Johnson says, “First we were just considering building it out to the road and having a one acre sculpture gallery, but then we started saying we have another 50 yards of property out there. We decided if we extended it out and changed a road here and there it would add a lot more space to it. ”
With temperatures rapidly approaching the 90-degree mark on Wednesday morning Johnson, Montgomery’s Mayor Todd Strange, MMFA Board of Trustees President Barrie Harmon, and other dignitaries took the Sculpture Garden to the next level. They all shoveled sand during a ceremonial groundbreaking to make way for it’s creation. The Mayor Strange says, “This is the next step forward.”
Forward to 2016, which is when Museum leaders plan to have this new gallery completed. The additional outdoor exhibition and studio space will be an extension of the Lowder Gallery that is located on the east side of the building. The Board’s president believes the Garden was the highlight of the Museum’s 25th anniversary. Harmon says, “It enhances the image of the city. It gives us a cultural dimension to what we’re trying to achieve in Montgomery.” The new addition will not only feature temporary and permanent exhibitions of outdoor sculpture, it will also be used for special events and innovative education programs. The space will provide an outstanding new venue for entertaining and appreciating the beauty of the natural setting in the Blount Cultural Park.
Director Mark Johnson says the planning committee did their homework touring other sculpture gardens across the United States to get ideas and taking this research to an architect and landscape architecture specialist in order to prepare the current plan.
The efforts to fund the construction of the new sculpture garden are already underway and Johnson says a third of the money needed has been raised so far.
In the meantime, to hear and see more sights and sounds from the June 25th groundbreaking go online to the Youtube video link seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlH9G0YduH0&feature=youtu.be.
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