Public Art at Wilkes Street Park

Page updated on Mar 1, 2021 at 10:40 AM

The City of Alexandria's Public Art Program has commissioned artist Eto Otitigbe to join the landscape architecture team for Wilkes Street Park to design, fabricate, and install a site-specific original work of public art that is integrated in to the overall park space. 

Funding for this project is provided by previous developer contributions in accordance with the Public Art Implementation Plan and Policy

Meet the Artist

Eto Otitigbe participated in a virtual meeting on Wednesday, February 24th and shared information about him and his work. You can view the full video here.  

Future opportunities to meet Eto will be posted here. 

Eto Otitigbe Photo by Tahir Karmali - small

About Eto Otitigbe

Eto Otitigbe is a polymedia artist who sets alternative narratives into motion; creating spaces for unique experiences. His interdisciplinary practice includes sculpture, performance, installation, and public art.

Otitigbe's work has been in national and international exhibitions such Bronx Calling: The Second AIM Biennial, organized by the Bronx Museum and Wave Hill. He has participated in residencies at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, The John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, Austin, TX; 701 CCA, Columbia, SC; Center for Book Arts, New York, NY; and Luminary Center for the Arts, St. Louis, MO. Otitigbe’s fellowships and awards include the CEC Artslink Project Award, Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship at the National Museum of African Art.

His curatorial projects include the es ORO Gallery (2007-09) and the Topophilia Exhibition (2017) as part of the Meeting Festival in Denmark. Otitigbe’s public art practice includes temporary and permanent installations. He contributed to the creative expression on the exterior surface of the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers.

He is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture in the Art Department at Brooklyn College and the Director of the Turnbull Gallery in New York. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, his M.S. in Product Design from Stanford University (M.S.) and his MFA in Creative Practice from the University of Plymouth.

About Wilkes Street Park

Wilkes Street Park is a linear 0.7-acre neighborhood park located in Old Town and the historic location of Alexandria's first free black community referred to as "The Bottoms".  The park is bisected into two sections, aligning with the 800 (east) and 900 (west) blocks of Wilkes Street between S. Patrick (U.S. Route 1) and S. Columbus Streets. The South Patrick Housing Affordability Strategy, adopted in 2019, envisions Wilkes Street Park to be accessible and accommodating to all ages and abilities. The plan recommends improvements such as play areas, seating, and open passive areas. The design of the park improvements will be done in collaboration with the Heritage Redevelopment. Developers will construct the park improvements in phases, as a condition of their redevelopment approvals.

For more information about this project, contact Diane Ruggiero at