Look Down! Old Town North’s Stormwater Covers Are A Blank Canvas For Inspired Designs!

Previously Published on AlexandriaStylebook.com

Calling all artists! This is your opportunity to make your mark on the Old Town art scene! Old Town North’s stormwater covers are getting a facelift, and it’s up to three chosen artists to design original works of art inspired by our town!

The City of Alexandria’s Public Art Program has put out an application for artists in the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. area to submit an original design inspired by Old Town North. Up to three artists will be selected, and their respective designs will cover 24 stormwater drains along the North Fairfax Street Arts corridor and throughout the Old Town North district. The deadline to submit designs is April 30, and more detailed information, eligibility, and project goals may be found here!

Old Town North has been designated as Old Town’s Arts and Culture District, established in 2018. According to the Office of the Arts, the focus area of Old Town North is located in the northeastern part of the City, bordered by the Potomac River to the east, Oronoco Street to the south, the southern end of Daingerfield Island to the north, and Washington Street generally to the west. The area has a lot of character, and it’s increasingly becoming a destination for fabulous restaurants, parks, and public art installations as home to two cultural institutions – The Art League and MetroStage.

It’s most important for the artists chosen to have visited Old Town North to really capture what makes the area unique apart from the rest of Alexandria in their designs. There is so much that makes Old Town special. I can’t wait to see how these imaginative artists, illustrators, and graphic designers add to the Arts and Culture district, as they turn something so plain and ordinary into unique public art.

This project has been in the works since pre-covid, but like many things, the project was put on pause when public meetings were canceled, and the quarantine locked us down. Now that things are starting to open back up, the Office of the Arts is excited to get this project rolled out – and as local community members, we’re looking forward to seeing these public art projects pop up again! Did you know Alexandria already has a uniquely designed stormwater cover? If you’re curious, you can find it at King Street Gardens, where the tricorn Topiary Hat and Hanging Garden celebrate Alexandria history.



The hope is that the Old Town North stormwater cover designs will be ready to share with the public later this summer. Diane Ruggiero, who leads the Office of the Arts for the City of Alexandria, welcomes residents to join the community task force to further get involved with upcoming public art projects and developments. The Office of the Arts has several plans in the works for future installations for the fall, including a new waterfront park design, a public art piece in Burke Library as well as a park development project at Wilks Street Park. If you’re interested in learning more about these projects, arts task forces, or more information about the public art projects, contact the Office of the Arts at arts@alexandriava.gov.



We love hearing about projects like these which is why we wanted to share this opportunity with our Alexandria Stylebook family! Bringing in public art that is unique to our town makes it feel even more special and cared for by our residents and visitors. Alexandria already has so many great qualities to offer families and individuals who decide to move here. Public art projects often add a cherry on top to making a space feel unique and curated.



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