Innovation and creativity collide in year-long display in Alexandria
A new partnership between Virginia Tech and the City of Alexandria will produce a series of exhibitions, performances, and events beginning this fall.
Innovation and creativity may only be buzzwords for some, but at the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) at Virginia Tech, they have long served as fuel for its mission.
This fall, those words take on additional importance with the launch of “Innovation & Creativity,” a new year-long series of exhibitions, performances, and events highlighting an unprecedented partnership between ICAT and the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts.
“Collaborating with one of the nation’s top innovative universities provides an opportunity to put Alexandria on the cutting edge, proving how art and creativity are a thread that runs deeply through all forms of innovation, be it scientific, cultural, engineering, health, or technological,” said Brett John Johnson, the city’s curator of artistic advancement.
The exhibitions will be held at the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Target Gallery in Alexandria from now through September 2024.
“Virginia Tech, with its Innovation Campus, is pushing the frontier of technology,” said Ben Knapp, executive director of ICAT. “Together with the Office of the Arts, we will be showcasing innovation in all of its forms.”
As the event’s grand opening, “Synaptic Soiree,” a party and performances, will be held at the Torpedo Factory Art Center on Sept. 16. The evening events will feature three projects from ICAT’s vibrant teams of researchers and artists curated specifically for the City of Alexandria and Northern Virginia audiences. A facilitated discussion will follow the show and performances run from 7-9 p.m. and tickets are free but limited.
Growing its more than 50-year presence in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area, Virginia Tech will open its doors to the new Innovation Campus in Alexandria next fall to become a global leader of tech talent and innovation.
Since the beginning of efforts to create the Innovation Campus, the City of Alexandria has worked closely with Virginia Tech. Out of discussions with David Baker, Innovation Campus director of operations and chief of staff, the opportunity for ICAT to join the collaboration and be at the center of innovative projects emerged, showcasing the power of collaboration and celebrating the beauty of diverse academic practices, artistic expressions, and creative endeavors.
“Sound Horizons,” opened Aug. 5 and runs through to Jan. 28. It includes four sound installations:
- "Dear Younger Me," a project about healing the inner Black girl, which features a series of Black women reading letters to their younger selves
- "Sonification of Cybersecurity Data," a music installation that turns cybersecurity data into musical harmony of sounds
- "Liminal Spaces," a fixed-media composition inspired by life’s in-between moments
- "Musical Connection," a sound installation shedding light on the uncharted neural territories that music traverses when people living with Alzheimer’s disease engage in music-making
Gallery visitors will experience the exhibition through ICAT’s Tesseract, a high-density loudspeaker array that physically immerses listeners in sound. Target Gallery is typically open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily with occasional 5 p.m. and holiday closures. Confim times at torpedofactory.org/hours.