Be inspired: Visit the Alabama Poppy Project in downtown Prattville [PHOTOS]

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Alabama Poppy Project, Memorial Day May 30, 2022 in Prattville, Alabama. (Pat Byington/The Bama Buzz)

On Memorial Day this week, we took a special early morning trip to downtown Prattville, Alabama. At dawn, near the old Pratt Cotton Gin Factory, we walked among 2022 beautifully crafted ceramic poppies, with the comforting soundtrack of birds singing and the mill pond waterfall splashing.

Called the Alabama Poppy Project, read on to learn more about our state’s newest Memorial Day exhibit and destination.

Alabama Poppy Project

In 2020, seeking a solemn way to remember people who have served our nation, Julianne and Steven Hansen worked tirelessly along with Hansen Fine Art staff and volunteers to roll, cut, shape, glaze, kiln fire and “plant” poppies. They began their work in January of 2020,  before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the nation. Despite Memorial Day restriction their first year, over 1000 poppies were made and planted.

Check out this 2020 video, where both Julianne and Steven tell the story of the Alabama Poppy Project.

The Purpose of the Project

The Alabama Poppy Project commemorates and honors those individuals who served in the Armed Forces during their lifetime, but is now no longer living.  

A handmade ceramic poppy placed on a metal stake is placed in a  field near Heritage Park in Prattville, Alabama, displayed for one week. 

The exhibit begins on May 27, 2022 (National Poppy Day) and lasts until June 4th. White ribbons displaying the names of the fallen are tied to various poppies, dedicated by loved ones in their honor.  

Here are the directions on how to dedicate a poppy.

All proceeds from the sale of the poppies go toward several non-profits, including:

Time and Love

The entire exhibit is made by Hansen Fine  Art and Pottery 173 W. Main Street, Prattville.

Lots of time, materials and love are given to make this massive project happen. Below is a list of fun facts about the 2022 exhibit:

  • Over 2,250 pounds of Clay
  • 17 Gallons of Red Glaza
  • 337 pounds (2017 ft of ¼ steel rods
  • 3,256 hours of kiln firing
  • 1,975 feet of satin ribbon
  • Each Poppy takes 40+ steps to make and glaze 

An Annual Tradition

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Hansen Fine Art and Pottery in Prattville. The sign honors the Hansens son Kyle Hansen. (Pat Byington/The Bama Buzz)

The exhibit ends Saturday, June 4th, but the project lasts all year, and us at The Bama Buzz the memory—forever.

Have you visited the Alabama Poppy Project in historic downtown Prattville? Tell us what you thought of it by tagging us @thebamabuzz

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Pat Byington
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