Art garden, Mississippi Museum of Art

Jackson, Mississippi


Project Description

The Art Garden replaced a dreary parking lot at the entrance to the Mississippi Museum of Art with a civic scaled front yard for the city. The Art Garden is a lively and welcoming green space where everyone in downtown Jackson – from long time resident to out-of-town tourist – can engage with art, socialize with friends and family, and connect with the community. The overall character of the Art Garden was shaped by its downtown location, by the culture and climate of Mississippi and by the mission of the museum: "to engage all Mississippians with art".

The garden offers places to sit, watch, eat, play and relax with family and friends. The museum's busy schedule of temporary exhibitions, live performances, film nights and festivals reinforces the connection between the activity in the garden and the activity in the museum.


Designing an outdoor space in Jackson to be comfortable during most of the year is a major challenge, particularly when the site is often in full sun. Our design strategy was to anticipate seasonal changes and encourage changing use patterns by offering choices: fountains to play in, shaded garden rooms and open allees to catch the breezes in summer as well as sunny, sheltered areas for protection from rain storms and winter winds. With seat walls, moveable chairs, portable beach umbrellas, and art you can climb on, people create their own comfortable spaces in the garden


  • Betsy Bradley, Director  Mississippi Museum of Art
  • Madge Bemiss, Madge Bemiss Architect
  • Fletcher Cox, Artist
  • Martha Ferris, Artist
  • Ed Blake, The Landscape Studio
  • Robert Poore, Native Habitats Inc.
  • Jason Buckley and Mike McBride, JBHM Architects
  • Thomas Lewis and Donny Wynn, Yates Construction
  • Andrew Bell, Sustainable Solutions
  • Ed McGowin, Artist
  • John Clarke, Artist
  • Jennifer Torres, Artist
  • Andy Young, Pearl River Glass Studio
  • George Sexton and Associates
  • Ansel Olson Design