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Art Walk - The Early Days in Alexandria

Alexandria has a long fascinating history and though the city has a contemporary side to it there are several buildings that date back to the early days after the first European settlement in 1695.

Our next Art Walk event, goes back in time to trace the fascinating history and old buildings of the Old Town which was once a vital seaport.

John Carlyle house in Alexandria
John Carlyle house in Alexandria
Art Walk is our regular event series, where we walk through the different parts of DC, Maryland and Virginia, taking photos, as we explore art, architecture, culture and history while having a fun time outdoors.

The Early Days in Alexandria

We will do a leisurely paced walk in Old Town exploring some of the old buildings which reflect the history of this vital port city during the colonial times.

As we walk around we will also compete for the best photo around the historic town.

A Brief History of Alexandria

Historically, Alexandria was inhabited by Indians when Captain John Smith an English explorer sailed up the Potomac during the summer of 1608, on his important exploration of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. After the first European settlement in 1695, over the next century, the town became a significant port.

Alexandria Virginia port  in 1836 by American Anti-Slavery Society
Alexandria Virginia port in 1836 by American Anti-Slavery Society
With the formation of the District of Columbia, in 1790 much of Alexandria became a part of the new district. In 1846, Alexandria was returned to Virginia, after a referendum, where voters petitioned Congress and Virginia to return the area to Virginia, as it was an important port and market in the slave trade, and there were increasing talk of the abolition of slavery in the national capital.

The Old Town district by Ben Schumin
The Old Town district by Ben Schumin
Today, several of the old buildings are a testament to the fascinating history of Alexandria from the 18th century to the present. The John Carlyle house, once home to Alexandria co-founder John Carlyle, the nearby Gadsby's Tavern where Thomas Jefferson entertained guests and the Alexandria Black History museum all have their own history which collectively tell the history of Alexandria.

Light Snacks and Drinks

You can bring some light snacks and drinks for yourself to have during the walk.

After the event, we can break into smaller groups and get drinks or food depending on individual preferences. Nearby pubs include Virtue Feed and Grain and Union Street Public House.

Competition Rules

Take as many pictures as you would like but only upload two of your best photos for the Art Walk contest. Both the photos must be uploaded after completion of the Art Walk.

  • Our judges, some who will be nominated from among our members will then judge the best photos and the overall winner. We will feature the best photos on our website and the winner will receive our award.
  • The criteria for judging will be based on the artistic creativity, uniqueness of the photo composition and picture framing besides having a stimulating effect. The photo must also capture the theme specified in the contest.
  • A winner for the best photo will be announced three days after the Art Walk by our judges. The winner can pick the prize at any of our future Art Walk events.
  • The winner will be invited as our guest, for our next Art Walk event.

During the event we will allocate a time frame for stopping at different locations before we continue with our walk.

Photography is more importantly an art of composing the story of an interesting moment and sharing your artistic creation with others.

The most important thing is to have fun enjoying the outdoors and the interesting company of our diverse group of participants.

Getting There

We will meet at the Starbucks at the intersection of King and Union St. at 11:00am.

Alexandria is accessible via Metrorail, bus, Uber, Lyft, taxi and Capital Bikeshare. To get to our meeting point, via Metrorail, take the yellow or blue line to the King St-Old Town station and ride the free King Street Trolley to the waterfront or you may walk.

Event Message Board

Important messages related to the event are highlighted, so participants can catch the latest updates about the event.

Event Details


Description: Explore the history and historic buildings in Alexandria as we compete for the best photo for our Art walk contest.

Date/Time: Saturday June 16th, 2018 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Admission: $2 for covering the cost

Meeting Place

Starbucks(At the intersection of King and Union St)
100 S Union St Alexandria, VA 22314

There is no contest fee for veterans, firefighters and teachers who are an important part of our community. Grapes & Grains will cover the cost of their participation.

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