This unique space features more than 40 interactive exhibits, which complement the Museum’s permanent collection of American art. The ARTWORKS exhibits, many of which were designed by local and regional artists, explore the elements of art, art history, materials, techniques, and visual and tactile perception. To add to your experience in ARTWORKS, guided tours, educational backpacks, studio activities, and ongoing art classes are available for children and adults.
ARTWORKS has been a dynamic learning center since it was initiated by the Junior League of Montgomery in the 1980s. Following the Museum expansion project, ARTWORKS reopened in 2006 with almost double the space and many new exhibits.
Check out the Museum’s new Education Backpacks for elementary students and their families. Backpacks include imaginative activities to guide you through the museum galleries. To check one out visit the ARTWORKS gallery, and look for an ARTWORKS supervisor. Visitors are required to leave a driver’s license in order to check out a backpack.
ARTWORKS is filled with numerous interactive galleries and computer stations. Below is a list of the highlights:
- Marking the entrance to ARTWORKS, the colorful illusionistic wall painting by Stephen Cappelli and corresponding block sculpture by Jennie Zehmer.
- The Make a Print, Take a Print stamp machine and display of printmaking techniques, with prints by Zarouhie Abdalian.
- Color Me in Motion, the psychedelic, ever-changing projections of YOUR image on the large screen, created by Ed Tannenbaum.
- Five desktop computer stations and four touchscreen kiosks, each with a different art related program.
- Hopper in Perspective, a 3-D interpretation of the famous painting, New York Office, by Edward Hopper.
- The Talladega Three Race Track, providing hours of fun while tracing the color lines and movements in the reproduction of Frank Stella’s Talladega Three/II.
- Bunny in Bronze, demonstrating the lost wax process used in casting Frank Fleming’s bronze rabbit.
- Three different interactive exhibits inside a replica of the Museum, created by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival scene shop.
- The Spiral Texture Wall, designed by Tara Sartorius and created by more than 700 individuals from the Montgomery community.
- The Upper Crust area with puppets, blocks, and books for imaginative play.
The ARTWORKS interactive gallery has a strong educational focus, and is used regularly for weekly school tours and other large groups. As a result, we ask that visitors with 10 or more participants make a reservation at least 48 hours in advance. Please wait for confirmation from museum staff before planning your visit. To make a reservation fill out our online form or call 334.2404359.
The ARTWORKS Corridor is primarily devoted to student art exhibitions that change every 4-16 weeks. Most student exhibitions relate directly to temporary exhibitions in the main Museum galleries. Occasionally this area houses exhibitions of works by a single artist, or of a special nature, or winners from statewide contests. The ARTWORKS Corridor art can be an excellent transition to and from the main galleries, ARTWORKS or the studio.
Discover how your students may exhibit their artwork at the Museum. Student exhibitions in the ARTWORKS Corridor are designed to go hand-in-hand with art in the galleries. Detailed guidelines and entry forms are available by request. A jury of art professionals selects works for each show. Contact Assistant Curator of Education, Donna Pickens, 334.240.4363 or email@example.com for more information.
Selections from the MMFA Permanent Student Art Collection
Through November 1, 2015
Be sure to see these inspiring works of art purchased by the Museum from 1991 to 2015 from exhibitions of student art in the ARTWORKS Corridor. The student drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, and sculpture currently on view have been selected for this exhibition from over 100 works of art in the collection.
Call for Entries:
Transformations: Tools and Art
Exhibition connection: Retooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection
Works Due: Friday, October 23, 2015
Exhibition Dates: November 7 – January 3, 2016
Eligibility: Kindergarten through High School
Project: Students are encouraged to use any two- or three-dimensional art technique or media to create works that magically transform utilitarian tools into objects of beauty, instruments of satire, material illusions, and/or extensions of a person.
Special Call for Entries:
Remembering the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Artwork Due: Friday, November 13, 2015
Exhibition Dates: December 1, 2015 – January 10, 2016
Eligibility: Fourth grade through High School
Project: To mark the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the City of Montgomery and the MMFA invite students to use any two or three-dimensional art technique or media to depict this seminal event in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Themes may include events leading up to the boycott; the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955; other important figures involved in the boycott; and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in December 1956 declaring segregated buses to be unconstitutional.
Size: Entries may be no larger than 18 x 24″. Drawings, paintings on paper, photographs, and prints may be presented in white or off-white mats, and must be covered with acetate. Paintings on canvas may have edges painted or be framed. Works on paper that are not matted or framed will be placed in the Museum’s Plexiglas frames. Three-dimensional works of art, such as clay relief and assemblage, may not exceed 6 inches in depth and must be ready to hang.
Sensational Still Life
Exhibition connection: Once & Again: Still Lifes by Beth Lipman
Works Due: Friday, December 18, 2015
Exhibition Dates: January 16 – March 6, 2016
Eligibility: Third grade through High School
Project: Students are encouraged to create unusual compositions of still-life objects, using any drawing or painting medium. Three-dimensional compositions, using ceramic, papier-mâché, or mixed-media materials, and photographs of still-life compositions in the landscape are also encouraged.
Student Art Collection
Since 1990, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts has featured student exhibitions in the ARTWORKS Corridor, a gallery prominently located at the entrance of the museum, adjacent to the ARTWORKS hands-on galleries.
The exhibition themes coincide with temporary exhibitions featured at the museum. Calls for entries and detailed guidelines are sent quarterly to teachers in the area. A committee of curators and professional artists selects artwork from as many as 300 entries, and at least one artwork is selected from each school and/or teacher. An average of 45 works are chosen for each exhibition.
The museum has purchased artwork from many of the Corridor exhibitions, to create a substantial permanent student art collection. Artwork submitted to the Department of Education exhibition was selected from the permanent student art collection. The artworks were made by elementary, junior high, and high school artists.
The ARTWORKS Corridor program has increased in popularity since 1990, with entries sent from around the state. Exhibition guidelines encourage teachers to develop lesson plans revolving around Museum exhibitions, and students become engaged with the artwork on display by creating their own response.
Frequently over 100 students and family members attend the Artworks Corridor opening receptions, which coincide with the openings of related Museum exhibitions.
Possibly the most important impact of the ARTWORKS Corridor program is the students’ increased self-esteem when their artwork is displayed in one of the most prominent Museum locations. These exhibitions give a message to the community that the Museum values the creative expressions of students, and encourages visitors to thoughtfully consider their artwork.