Site See 2021: Groundswell

Page updated on Jan 7, 2021 at 6:26 PM


The City of Alexandria through the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities' Arts division, works to boost Alexandria’s reputation as an arts destination with world-class artwork that is unlike anything that can be experienced in the region.

A nationally recognized public-art series, Site See: New Views in Old Town highlights Waterfront Park as a civic space, fostering community engagement and interactions with temporary installations. The artwork, which rotates annually, is informed by the historic waterfront and neighboring community. The compelling, unique art attracts repeat visits from the metropolitan area and beyond.

Mark Reigelman has been selected as the 2021 artist for Site See. Reigelman follows Olalekan Jeyifous (2020) and SOFTlab (2019) in the series.

To review the Site See 2022-2023 Project Plan click here

Site See: New Views in Old Town 2021: GROUNDSWELL by Mark Reigelman

Groundswell Rendering by Mark Reigelman

Mark Reigelman’s research focused on Alexandria’s working waterfront and the shoreline development as the city expanded and crept further into the river. Used as the foundation for early buildings such as Pioneer Mill and today throughout the marina, wood pilings have been a common feature along Alexandria’s waterfront. Groundswell seeks to recontextualize these quintessential maritime objects, pay homage to the space’s rich history, and bring an element of play to the shoreline’s material topography.

With a ground mural depicting the floor of the Potomac River, over 100 raw wood pilings will be installed throughout the site at heights ranging from 9 to 39 inches, in accordance with the river floor topography (bathymetry). Each 14-inch diameter piling will be topped with a cobalt blue mirrored surface etched with growth rings that suggest the passing of time. These mirrored surfaces will shimmer in the light like water and reflect the sky and faces of passersby. Visitors to the site will be immersed in this shimmering landscape as they navigate through the pilings considering their place in the city’s history at this moment in time. 

ABOUT THE ARTIST Reigelman Photo

Mark Reigelman’s work reevaluates the everyday, reinvigorates public space, and challenges typical urban conditions. Emphasizing research and exploration, his diverse body of work is poised between abstraction and literal representation, which he meticulously integrates into civic spaces. 

Reigelman has exhibited work in public sites, galleries and museums across the world. A number of his installations have been recognized by the Americans for the Arts as being among the most compelling public works in America. His work has been on view at the Shanghai Museum of Glass, Cleveland Museum of Art, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Shelburne Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Fuller Craft Museum, Museum of Arts and Design, and Museum of Modern Art.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, New York magazine, Frame, L’uomo Vogue, Public Design, Télé Star, Details, Interior Design, Sculpture, and Public Art Now. Reigelman is most proud of being included in the “Coolest Dads of 2019” list by Fatherly magazine.

Mark Reigelman studied Sculpture and Industrial Design at the Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, Ohio, and product design at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts in London. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.