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Home Studio: HeART for our Heroes

Our healthcare professionals are working diligently to keep our community safe, and to show our appreciation the MMFA has joined forces with a local Montgomery artist. The artist—who wishes to remain anonymous—is donating personal protective equipment to healthcare facilities and has asked the Museum to collect words and images of encouragement from children across the region to accompany the donation. Our goal: bring a small amount of hope, support, and thanks to our local heroes.

For the safety of all, submissions will be laminated and disinfected before being delivered to healthcare facilities.


To create original works of art that show appreciation and inspire strength in our healthcare workers and others on the front lines helping those who are battling COVID-19.

Material Suggestions

  • Pencils
  • Paper (no larger than 7 x 7 inches)
  • Colored pencils, markers, crayons
  • Construction paper, scissors, glue sticks
  • Paints, paintbrushes, water


  • Design: Look through the available materials and plan what to create.
  • Suggested themes include:
    • Gratitude
    • Inspiration
    • Community
    • Health and safety tips
  • Make: Using your chosen materials, get creative and draw/paint/collage, using different colors, shapes, patterns—whatever you want!
  • Write: After finishing your creations, add words or messages of thanks and encouragement for the recipients.

Conclusion and Submission

When you’ve finished, please send your creations to the Museum, by Monday, April 13, 2020. All submissions can be mailed directly to the Museum or dropped off in the Museum’s mailbox located to the left of the main entrance directly off the parking lot.

Address packages to:

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
c/o We HeART our Heroes
1 Museum Drive
Montgomery, AL 36117

Home Studio: From Pieces to Patterns

Begin by viewing the selected quilts and engage in discussion comparing the quilts (design, color, pattern, materials, etc)—giving the opportunity to connect to the quilts through analysis. When compared, how are the quilts similar; how are they different? Finish the discussion with concepts of traditional and contemporary quilting (pattern, symmetrical, asymmetrical, applique).

Click here to browse the Museum’s textile collection.

From left to right: Odell Valentine (American, 1925–2013), Lone Star, ca. 1985, polyester and cotton, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, 2004.21.23; Bessie Hood (American, 1908–2012), Checkerboard/ Strips and Bars, ca. 1980, cotton, cotton/polyester blend, polyester, and wool, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, 2004.21.4; Nora Ezell (American, 1919–2007), Nora’s Necktie Flower Garden, 1994, polyester, cotton/polyester blend, plastic and wood beads, and cowrie shells, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Kempf Hogan in honor of Bethine Whitney, 2005.9.2


To plan, design, and create original paper-quilt-collages inspired by quilts from the MMFA’s collection, and to engage new audiences with traditional and contemporary concepts of quilting.


  • Pencils
  • Paper
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Construction paper and/or Patterned paper
  • Glue sticks


  • Design: Sift through the paper choices, cut out or tear different shapes and strips, and then begin experimenting with arrangements on the larger paper you intend to use as the base of your collage.
  • Rearrange: We recommended trying several different arrangements using various colors of paper and making distinctly different patterns, to find what you like the most!
  • Glue: After layering and rearranging the papers into the desired design, use a glue stick to adhere the collage pieces onto the larger base paper.


Discuss your original collage-quilt-creations as a group (as few or many as that may safely be!), sharing about why you executed specific designs and chose certain patterns. Additionally, a great way to display paper quilt collages can be hanging them together, to create a large quilt-like form, made up from many smaller paper quilt collages. We would love to see your displays!

Submit Your Work

We would love to see your creations! Share your work with us by taking a photograph and emailing it to us at


  • Applique – A technique when fabric shapes are cut and sewn onto a fabric block or quilt top.
  • Asymmetrical – A balance in design that lacks symmetry (does not create a mirror image when a line is put down the middle), but still maintains visual balance.
  • Block Patterns – One of the earliest quilt designs, made by sewing together squares; popular because of how quickly this could be assembled and also popular because labor could be divided among multiple people in the community.
  • Color – A basic element of art that is an identifiable quality of an object (such as red, blue, yellow) as it is perceived by the human eye, produced when light is reflected off an object to the eye.
  • Design – A plan for the organization of formal elements in a work of art.
  • Lone Star – A traditional quilt design in which the repetition of single diamond shapes are arranged in concentric circles.
  • Pattern – A repeated design.
  • Quilt – Layers of fabric sewn together, typically applied in a decorative design. Can be used as blankets or hung on walls as ornamental art.
  • Symmetrical – A balance in design achieved by arranging elements on either side of the center of a composition to create a mirror image.

Home Studio: Real-World Color Wheel

Our first activity explores the relationship of colors, both in art and the world around us. Engaging in a basic discussion about the color wheel and how it is made is a great way to begin this project! If you do not have a color wheel at home, you can look one up online. Listed at the end of this post are some links for reference, if needed. The three primary colors are yellow, red, and blue. These hues are called the primary colors because they cannot be made from other colors, but they are used to make all other colors. When you mix two primary colors together, you get a secondary color. The secondary colors are orange (red+yellow), green (blue+yellow), and violet/purple (red+blue). Tertiary colors are created when you combine a little more of one primary color than the other after mixing a secondary color. For example, if you make orange and then add a little more red to it, it becomes a red-orange. The tertiary colors are red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet.


An introduction to the fundamentals of color theory through the creation of a color wheel using objects from around the house and the wilderness of your own backyard.


  • Paper
  • Markers/colored pencils/crayons (whatever is available!)
  • Collected materials from nature
  • Collected materials from around the house
  • Magazines
  • Scissors
  • Glue


  • Color: After the basic color wheel discussion, pick out each primary and secondary color from your drawing materials (markers/crayons/colored pencils). Begin by using the primary colors (yellow, red, blue) to create shapes of your choice at the points of an imagined triangle.
  • Next, use each secondary color (orange, green, purple) to create three more shapes, making sure to place each color between the two primary colors that mix to make it.
    Red + Yellow = Orange
    Yellow + Blue = Green
    Red + Blue = Purple
  • Gather: After the basic color wheel is in place on the paper, it’s time to be adventurous! Hunt around the house, collecting things that are allowed to be glued down, like old buttons, bottle caps, or even a Barbie shoe missing its match–the options are endless! If some fresh air is needed, venture outside and continue the search, trying to find something to represent every color from the color wheel.
  • Cut: If you are missing objects to represent particular colors, search through old magazines to find a variety of tints and shades of colors. A color wheel with hues representing a range of values will be more balanced and visually appealing!
  • Organize and Glue: Organize all objects by hue, then begin gluing them near or on the coordinating color on the color wheel. Start with cut out pieces from magazines, then work through gluing the found objects from home and yard.


Use the completed color wheel to further the discussion of color theory. Colors opposite each other on the color wheel are called complementary colors. Colors near each other on the color wheel are called analogous colors (such as red, red-orange, and orange), and can be used to create a bold visual impact. Monochromatic color schemes utilize tints and shades of only one hue, also with great impact. Certain color groupings can be used together to evoke specific moods or feelings (warm colors are red, orange, and yellow; cool colors are purple, blue, and green).

Submit Your Work

We would love to see your creations! Share your work with us by taking a photograph and emailing it to us at


  • Analogous colors – Groups of three colors next to each other on the color wheel.
  • Color wheel – A visual tool used to show the relationship between colors.
  • Complementary colors – Colors that are opposite from each other on the color wheel (red and green, blue and orange, purple and yellow), that create high contrast when placed next to each other and therefore make each other stand out.
  • Cool colors – Purple, Blue, and Green; Colors that evoke a sense of coldness.
  • Hue – Another name for color.
  • Monochromatic – The use of only one color.
  • Primary colors – Red, Yellow, and Blue; The colors that are used to make all other colors.
  • Secondary colors – Green, Purple, and Orange; The colors made when two primary colors mix.
  • Shade – A darker value of a color, made by adding black to the color.
  • Tertiary colors – Red-Orange, Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green, Red-Violet, Blue-Violet; Colors made by adding a little more of one primary color to a secondary color after it is mixed.
  • Tint – A lighter value of a color, made by adding white to the color.
  • Value – The lightness or darkness of a color.
  • Warm colors – Red, Orange, Yellow; Colors that evoke a sense of warmth.

Additional Resources

MMFA’s Response to COVID-19

The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Takes Precautions to Reduce the Spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

UPDATE | March 18, 2020

Dear Museum Community,

At the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, the well being of our community and the families that we serve is our number one priority. To do our part in minimizing the spread of COVID-19, the MMFA is closed until further notice. We have also decided to cancel or postpone all Museum programs and events through at least May 16, 2020, in line with public health officials’ recommendations on social distancing.

In the meantime, we will be looking at ways of providing virtual engagement that you can enjoy from home. For these activities as well as program and event changes, please check the website and follow along with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. All further program and operational changes will be announced through our regular channels, including our website and social media.

We are grateful for your support of the MMFA as we collectively address the challenges that the COVID-19 crisis will continue to bring. As we all work to contain this outbreak, the Museum extends its special appreciation to those in health care, medicine, research, and other fields bravely leading the frontline response. We encourage everyone to follow the recommendations of the CDC so that we can see you back at the MMFA very soon.

Angie Dodson



UPDATE | March 16, 2020

The safety of our community and the families that we serve is our number one priority. To do our part in minimizing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Museum will be closed effective immediately (Monday, March 16) until further notice. All activities will be suspended until the Museum reopens. You can check back here for more updates as they become available.



UPDATE | March 13, 2020

Classes, Family Events, Exhibition Openings, Tours, and Private Programs and Events are Cancelled or Postponed

The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, as a City Department, has cancelled all events, tours, and meetings until further notice. This comes after this morning’s announcement by Mayor Steven Reed that all City of Montgomery sponsored events have been cancelled and all City venues have closed due to rising concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Museum (other than the ArtWorks Gallery) will remain open during regular business hours.

Cancelled or closed galleries, tours, and classes

  • ArtWorks Children’s Interactive Gallery: Closed until further notice
  • All Scheduled Tours: No tours will be scheduled through the end of March
  • Advanced Placement Art History Classes: Cancelled until further notice
  • Afterschool Art at Mount Meigs DYS: Cancelled until further notice
  • Gallery Arts at Montgomery Therapeutic and Recreation Center: Cancelled until further notice
  • Learning Through Art at Wares Ferry Road Elementary School: Cancelled until further notice

Postponed events

  • Garden Opening on Thursday, March 19 Postponed until further notice

Cancelled individual events and programs

  • Vann Vocal on Saturday, March 14
  • Artful Yoga on Wednesday, March 18
  • See Me on Wednesday, March 18
  • Muses on Wednesdays, March 18 and March 25
  • The Museum’s Film Intro at the Capri on Wednesday, March 18
  • Antiquarians Meeting on Thursday, March 19
  • Earth’s Heart on Thursdays, March 19 and 26
  • Art After 5 on Thursday, March 19
  • Adult Printmaking on Saturday, March 21
  • Highlights Tour on Saturday, March 21
  • Montgomery Symphony Orchestra Performance on Sunday, March 22
  • Docent Training on Mondays, March 23 and March 30
  • Art Ed Central on Thursday, March 26
  • Art Talk on Thursday, March 26
  • Junior League Event on Friday, March 27
  • AAEA Teacher Workshop on Saturday, March 28
  • An Afternoon with Zelda on Sunday, March 29
  • Docent Council Meeting on Monday, March 30

Art in the Garden: Jamey Grimes

Artist rendering of Jamey Grimes (American, born 1976), Teraxacum, 2019, Lent by the artist

Meet the Artist

Alabama artist Jamey Grimes (born 1976) has created a work inspired by nature: Teraxacum, 2019. Named for the genus of the common dandelion, Grimes uses geometrical forms to represent the dandelion in its seed pod form. Extending off the plinth, his individual aluminum seeds tumble across the reflecting pool. In home gardens, the dandelion is often considered as both a nuisance (a weed) and an object of wonder (blowing the seeds and making a wish). In the Garden, the oversized Teraxacum will be a captivating and whimsical interpretation of this flowering plant.


We appreciate the aid of multiple City of Montgomery Departments including Maintenance, Lagoon Park Trails, and Urban Forestry for all of their efforts in bringing this project to fruition. We are equally thankful to sponsors Dr. and Mrs. Barry L. Wilson, PowerSouth and Servis First Bank, and co-sponsors Gage and Mark LeQuire for enabling us to bring Jamey Grimes’ Teraxacum to the River Region. This project has been made possible by a partnership that includes the National Endowment for the Arts and The Alabama State Council on the Arts.


Art in the Garden: Patrick Dougherty

Patrick Dougherty (American, born 1945), Rough and Tumble, 2020, cherry laurel, ligustrum, and sweet gum gathered from the Montgomery area

Meet the Artist

North Carolina artist Patrick Dougherty (born 1945) returned to the Museum following his 2009 installation, Lookin Good! Lookin Good!, set in the lawn near the main entrance. Dougherty created a colossal new sculptural work, titled Rough and Tumble, from saplings gathered from around Montgomery. With the collaboration of Museum staff and community members, Dougherty wove together truckloads of gathered sticks to bring to life a magical architectural wonder. This unique sculpture will last as long as nature allows.

Installation Time Lapse


The MMFA is incredibly grateful for the generosity of sponsors Laura and Barrie Harmon and John Caddell and co-sponsor Warren Averett, Barganier Davis Williams Architects Associated, and Valley Bank with additional in-kind support by Warren Barrow for Patrick Dougherty’s installation. We appreciate the aid of multiple City of Montgomery Departments including Maintenance, Lagoon Park Trails, and Urban Forestry for all of their efforts in bringing this project to fruition.

A Familiar Face Returns to the Museum

The Museum is excited to welcome Tisha Rhodes back to the Museum family in her new role as Director of Development. Before leaving the Museum in 2014 to pursue an opportunity in private business, Tisha spent 17 years as the Director of Services. For the past two years, Tisha served as the Public Affairs and Development Director at the Family Sunshine Center. Tisha grew up in a military family and moved to Montgomery in junior high school. She has been married to Jason Rhodes for 26 years, and together they raised a daughter now starting her first year of college.

What drew you to art?

My parents did a great job of introducing me to the arts as a young girl, and I continued to be interested as I matured. I studied art in college, and in 1997 at the age of 25, I jumped at the opportunity to join the MMFA team.

What brought you back to the Museum?

I returned because of my love for the institution and a mission that strives to enrich, enlighten, and bring enjoyment to people’s lives through art.

What is the best thing about working at a museum?

I get to be around art and collaborative people who feed my spirit.

What is the biggest change at the Museum since you last worked here? What has not changed at all?

The biggest change is the leadership. I spent 17 years working with Mark Johnson, which I will always cherish, and now I have the privilege of working with and learning from Angie Dodson. The thing that remains constant is the spirit of the creative people who work for the Museum. I love the energy!

What is your favorite work in the collection?

I adore Kelly Fitzpatrick’s work because of the Southern regional subject matter and the amazing colors. I am lucky to have one of his paintings—one of my favorites—Alabama Foothills, hanging in my office.

What do you want others to know about the Museum?

I want locals to know that the Museum has free admission and that art is for everyone. With our great permanent collection, ArtWorks, and the John and Joyce Caddell Sculpture Garden, there is something to pique all interests. I want people outside of the area to know the MMFA has one of the finest collections of American art in the Southeastern US, and a trip to Montgomery is not complete without a visit to the Museum.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I think people see me as an extrovert because of the work I do and have done for 20+ years, but I am an introvert—peace, quiet, and alone-time energize me.

Why do you feel art is important—for individuals, families, communities?

Art introduces perspective and allows people the opportunity to achieve that perspective. I love the quote by John Lubbock, “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” Perspective is key to one’s experience and art can be a catalyst for that outlook.

Do you have a favorite story or memory about the Museum?

One of my fondest memories is the 25th Anniversary in the Park Celebration Reception and the excitement that was in the air. It was such an exciting time with the Sculpture Garden on the horizon and so many monumental moments from the past 25 years in the current building to celebrate. There are terrific pictures that capture the joy of that evening.

Bearing Witness: Art of Alabama

Alabama artists have borne witness to the drama of American and world history, including the rise of agriculture and native ceremonial centers, immigration, wars, gold rushes, forced removal, emancipation, economic depressions, and the advent of motorized flight. All along, artists have participated in and documented the events that have shaped our state. Their work across this wide canvas of history will be examined at a major symposium hosted by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). Bearing Witness: Art of Alabama will be held Thursday, November 14 through Saturday, November 16, 2019. Bearing Witness will feature leading scholars such as Bridget R. Cooks, Katelyn Crawford, Bill Eiland, James Knight, and Richard J. Powell, discussing the breadth of Alabama visual arts from the Pre-Columbian period to the present. This will be the art history event of Alabama’s bicentennial celebration.

Bearing Witness is the brainchild of recently retired MMFA interim director Ed Bridges. For more than a year, Dr. Bridges has convened a planning committee made up of representatives from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA), and the Landmarks Foundation. The group has reached out nationally to secure scholars who have researched and written on Alabama art. The result of their work is a symposium schedule spanning three days, offering lectures, gallery talks, an artist market, and a book fair all centered around the creativity of Alabamians.

The heart of the Bearing Witness symposium will be the lectures. Dr. Vernon James Knight, professor emeritus from the University of Alabama, will address the art of native peoples, drawing upon his long archaeological career. William Underwood Eiland, director of the Georgia Museum of Art, will find in the faces of its peoples a portrait of Alabama through the ages. Dr. Michael Panhorst, director of the Landmarks Foundation, will speak on From Southern Shores to Northern Vales: Alabama Landscapes, 1819–1969, the exhibition he guest-curated at the MMFA. Dr. Katelyn Crawford, curator at the Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA), will address the art of Alabama industry, drawing upon her related research. Dr. Bridget R. Cooks, associate professor at the University of California, Irvine, will explore the art of the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, including works by artists in the MMFA’s collection. Dr. Graham C. Boettcher, director of the BMA, will provide an overview of significant early 20th-century women artists of Alabama, including Clara Weaver Parrish, Anne Goldthwaite, and Zelda Fitzgerald. Margaret Lynne Ausfeld, curator at the MMFA, will speak on Alabama’s painters of the New South and the Dixie Art Colony. Dr. Richard J. Powell, professor at Duke University, will examine the emergence of self-taught Alabama artists to national prominence. Chester Higgins, photographer and author, will reflect on the Tuskegee approach to Alabama photography and how Alabama shaped him as an artist.

Dr. Elliot Knight, director of ASCA, will host a panel on public art in Alabama with Dennis Harper from the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Chintia Kirana from Expose Art House, Dana Lemmer from the Wiregrass Museum of Art, and Deborah Velders from the Mobile Museum of Art. This discussion will include everything from Confederate monuments and Works Progress Administration works to the new Alabama Bicentennial Park. A panel discussion on art in Alabama today will include Stan Hackney from the Mobile Museum of Art, Dr. Jennifer Jankauskas from the MMFA, Essie Pettway from Gee’s Bend, and Peter Prinz from Space One Eleven.

While at the symposium, attendees can view related exhibitions such as Alabama Landscapes; Cal Breed: Signs of Lift; and Charles Shannon. In addition to the exhibitions, select works by Alabama artists, including Chester Higgins’ photograph Shugg Lampley at the Garden Gate (negative 1968, printed 2007) featured on the previous page, will be on view in the galleries. To enhance this experience, gallery talks by guest scholars and artists will include Dr. Graham C. Boettcher from the BMA; Dr. Jennifer Jankauskas from the MMFA; Dr. Michael W. Panhorst from the Landmarks Foundation; Dr. Richard J. Powell from Duke University; Chester Higgins, Jr.; and Margaret Lynne Ausfeld from the MMFA.

To underscore the centrality of the role of artists, during Bearing Witness the MMFA’s 10th annual Artist Market will be held on Saturday, November 16. The Artist Market kickoff reception for MMFA members and paid symposium guests will be on Friday evening. Read Herring will also be onsite Friday with books by speakers available for purchase.

Image Credit: Chester Higgins (American, born 1946), Shugg Lampley at the Garden Gate, negative 1968, printed 2007, platinum print on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, 2007.14

Essay By

Joey Brackner

Director of the Alabama Center for Traditional Culture at the Alabama State Council on the Arts and one of the lead organizers of Bearing Witness.

A Fresh Look at our Studio Glass Collection

In March of 1962, a seismic shift occurred in the creation of art glass with a workshop led by American glass artists Harvey Littleton (1922–2013) and Dominick Labino (1910–1987) at the Toledo Museum of Art. During this workshop, they introduced advances in technology that enabled glass artists to work independently on a smaller scale instead of requiring the assistance of skilled teams of workers in a factory setting. This allowed individual artists to work in innovative ways and launched the American Studio Glass movement. Since that time, Studio Glass has continued to flourish, particularly in the American Northwest.

For the last 25 years, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts has collected and interpreted art created by studio glass makers. Our collection began with the acquisition of an exquisite vessel by Sonja Blomdahl (American, born 1952) and in 2007 we organized a comprehensive exhibition of her work. Several other pieces also entered the collection through exhibitions organized by the Museum including sculptural glass by Stephen Rolfe Powell (American, born 1951), Ginny Ruffner (American, born 1952), Cappy Thompson (American, born 1952), and most recently, Lino Tagliapietra (Italian, born 1934). We continue to seek out works by masters of glass to provide a full picture of the Studio Glass movement, adding important acquisitions such as Orange Triple Movement (pictured above), 1983, by Harvey Littleton, the man internationally recognized as the “Father of the Studio Glass movement.” His inventive and elegant layers of flowing color and light in glass joins equally innovative and breathtaking works by other influential artists such as Dale Chihuly (American, born 1941), Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace (American, born 1952 and 1949), and Dante Marioni (American, born 1964), among others.

The Museum’s collection illustrates the breadth and depth of the changing landscape of art glass, showcasing the creativity and vision of the many artists working with this challenging material. With the reinstallation of its collection, we hope to bring attention and appreciation to the accomplishments of the leading artists involved in the Studio Glass movement.


Harvey K. Littleton (American, 1922–2013), Orange Triple Movement, 1983, from the series Topological Geometry, free-blown glass, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, Decorative Arts Fund, 2014.2.2

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