Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

50 States of Public Art: The SPACES Sculpture Trail in Huntsville & Madison, Alabama

Photo shows a house perched on very thin, very tall, vaguely robotic sculpted legs in front of a brick building.

(Photo Source: SPACES iOS App by ARTS Huntsville)

You may have heard I’ve got a book or two out on viewing public art with your kids. Public art is everywhere, and this is the season for getting out and viewing it. While I was out hunting for public art in Mesquite, Texas with The Eleven-Year-Old earlier this month, it occurred to me that it would be nice to to highlight public art projects happening right now in various parts of the country. With luck, I’ll highlight one in a town near you. With that, let’s take a quick trip to Alabama.

SPACES Sculpture Trail in Huntsville & Madison, Alabama

Title: At Home With Higher Thoughts

Artist: Charlie Brouwer

Location: Southside Square, Huntsville, Alabama 35801

Photo Source: SPACES HSV iOS App

Associated Public Art Project:

At Home With Higher Thoughts is part of the SPACES Sculpture Trail in Huntsville and Madison, Alabama.

Begun in 2010 by Arts Huntsville, Alabama A&M University, Huntsville Museum of Art, Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment Center, and UAH, SPACES is a large-scale public art installation that has grown to include 39 works from 22 artists living in 12 U.S. states as well as Toronto, Canada.

The sculptures are installed across Huntsville and Madison, and will remain in place through at least January 2019. Many, if not all, of the artworks in the SPACES Sculpture Trail, are for sale.

Want to see At Home With Higher Thoughts yourself?

There’s an app for that. ARTS Huntsville has developed a free iOS and Android app filled with information about the works on exhibit and the artists who made them. You can learn more about the app here.

Already seen SPACES but want to explore other public art in Huntsville? 

The Purple Cup is hosting a free Secret Art Walk event this Friday, July 13, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. The walk kicks off from Green Bus Brewing at Eustis Ave SE 206 in downtown Huntsville. You find more information about the event via Facebook.

Want to go, but need help selling it to your kids?  

The fact that public art is installed in public spaces creates all sorts of opportunities for family fun. Pack a picnic lunch, and pair the outing with a trip to a nearby park or playground. If you have one, consider bringing your dog.

Don’t have time for a full-fledged outing? Challenge your kids to keep their eyes open while you are out and about doing something else. I bet they (or you) will spot something interesting on your next walk, bike ride, or errand run.

My book, What’s That, Mom?: How to use public art to engage your children with the world around them… without being an artist yourself, is full of tips like these for making public art sightings fun for your entire family.

What’s That, Mom? provides 15 accessible, practical strategies for using public art to spark conversations with children between the ages of 3 and 10 — no artistic talent or insight required. What’s That, Mom? is available at Bookshop.org and Amazon. There’s even a journal to go with it so that your kids can sketch their favorite works of art and you can record your favorite moments from your outing.

NOTE: The above paragraphs contain affiliate links to Bookshop.org, an online bookstore that provides financial support to local, independent bookstores. At the time I wrote this post, Bookshop.org had already raised $12.8m for local bookstores. If you use the link in the previous paragraph to purchase my book on Bookshop.org, I’ll earn a commission on your book purchase, as will your preferred independent bookshop. You can also find my book in the new Caterpickles BookstoreRegardless of whether you use my links or visit the Caterpickles Bookstore, thank you for spending part of your day reading Caterpickles. Learn more about Affiliate Links, the Caterpickles Bookstore, and why I decided to become a Bookshop.org Affiliate.

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