From retail and restaurants to tech and media, contractors to coworking spaces, large, small, and everything in between, a diverse array of businesses call Alexandria home. In our blog series, Growing in Alexandria, we sit down to talk with businesses around the City to learn more about who they are, what they do, and why they love it here. Have an idea for a business in Alexandria to talk to? Email us!
We had an insightful conversation with Mongolian native and artist Damba Tsolmon. His amazing hand-painted pieces speak to his past life in Mongolia, and his current in Alexandria.
AEDP: To get started, please tell us a little bit about your business.
Damba: I am originally from Mongolia, and I have been a freelance artist for a long time. I also have an art studio at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town; I’ve been there since 2017, and I love it there!
AEDP: Nice! How did you get started with your art business and what type of art do you create?
Damba: I started painting when I was just 3 years old. I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from my homeland, Mongolia, and incorporated that into my artwork. I grew up in a nomadic lifestyle in the countryside of Mongolia. I specialize in oil paintings, acrylic paintings, and watercolor paintings. I only make hand-painted original art pieces, no copies or reproductions.
AEDP: Why did you decide to relocate to Alexandria from Mongolia?
Damba: In 1999, I had my first visit to the United States. I was amazed by it and how it was such a different world compared to Mongolia. I had my first art exhibition in 1996 in Mongolia, but people did not react well to my art. I decided that the U.S. would be better for me and my future as an artist.
I had traveled to a lot of cities in the U.S., but I ultimately fell in love with Alexandria and its charm.
AEDP: How have you pivoted during the Covid-19 pandemic, to keep your business afloat?
Damba: Local art shows, especially those held in the city of Alexandria, are vital to my income. When those shows stopped due to the pandemic, I struggled a lot. Thankfully, I was able to keep my business going, and now I am working on building back my business with shows such as Art on the Avenue.
To learn more about Damba Tsolmon Art, visit his studio at the Torpedo Factory or his website.