5. Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies at Waterfront Park
Waterfront Park, 1 King St.
On display at the waterfront until November, Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies frames Alexandria’s African American history through the lens of the city’s industrial and merchant history from the 17th to 20th centuries. Once a prosperous port city and manufacturing hub home to one of the largest domestic slave trading firms in the country, Alexandria and its early economy were inextricably tied to the work of enslaved and free African Americans. See how Brooklyn-based artist Olalekan Jeyifous’ concept stitches Alexandria’s story together, using symbols that represent Alexandria’s merchant and manufacturing history, including factories, tobacco warehouses and railways. The ground mural incorporates African American quilting and textile traditions, which are historically tied to storytelling and oral tradition. When viewed as a whole, the pattern becomes an abstract grid or map, with the manufacturing icons appearing throughout. From this vibrant surface rise four ornate metal figures facing the water, wrapped in illuminated sculptural seating.
How to access: Metered and timed parking is available in the blocks surrounding Waterfront Park. Look for a spot along N. Union St. near the Torpedo Factory Art Center or Founder’s Park, then walk back along the riverside path to reach Waterfront Park.