The Resident Artist Program at the Workhouse Arts Center provides reduced-price studio spaces on our 55-acre historic campus to local artists who successfully jury into the program. Artists create original works of art in their Workhouse studios, exhibit in individual building galleries or during campus-wide shows and events, and have the opportunity to share and sell their artwork to the more than 100,000 guests who visit the Workhouse each year.
The Workhouse Arts Center believes that an arts education is necessary to an individual’s perception and understanding of the world in which we live. Creative learning enables students to interpret these perceptions in visual or performative form. Art education teaches students to respect and appreciate their own interpretations and those of others. Our program allows every student to increase positive attitudes towards self, others, and the environment through creative experiences. The Workhouse Arts Center provides art instruction that helps develop basic art skills, encourage visual awareness and promote intellectual growth and creative self-expression.
The Performing Arts Program produces exciting shows like 39 Steps, Solitary Confinement, and the Rocky Horror Show. It also curates the best of regional and national performers to bring stand-up comedy, concerts, and special performances to the Workhouse’s 100-seat theater in building W-3 as well as to the Workhouse’s outdoor performance spaces.
The Workhouse Prison Museum presents an overview of the history of the D.C. Correctional Facility at Lorton, Virginia, including photographs, artifacts, and stories associated with its long history. Operated from 1910 until finally closing in 2001, the Workhouse was originally intended to rehabilitate and reform prisoners through fresh air, good food, honest work, and fair treatment, and at one point played a pivotal role in the United States Suffrage Movement.
The museum is located in several studios in the former Workhouse which now houses the Lorton Arts Center. Visitors are welcome, free of charge, five days a week.
The Workhouse Arts center provides an exceptional, exciting, and collaborative environment for younger artists ages 3-17 to explore mediums such as drawing, painting, ceramics, glass, mixed media, computer game design, culinary arts, and more.
Whether during our annual Summer Camp sessions or in our other youth and teen arts camps held throughout the year, including Spring Break Arts Camp and various Mini-Camps, our fun-infused arts enrichment classes are taught by professional artists and Master of Art in Teaching (MAT) graduate students from George Mason University.
Our Camp programs typically offer students a 12:1 student/teacher ratio, designed to ensure each student receives the attention needed to excel, have fun, and develop creative skills. The Youth + Teen Arts Camp program also gives students an opportunity to engage in physical exercise activities, community service projects, and access to certain state-of-the-art facilities on our beautiful and historic 55-acre campus.
Recent camp themes have included: Doodle Tots Arts Camp (Ages 3-5); Visual Arts Explorers Camp (Ages 6-10); Mason Game & Technology Academy (MGTA) with George Mason University (Ages 6-8); Fine Arts Innovators Camp (Ages 11-13); and Short Film & Animation Camp (Ages 8-12).
The Art of Movement (AOM) Program at the Workhouse Arts Center is a unique, innovative approach to health and wellness, featuring a variety of traditional and contemporary mind-body offerings. Facilities include five beautiful studios where private and group classes are held in
• Tai Chi
• Ballroom Dancing
The program also includes private and group pilates equipment classes with state-of-the-art equipment from Stott Pilates.
The Workhouse Arts Center Ceramics Program is a collective and highly dynamic environment with the goal for the promotion of Ceramic Arts through research, education and outreach. The Ceramics program housed in building 8 at the Workhouse is a state of the art expansive and open aired facility with two indoor kiln rooms, an outdoor kiln yard with a 32 cu. Ft. gas downdraft shuttle and Raku kiln(s). We also have a spray booth, 21 wheels, fully equipped raw materials lab and clay storage/mixing room, slab rollers, extruder, ball mill, extensive shelving and workspace for either hand-building or wheel-thrown work. Our studio facility is also currently home to 6 ceramic resident artists’ who occupy one of our 6 private or shared studio spaces, and whose works range from the functional to sculptural. The facility also houses our retail gallery for the exhibition and sale of resident artists’ artworks.
The Workhouse Ceramics program offers a variety of classes for ages 5 and up in wheel-throwing, hand-building and ceramic sculpture. Our Instructors are emerging, pre-professional or professional ceramic artists and/or ceramic art educators. We pride ourselves on giving our students individual attention and providing them with a wide array of philosophies and techniques for accomplishing individual goals and complementing their work in clay.
As a part of our commitment to the promotion of artistic and cultural creativity within our community the Ceramics program at the Workhouse Arts Center will offer any student who wishes to learn more about studio practices, management, and increase their technical knowledge an opportunity to participate in the Workhouse Ceramics Work Study Program. This program also involves the training in various areas of our ceramic studio operations for any beginning thru advanced students wishing to help with daily operational activities in exchange for open access to studio during no-class times and/or tuition reductions.
The Workhouse Ceramics Program also provides and is currently involved in extensive outreach activities with Fairfax County Public Schools, Prince William County Public Schools and Private schools in Northern Virginia. These activities involve mentoring, collaboration, demonstrations and classes for field trip groups or providing resident visiting artists in classrooms.
The Workhouse Arts Center Glass Program is a collective and highly interactive environment with the goal for the promotion of the Glass Arts through research, education and outreach. The Glass program housed in building 7 at the Workhouse is a fully equipped facility with a kiln room, hot shop, cold-working room, flame working classroom and a multi-purpose flat working classroom used for instructional purposes in fusing, stained glass, mosaics and glass casting. We also have two sand-blasting units, wet saw, lapidary, tabletop and belt grinders, 9 table-top bench mini-cc torches, a fully stocked retail glass supply store, and extensive shelving and workspace(s) in each classroom. Our studio facility is also currently home to 11 glass resident and emerging artists’ who occupy one of our 9 private or shared studio spaces, and whose works range from the functional to the sculptural. The facility also houses our retail glass gallery for the exhibition and sale of resident artists’ artworks.
The Workhouse Glass program offers a variety of classes for ages 13 and up in kiln casting and forming, hot glass blowing, glass jewelry, fusing, stained glass, flameworking (borosilicate and soft glass) and bead making. Our Instructors are emerging, pre-professional or professional glass artists and/or glass art educators. As is our goal with all of our visual arts classes, each student is given individual attention and provided with a wide array of philosophies and techniques for accomplishing their individual goals and complementing their work in glass.
As a part of our commitment to the promotion of artistic and cultural creativity within our community the Glass program at the Workhouse Arts Center offers any student who wishes to learn more about studio practices specific to glass, studio management, and increase their technical knowledge an opportunity to participate in the Workhouse Glass Work Study Program. This program also involves the training in various areas of our glass studio operations for any beginning thru advanced students wishing to help with daily operational activities in exchange for open access to studio during no-class times and/or tuition reductions.
The Workhouse Military in the Arts Initiative (WMAI) is rooted in the Workhouse Arts Center’s desire to address the needs and improve the lives of military service members, veterans, their families, and caregivers through the arts. WMAI seeks to increase equity, access, and opportunities for veterans to participate in quality arts programming that is sensitive and responsive to their unique experiences.
WMAI is listed on the National Directory of the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military (by AFTA) and has partnered with a variety of organizations, including Recovery Forge, to provide programming and services to the military and first responder communities.
The program developed from a desire to provide access to greater art therapeutic services and free classes in arts, for the benefit of current and former military members and their families. The programs materials, facilities and services, together with the time from our program artists, are provided through fundraising, donations or supplied by sponsors. Through this we are able to provide free regular monthly art activities, developed to provide an exploratory experience in a range of visual arts.
Participants engage in whole human wellness for transformative experiences in therapeutic art making, performance art, culinary arts, and health and wellness as a multidisciplinary experience designed to support healing. Departments at the Workhouse involved include Visual Arts Education, Performing Arts, Culinary Program, Exhibitions, and Art of Movement.