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“Wonderful place to spend time on the way to or from the airport”

Workhouse Arts Center
Ranked #2 of 13 things to do in Lorton
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Workhouse Arts Center, once a former prison, is now a flourishing arts community that is home to over 100 of the finest regional artists, with a rich local and national history. The Workhouse has a beautiful campus open year round to the public, with eight artist studio buildings, two main galleries, a prison museum, cafe, gift shop, art supply store, new Youth Arts Center and W-3 Theatre. New performances at the Workhouse W-3 Theatre include: Comedy Nights, a Cabaret Series, Dinner and a Movie Nights, as well as Children’s Theatre programs. The Workhouse offers over 200 educational opportunities for all age groups and skill levels.
Virginia Beach, VA, USA
Level Contributor
264 reviews
100 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Wonderful place to spend time on the way to or from the airport”
Reviewed August 11, 2013

Great glass and ceramics. Paintings were too modern for my taste, but I think they change periodically. Nice to see and talk to working artists. Recommend spending an hour or two when going to or from Dulles.

Visited July 2013
Thank likebeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Woodbridge, Virginia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great community art center”
Reviewed August 3, 2013

I've been visiting the Workhouse Arts Center since it opened, and have enjoyed every trip. Wandering the artists' galleries alone can take all day, whether you're looking for inspiration or to purchase a piece. Then there are the events they hold--weekly free outdoor concerts during the summer, especially--which have all been fabulous. I've also been here for a photography shoot with a friend; the old buildings and historic architecture make for an interesting setting. I'm so glad they left the history!

Visited June 2013
Thank flyingsails
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina Coast, North Carolina
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great FREE, FUN place”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

I love visiting the Workhouse Arts Center! There is something for everyone, painting, drawing, pottery, jewelry, fused glass, weaving, knitting, woodworking...

Visited June 2013
Thank KathNorthernVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Federal prison turned art center”
Reviewed July 21, 2013

The Workhouse Art center is the redo of a Federal prison which had been an agricultural work camp. Besides the many interesting artists and craftsman studios and various art presentations, there is also as small museum located in one of the buildings. It shares the history of the site but more a detailed account of the site is on their website. The website indicates that, "The first prisoners at the Workhouse were misdemeanants—men who has been arrested and jailed for public drunkenness, petty theft, simple assault and non-support. Women were sentenced for solicitation, prostitution, disorderly conduct, vagrancy and intoxication. Beginning in July 1917 and continuing until November 1917, 72 members of the National Women’s Party were incarcerated at the Workhouse for protests over voting rights for women, including one of the movement’s founders, Lucy Burns."
We particularly enjoyed Carol Tripp Marten's ceramic tea pots, Jeanne Treschuk's mixed media and Hsi-Mei Yates Chinese Brush paintings.

Visited July 2013
Thank James A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Occoquan, Virginia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Hidden Secret Indeed”
Reviewed May 25, 2013

Took my wife to a Saturday night ballroom dancing event. Apparently they hold these monthly...and hopefully that will be expanded in the not too distant future. For a very reasonable price, one could get a lesson, followed by about 2 hours of free dance. The facility was almost perfect for dance...except for the support poles in the middle of the floor. Dance instruxction was adequate but not stellar. Music, of course, was via electronic means, but filled the hall. Many of the people there were newcomers to dance and obviously did not know some of the rules (i.e., travel along line of dance). Nevertheless, the Workhouse is a very good venue for this sort of thing. I hope they devote more resources to improving the instruction...if so, I'll be a repeat guest.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank Walkintall26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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