NEWPORT NEWS—The Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center on the campus of Christopher Newport University in Newport News is poised to open to the public, but probably not until mid-September, according to new Executive Director, Holly Koons, who promises that the opening exhibit is going to be truly spectacular.
When it officially opens, the 83,000 square-foot facility will offer a main gallery for major exhibits, a community art gallery, studio classrooms for academic and public art classes, workshops, and camps, a café, and a 150-seat auditorium. It will also house CNU’s Department of Fine Arts and Art History.
Prior to opening, the Torggler Center will be hosting a youth camp this summer between June 21 and August 5. The camp will be a four-day-a-week offering (Monday through Thursday) for children age 6 through 14. Parents who want full-day instruction can sign up for both morning and afternoon sessions. “We’re very excited because I think this program really stresses the importance of serving our community and the intentions to serve the broader community in addition to the CNU campus,” says Koons. “We’re really delighted that the communities’ children are going to be amongst the very first guests to the Torggler Center.”
Camp-goers will be divided into three different age groups: 6-8, 9-11, and 12-14. The camp will offer everything from painting and traditional art forms to things like jewelry making and felting. The classes for younger children will have themes, often built around animals. The older kids will explore different kinds of art forms and different artists, and they will make works inspired by art history.
All courses will be taught by qualified, professional instructors, many of whom possess decades of teaching experience. Parents interested in registering their children are encouraged to visit www.thetorggler.org for COVID protocols, camp details, and registration information.
After opening, the Toggler Center will offer year-round classes for adults and children. “We have five classrooms that are devoted exclusively to community use,” says Koons. “From time to time, in cooperation with our academic department, we may also be using their facilities for Torggler-sponosored programs. Their facilities are a little more technical, but all of the facilities are state-of-the-art, with brand new equipment, and large, well-lit spaces. We’re going to serve as many people in the community as we can.”