Julee Rodgers


Class of: 2024

Major: Fine Arts BFA

Medium: Paper, ink, and gouache paints.

Faculty: Amy Finkel

Prompt: For Bridge 2: Becoming a Flaneur, we were to go on a psycho-geographic walk. Inspired by that journey, we were then to create a publication by picking a key access point. For example, an access point could be a historical building, a person, a flower plant, or even a whole neighborhood. Before creating the experimental publication, we also had to do some archival/secondary research on the area of our walk.

I created a children’s book telling the story about the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, VA. For my psycho-geographic walk, I chose Old Town, Alexandria, VA as my destination. Disguising myself as a flaneur, I stumbled upon an old Torpedo Factory transformed into a public art center that harbors galleries, studios, and artists. Diving into its history, I learned that the building has gone through many changes throughout its lifetime. It went through roughly three major changes: an operating torpedo factory, storage facility for government records, and finally the art center. The changes it went through became the access point needed for this project. Wanting to express the building as if it were alive, I chose three color palettes. Black and white for the early 1900s, sepia for the late 1900s, and the colors represented on the building today. The most vibrant colors the building had was the logo that looked like a target point. I chose to represent that logo as the title of the book and as the major turning point in the story. As for the materials, I chose to paint with gouache and ink. I decided upon gouache because of its vibrant colors that aren’t as transparent as watercolor. Because it’s a children’s book, I wanted to give it a sense that it was actually published therefore I used an AD marker blender to transfer the images of the text from printed A4 paper. The transfer didn’t come out as clearly as I wanted, thus additional pen marks to make it a little more visible. The Giant represents the building from when it was born in 1919, after WWII it became a record storage center, thus the feeling of abandonment, and to its renaissance as the art center, gaining a new purpose.