Prior to construction of a new education wing for the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, the artist was invited to submit a proposal for a site-specific artwork for the new Lowder Gallery. This new gallery would be both an exhibition space for large-scale works and a space for hosting special events. The artist proposed a treatment of the windows in the gallery, creating a narrative triptych with the largest central element measuring 10’ x 22’. Museum director Mark Johnson suggested the Stars Falling on Alabama as a narrative theme.
The idea was to create an iconic artwork that would draw patrons into the museum and that would act as a bright and welcoming backdrop for events inside the Lowder Gallery. The StarsFalling on Alabama is title to a romantic ballad, and it also refers to a spectacular meteor shower that lit up the skies in 1833. In the central panel, we see three muses creating a celestial fireworks. In the foreground a group of stargazers sit under a quilt, whose patchwork is decorated with objects from the museum’s permanent collection.
Project architects provided construction documents and the artist traveled to work at Derix Glasstudios in Germany to fabricate the windows. The art glass panels were painted with vitreous enamels, fired and tempered making them both durable and impervious to damage by UV light. The art glass panels were assembled into insulated windows, shipped and delivered to the museum where they were installed by a glazing contractor, with the artist on site.
This projects was completed in January 2005.
Stars Falling on Alabama: We Are Enraptured by the Celestial Fireworks of the Muses
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.