The Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum is excited and proud to collaborate with Flow Tuscaloosa, The Fashion Archive, and The Collaborative Arts Research Initiative (CARI) for Swimming Together, an initiative to highlight the successful restoration of Hurricane Creek as inspiration to protect the resources of the Black Warrior River watershed and bring attention to environmental justice efforts in West Alabama. It’s organized through the Selvage Collective and led locally by Jamey Grimes (UA, Art) and Dr. Julia Brock (UA, History).
The museum is participating by hosting a custom exhibit titled Swimming Together and collaborating with artist Hannah Palmer of Atlanta, Georgia. Palmer works as an urban designer in Atlanta and is interested in the intersection of southern stories and urban landscapes. She is particularly interested in swimming pools and given the museum building’s original purpose and our location on the river, is a perfect fit for this collaborative project. Palmer writes about the intersection of southern stories and urban landscapes for venues like CNN, Art Papers, Atlanta Magazine, ATL Studies, and for urban design and planning projects around the world. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, she earned an MFA in creative writing from Sewanee: The University of the South. Flight Path is her first book.
The exhibit will showcase how local history aligned with national trends, challenge myths about integration and public pools, and encourage community response about swimming with engagement boards. Swimsuits from UA’s The Fashion Archive will be included in a custom interactive and artifacts on loan from members in the local community will be on display. The exhibit is slated to open on April 19, 2022, and run through the end of August. We are also working on an opening event on the old pool grounds in mid-May.
Photo credit: Queen City Pool, circa 1950; https://tavm.omeka.net/items/show/1354