Betsy Anderson bio



            A commitment to landscape is at the heart of Anderson’s oil paintings and monotypes, and color is its strength. Unspecified, clean swept vistas or abstract fields of color on her canvases invoke images of landscapes from the viewer’s experience. The color is compelling, allowing the spirit of the work to be tranquil or emotional and defined with volume, form, space and light.

            The monotype is a medium that holds limitless possibility for Anderson’s personal expression. She has used the process as a means to produce an art work with a fresh, self-assured quality. Anderson enhances each monotype with multiple printing to bring out layers of color. The use of prismacolor pencils further enhances the monotype making each a truly individual work of art.

            The artist attended Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University for three years and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Wright State University. Her work is shown through Spectrum Gallery in Washington, D.C. and in a number of galleries throughout the United States. She is represented in private and corporate collections in this country, Europe and South America. Anderson maintains a studio at The Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, Virginia.



2016 – Named a Living Legend of Alexandria by The Art League of Alexandria, VA

2016 – Best In Show of All-Media Exhibit for her oil on canvas “Ancient Delos,” The Art League, Alexandria



Works by Artists: Celebrating 25 Years, Capital Gallery, Frankfort, KY

Art in Embassies Program

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.

Prints ’92, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

National Print Show, Haggin Museum, Sacramento, California

Washington Area Print Calendar 1993 in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

The Art League, Alexandria, Virginia

The Athenaeum, Alexandria, Virginia

Fairfax County Council of the Arts, Fairfax, Virginia

Wright State University Gallery, Dayton, Ohio

Touchstone Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Studio Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Graffic Traffic, Annapolis, Maryland

Meloncon Gallery, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Spectrum Gallery, Washington, D.C.



Art League Gallery, Alexandria, Virginia

Off Broadway Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland

Dayton Society of Painters, Dayton, Ohio

McNeese University, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Art in Public Spaces, Fairfax County, Virginia

Capital Gallery, Frankfort, Kentucky

Spectrum Gallery, Washington, D.C.



University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, Lexington, KY

American Embassy, Paris, France

First American Bank of Virginia

Lincoln City Club, Lincoln Centre, Dallas, Texas

Republican Policy Committee, U.S. Congress

American Society of Hospital Pharmacists

United States Pharmacopoeia Convention, Inc.

One Washington Circle Hotel, Washington, D.C.

First Maryland Financial Company

John Driggs & Company

Heritage Square, Dallas, Texas

American Society of Psychiatry

Baltimore Gas & Electric

O.S.I. Design Center

Geotrans, Inc.

Old Town Ramada Inn, Alexandria, Virginia

The Sulphur Institute, Washington, D.C.

Blue Cross-Blue Shield

United Dairy Farmers Corporate Offices

Plaza West Association, Annapolis, Maryland

The Gannett Company, Inc.

MCI Telecommunications Corporation

John Portman & Associates, Atlanta, Georgia

Portman-Berry Properties

Riggs National Bank, Washington, D.C.

One Franklin Square Athletic Club, Washington, D.C.

One Cleveland Center, Cleveland, Ohio

The May Company, Cleveland, Ohio



New Hampshire Suites Hotel, Washington, D.C.- 35 monotypes commissioned for the suites, public areas, offices and conference rooms

Ramada Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C.- 9 monotypes commissioned for the dining room

Congressional Park Hotel, Rockville, Maryland- 165 monotypes commissioned for the rooms and public areas & a large decorative screen commissioned, in collaboration with another artist, for major focal point.





Q&A with Alexandria Living Legend Betsy Anderson

Artist Interviews May 25, 2016

Betsy Anderson is a long-time Art League member and Torpedo Factory artist, having been involved with both organizations for decades. With her retirement from the Torpedo Factory on the horizon, it seems fitting that she’s received two accolades this Spring.

Ancient Delos, oil on canvas, by Betsy Anderson. Winner of the Amelia T. Clemente Family Award for Best in Show.

First, she was named a Living Legend of Alexandria, an honor The Art League nominated her for. And this month, juror Lisa Golightly selected the painting above for the Amelia T. Clemente Family Award for Best in Show. We checked in with the artist to see if it’s all going to her head:


What draws you to oil paint and monotypes?
Betsy Anderson: I use oil paints because that’s what I have used since college. I like the slow drying of oils which allows me to soften edges, wipe out sections and have time to make corrections. I do not like the fast drying of acrylics and I feel like my colors are more pure.

I started doing monotypes about 25 years ago as a way to work smaller. For me, it is a perfect medium because it challenges my sense of design. When doing a monotype, you need to work fast. This keeps an artist from overworking a piece and getting mud. It’s also a way to practice your sense of design because you have to work so quickly.

How do your travels inspire you? Is there one location that you’ve painted/printed the most?
When we travel I always carry a camera. I’m not much on painting on site. I take photos, bring them back to the studio, make abstract drawings of the photos which I use for the basis of my paintings. My feelings about the place I am painting influences my choice of colors. Quite often the colors are not what I saw but my feelings about the place. I often do not use this technique when doing a monotype. I will think of places we have visited, make small sketches, think about color and start working.

Almost everywhere we have traveled I get inspiration. My favorite place is Italy. The colors, the ancient places, the people and the food all contribute to my paintings.

Approaching Santorini by Betsy Anderson, from her 2009 solo show, “Greece Abstracted.”

What was your goal with Ancient Delos?
Ancient Delos is a Greek island. It is a sacred island of the Greeks long ago. There are no homes and the landscape lacks much vegetation. My goal was to show the mystery of the island and its ancient religious feeling. So I kept my colors very limited and used a much more abstract design than I usually do.


As an Alexandria Living Legend, what has your role been in the community over the years? What role do you think arts play in Alexandria?
I have had a studio at the Torpedo factory for 36 years. During that time I have worked at The Art League, served on The Art League Board and was President for 11 years. I served on the Alexandria Commission for the Arts for six years and tried to make the commission more aware of the visual arts in Alexandria. At that time, they were giving grants to a lot more performing arts than visual arts.

The Art League submitted my name to Living Legends and I was thrilled when I was named a Living Legend of Alexandria for 2016. I thank The Art League for thinking of me. I have also served on the TFAA Board in various roles and five years on the Torpedo Factory Art Center Board as The Art League representative.

Parrot Island, oil on paper, by Betsy Anderson. From the July 2014 All-Media Exhibit.

You’ll be retiring from the Torpedo Factory soon. What will you be doing next?
I consider myself to be an visual arts advocate and hope to continue that. I have been on The Art League Advisory Board and plan to continue that.

The Art League has been very important to me. The competitive shows really helped me to become a better artist and the friendships I have made have been wonderful.

The May Open Exhibit is open through June 5.

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Torpedo Factory Artists' Association

Working Artists • Open Studios

April 6, 2016 AuthorTFAA


Two long-time Torpedo Factory Artists were recently honored with notable Alexandria awards– Elizabeth “Betsy” Anderson (Studio 223) and Gloria Barbré (Studios 14 and 210) received awards from Living Legends of Alexandria and The Alexandria Commission for Women, respectively.


Living Legends of Alexandria is an ongoing portrait photograph art project and award series aimed at documenting and honoring the community members currently making history in Alexandria. The project was started by Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association alumni artist Nina Tisara, with support from the Rotary Club of Alexandria and the Alexandria Gazette Packet. The project aims to encourage all Alexandrians to make a difference in their community.


Nominated because of her significant participation in all of the partner agencies at the Torpedo Factory (the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association, Torpedo Factory ART Center Board, and The Art League), Elizabeth “Betsy” Anderson was chosen as an Alexandria Living Legend for her dedication to the arts and artists in her community.

Born in Baltimore but raised globally, Anderson developed an early interest in art which she studied at both Tulane University (Sophia Newcomb College) and Wright State University. When The Art League opened membership to residents outside Virginia, she was quick to join. Anderson’s membership in the Art League served as a motivating factor for her decision to retire in the Alexandria area.


While at The Art League, Anderson served eight years as Assistant Executive Director and eleven times as President of the Board of Directors. During these roles, she established the Art Supply Store, Development Department, and Community Outreach Program.

Betsy Anderson and Executive Director of The Art League, Suzanne Bethel

After joining the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association in 1980, Anderson served on the board as both Vice President and Treasurer. She became a leaseholding artist in 1988 and her paintings have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions both locally and internationally. She continues her artistic practice as a painter in Studio 223.

Anderson was appointed by Alexandria City Council to serve on the newly created Torpedo Factory Art Center Board in 2011, also holding the role of Vice President. In addition, she represented the visual arts for six years on the Alexandria Commission for the Arts, including two as Vice Chair.


The “Meet the Legends” reception for the 2016 Living Legends of Alexandria Awards was held on March 15 at the U.S. Patent and Trade Office.


The Alexandria Commission for Women recently presented the 36th Annual “Salute to Women” Awards. Formerly the Woman to Woman awards, the awards recognize women who have made continued and lasting contributions to the Alexandria Community.

A New Orleans native, Barbré moved to Alexandria in 1984. With a degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, she soon found a new home in the Torpedo Factory artist community. As the creator of the bridal and events rental program at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, she allowed for the sustainability and growth of the center, while increasing the visibility of the Torpedo Factory artist community in the greater Washington D.C. region. Gloria Barbré was awarded the Donna Bergheim Cultural Affairs Award.

Gloria Barbré and her award

Barbré has served as a board member to the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association and on a variety of arts committees. She also served as the author and editor of a Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association cookbook. Her work expanded into the greater community by organizing food drives for shelters, collecting glasses for the Lion’s Club, and mentoring young women interested in fashion.


The Alexandria Commission for Women also presented the Legislation and Public Policy award– named after Torpedo Factory founder and artist Marian Van Landingham. The award was named for Van Landingham in 2005, after she retired from years of service in the Virginia House of Delegates. This year, the Marian Van Landingham Legislation and Public Policy Award was awarded to Helen Morris for her work as Chairman of the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP). Van Landingham was also awarded an Alexandria Living Legend award in 2007.


“We’re pleased that Torpedo Factory artists always take an important and active role in the Alexandria community” said Van Landingham, after attending the Salute to Women Awards.

The celebrations for the Salute to Women Awards were held at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on March 28, 2016.

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