By Margaret Townsend
Alexandria, VA – Working with the Office of the Arts, board members of the OTA have started an initiative to commission artists to paint the neighborhood’s manhole covers, turning the utilitarian into the beautiful. This underfoot artwork will begin to appear in coming years.
Another focus of the OTA has been the creation of an Arts Walk to begin at the entrance to the Torpedo Factory and continue to the former Potomac River Generating Plant. The OTA commissioned the award–winning architectural firm Winstanley Architects to create a design for the Arts Walk. Principal Architect Leejung Hung shared renderings of the Arts Walk with the Zebra.
While the Arts Walk is still in the planning stages, the OTA, along with Board Member and arts advocate Pat Miller, is sponsoring a Chalk Walk with local artists to promote the Arts Walk and Public Art throughout Old Town North. The Chalk Walk is scheduled for October 15 and will be complete with a beer garden, music, and more at the Canal Center Plaza.
Continuing the art aspect of the Arts and Cultural District, Old Town North is also home to the Art League and its community of students, faculty, and professional and amateur artists. Jen Hopkins is a professional artist who moved to Old Town North in June after completing her graduate degree at St. John’s College. She accepts commissions to capture the warmth and beauty of a client’s home or treasured location, working in watercolors and gouache. Jen accepts commissions and sells her work through her website and Instagram page.
Recently Hopkins has begun to explore working in pen and ink and other mediums, creating striking abstracts in acrylic. Hopkins and her work can be found at the Sunday Old Town North Farmers Market or on Instagram at @paintedbyjenh.