Covid and its available treatment, mitigation, and containment strategies.

The current CDC, state, and local Covid requirements were the deciding factors in moving forward with The Art League’s new vaccination policy.

Without being able to raise our classroom enrollment and occupancy, The Art League cannot return to fiscal viability and fully serve our mission.

We will consider removing the proof-of-vaccination requirement when the following Covid-19 thresholds are met and sustained for one month in our region:

• Daily New Cases per 100K are at 1.00 or below
• Infection Rate is at 0.9 or below
• Positive Test Rate is at 3% or below
• Population Vaccinated (2+ Booster) at 70% or more

We hope that this policy will only have to be in place for a relatively short period of time as we begin to return to a more familiar way of public life.

We will always be grateful for your continuing support through the crush of circumstances in the past academic year.


What forms of Proof-of-Vaccination are accepted?

Acceptable proofs are:
• Personal vaccine card (or photo of it) that has the CDC logo and/or health agency logo, indicating that you’ve received your first and second doses (if applicable)—along with where you received your shot(s). It must reflect that you are fully vaccinated.
• Doctor’s office or health department immunization record (or photo of it). It must reflect that you are fully vaccinated.

I’m enrolled/enrolling in an upcoming class; how do I provide/submit Proof-of-Vaccination?
You will be asked to show Proof-of-Vaccination at the school’s entrance door when you arrive for your first day of class. Once verified, you’ll be issued a wristband to wear on League premises.

My kids aren’t vaccinated, can I enroll them in classes?

In order to attend in person classes, minors 5 years and older are required to be vaccinated.

I’ve enrolled in an upcoming class and I do not plan to be vaccinated—what are my options?

We can offer a full refund or we can hold your payment as a school credit until such time as our proof-of-vaccination requirement is lifted.

I lost my Proof-of-Vaccination, what should I do?

Check back with the clinic, pharmacy, or hospital where you received the immunization, they will likely have some form of record. If not, the CDC recommends contacting your state health department’s immunization information system; your info should have been added to that registry when you were vaccinated. Fair warning: It may take some time to get a new Proof-of-Vaccination sent to you.

Becoming an Exhibiting Artist Member

What is Exhibiting Artist Membership?

Exhibiting Artist membership to The Art League gallery provides artists with the continual opportunity to have their work judged by esteemed local arts professionals, and to compete to exhibit their work in one of Washington’s largest art galleries. Other benefits include use of the Art League library, Solo Artist exhibitionsGallery 75, and critiques and seminars.

For full details on becoming an Exhibiting Artist member and entering monthly exhibits, click here.

As an Art League Exhibiting Artist, do I get any discounts in the The Art League School?

No, there are no discounts unless you would like to take an Open-Life Drawing session. Current Art League Exhibiting artists can “drop in” to the Open-Life Drawing class and pay the $20 fee directly to the monitor instead of signing up for the entire five-week session.

Learn more about being an Exhibiting Artist here →

What is Junior Exhibiting Artist Membership?

Junior Exhibiting Artist membership is for artists who are under the age of 18. Junior Exhibiting Artist members are allowed to submit works to the monthly-juried exhibits and participate in all of the other benefits of membership.

What is Gallery 75?

Gallery 75 is an opportunity for eligible Exhibiting Artists to regularly exhibit one framed or three-dimensional piece and up to five unframed pieces. This space is a popular destination for visitors, especially those looking for affordable, unframed works. Exhibiting Artists who have had artwork accepted into three juried Art League shows during the previous exhibition year (July 1–June 30) are eligible to join Gallery 75.

Learn more about Gallery 75 →

Exhibits & Jurying

How do I submit artwork to be shown in the gallery?

You must be a current Exhibiting Artist member to enter the monthly juried shows. The artist can submit two pieces per show and if the juror accepts the artist’s work, he/she will choose only one of the two pieces. All works must be for sale. There is an entry fee for each piece of $5 payable at receiving.

What is the commission for selling my work in The Art League Gallery?

The artist receives 60% of price the works sold. After a sale, gallery staff will call the artist to let them know their work has been sold. The commission check will be sent by the 15th of the following month.

Is your question not answered above? Call the gallery at 703-683-1780.

What is the jurying and receiving process?

Up to two pieces of work may be submitted to the gallery between the hours of 6:30–8:30 pm on the designated Sunday evening, and 10:00 am–12:00 pm on the designated Monday morning of receiving. Entry fees are $5 per piece entered, unless you joined using the all-inclusive program ($144 or $12/month) (see How to Become an Exhibiting Artist, above). 

See upcoming exhibit dates →

The jurying process begins Monday after 12:00 noon. The gallery closes to the public to allow for complete privacy for the jurying process. The juror begins their decision-making and usually is completed late afternoon. We ask that all artists call the gallery after 5:30 pm on Tuesday for the results. The gallery is open until 7:30 pm to pick up work not accepted.

Who juries the monthly exhibits?

Jurors are visual arts professionals from the metropolitan DC area and beyond who are not affiliated with The Art League. Election of a different judge each month assures variety in successive exhibits and a broader opportunity for member artists. No judge is invited back for at least two years.

Art League Membership

What services and benefits come with membership?

All Active Members (Exhibiting Artist*, Donor**, and Student) will receive/are eligible for:

  • Invitations to special events such as lectures, critiques, demonstrations, and networking
  • E-newsletters: Tidings, BrushUp, and Quarterly Member Updates
  • Invitation to Annual Member Gathering
  • Voting in board elections
  • Eligible for board service
  • Membership card

*Exhibiting Artist services (i.e., entering the monthly juried exhibits) remain exclusive to this group.

**Benefits that were exclusive to donors at certain levels remain limited to donors. 

How do I become a member of The Art League?

There are three ways to become a member of The Art League:

  1. You have paid the exhibiting artist dues in the gallery (Active Exhibiting Artist Member)
  2. You have donated to our annual fund at the minimum level ($125) or above (Active Donor Member)
  3. You have enrolled in at least one course in the last five academic terms AND have taken 12 or more courses in the past four years at the school (Active Student Member)

If you meet any of the above criteria, congratulations! You are an Art League member!

Why is The Art League expanding the definition of membership? What is changing?

We want to recognize those who make a significant commitment and impact to The Art League community by including those individuals as members. Art League membership is now a benefit that comes with engaging with the organization at one, or all, of the three ways listed above – that is what’s changing.

How long is my membership valid?

Membership at The Art League expires at the end of our fiscal year (July 1–June 30) if eligibility requirements are not continually met. Individuals may become members at any point in the fiscal year, for the balance of that fiscal year, by meeting any of the three above requirements.

Where can I check my member status?
If I qualify as an Active Donor or Active Student Member, does that automatically make me an Active Exhibiting Artist Member?

No. Even if you qualify as an Active Donor or Active Student Member, you must pay the exhibiting artist dues if you wish to submit your artwork to juried exhibits in the gallery.

Fancy Free by Ann Ruppert
Fancy Free by Ann Ruppert

Become an Exhibiting Artist

Exhibiting Artist membership to The Art League gallery provides artists with the continual opportunity to have their work judged by esteemed local arts professionals, and to compete to exhibit their work in one of Washington’s largest art galleries.