Sara Garden Armstrong: Threads and Layers

October 16 - December 31, 2020

Threads and Layers surveys works by Alabama native Sara Garden Armstrong, representing an artistic legacy in Alabama and New York spanning six decades. This exhibition brings together handmade artist books, paintings, sculpture, and mechanical, light- and sound-based installations from the 1970s to the 2000s, as well as recent works covering Armstrong’s artistic production up to the present day. Many of these works have never been presented together before. Armstrong’s continuing practice interprets life cycles and metamorphosis using movement, color, sound, texture, and light.

Armstrong has exhibited nationally and internationally since the 1970s. She has had solo exhibitions at John Gibson Gallery, Dieu Donné, Souyun Yi Gallery, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York; and the Birmingham Museum of Art, Maralyn Wilson Gallery, Space One Eleven, and the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, Ala. Her work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including at A.I.R. Gallery and SculptureCenter, New York; Susan Hensel Gallery, Minneapolis; U.S. Embassy, Czech Republic, Prague; Stiftung für Konkrete Kunst, Reutlingen, Germany; Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, Wash.; and the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach.

Her artist books and artworks are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Time, Inc., New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Bibliothèque Nationale and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Ala.; and many others. Her atrium sculptures are included in the collections at the Civitan International Research Center at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and United Therapeutic Corporation, Silver Spring, Md. Armstrong now lives and works in Birmingham, where she founded the cooperative art gallery Ground Floor Contemporary. The monograph Sara Garden Armstrong: Threads and Layers will be published this fall. Learn more at:

The exhibition is guest-curated by Paul Barrett, who organized Sara Garden Armstrong: Threads and Layers at the University of Alabama Gallery and the Arts Council Gallery in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center in Tuscaloosa. Barrett represented Armstrong’s artist books at the art gallery AGNES in Birmingham in the 1990s.

Youth Art Education Policy

Outside of tours, family days, and open house events, individuals who are not enrolled in a class are not allowed in WMA classrooms except by written permission of the Executive Director. Parents may not join children in the classroom during instruction times in order to ensure an atmosphere conductive to creativity. It is important to limit the number of adults to keep the focus on the kids, their learning, and to accommodate limited seating in the studio. Parents are welcome to stay in the museum during class but must remain outside of the classroom during instruction time.

Museum educators are experienced in creating positive learning environments for all ages and are required to go through a background check to ensure the safety of our students. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the studio at the end of class to see what their child has created. All docents and volunteers working with children are also required to go through background checks.

Thank you for understanding our policy and priority on the safety and well-being of participating students.

Refund Policy

The Wiregrass Museum of Art may cancel any class with insufficient enrollment; students will be notified and given a full refund. If a student withdraws at least 1 week before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for the full cost of the class. If a student withdraws 24 hours before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for half the cost of the class. There are no refunds after the start date of class, and membership fees are nonrefundable. Students are not enrolled until complete payment is received.

Terms and Conditions

The Wiregrass Museum of Art reserves the right to photograph and reproduce chosen works publication, publicity, and educational purposes. Participation in this exhibition shall be an agreement on the part of the artist to these conditions. The museum reserves the right to exclude works submitted without appropriate preparation (documentation, mounting hardware, suitable frame/mat, etc.), or which are damaged or incomplete. The museum is not responsible for the safekeeping of any works left in its care ninety (90) days after the close of the exhibition.

Email Educator Amanda Holcomb

Mask Policy

WMA asks that all campers ages 5 and up wear a mask during their museum visit, including classes and camps. If you don’t have a mask, we can provide one for you. Exceptions can be made for those with documented respiratory or sensory issues. We thank you for protecting your fellow visitors and our staff!

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