New Views in Old Town” Installations to Unveil this Cherry Blossom Season

The powerful 2023 Site See installation, “Two Boxes of Oranges and Admonia Jackson,” by Nina Cooke John of Studio Cooke John. (Photos courtesy @transplantedtatar)

By Daniya Tamendarova and Sara Kohn, ABC

Alexandria, VA – Alexandria’s Waterfront Park is preparing to play host to the sixth “Site See: New Views in Old Town” public art installation. We sat down with Meika Daus and Diane Ruggiero at the City of Alexandria Office of the Arts to catch up on this popular project.

A bit of history: In 2012, the Alexandria City Council adopted a policy to grow the City’s public art into an engaging program that would reflect Alexandria’s history, people, cultural identity, and future aspirations. The City commissioned a Public Art Implementation Plan, approved by City Council in December 2014.

The idea of temporary public art installations at the waterfront began in 2016, with the first installation in 2019. Since then, a procession of memorable, moving, evocative site-specific installations sprung up by the river’s edge, each one touching on something about Alexandria that called out to the artists—its history, its people, its geography.

A new installation unveils during cherry blossom season in March and closes in November, just before the holiday tree goes up. This year, it’s Interstellar Influencer (Make an Impact) by Jason Klimoski and Lesley Chang (STUDIOKCA). This installation will take viewers back 35 million years when a meteor hit this area and reshaped its future—our past and present—impacting the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed and the flow of its rivers.

The waterfront is a temporary host to the Site See series. Major flood mitigation construction will begin here in 2025. Given the popularity of the series, the Office of the Arts is working with other City departments to find another home for the installations while construction is ongoing.

To learn more about public art in Alexandria, check out the public art location tool through the Public Art Archive. The public is invited to add to the maps when they stumble across a great mural or art piece in their walks through their neighborhoods (see alexandriava.gov/PublicArt).

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