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  • Writer's pictureJustin Ward

100 Years Apart: A Captivating Sculpture Depicting Huntsville's Evolution

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

At the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama, a remarkable sculpture called "100 Years Apart" stands as a testament to the city's transformation over the past century. Created by the talented artist David Nuttall, also known as @artimaps, this captivating artwork showcases the evolution of Huntsville through an ingenious combination of sandblasted steel and acrylic. In this blog post, we explore the fascinating details and significance of this thought-provoking sculpture.

Exploring the Sculpture

The sculpture consists of two distinct layers that represent different eras in Huntsville's history. The rear map layer, crafted from weathered steel, depicts the buildings that adorned the area in 1921, as documented in the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps from the Library of Congress. On the front, a layer of sandblasted acrylic showcases the contemporary buildings of downtown Huntsville as they stand in 2021, derived from edited and extracted current mapping and City GIS data.

The Fusion of Time and Space

Through the juxtaposition of these two map layers, "100 Years Apart" offers viewers a captivating visual experience. As onlookers gaze through the acrylic front, the buildings of the past and present seamlessly converge, inviting reflections on the changes and advancements that have shaped Huntsville over the last century. The opaque areas on the front glass represent the buildings that existed in 2021, while the transparent portions reveal the structures that have stood the test of time.

An Invitation to Observe

David Nuttall's sculpture serves as an invitation to explore and appreciate the architectural heritage of Huntsville. The intricate details of the map layers encourage viewers to closely examine the areas that have undergone significant transformations and consider the stories hidden within the city's evolving urban landscape. The contrast between old and new sparks curiosity and prompts contemplation about the forces that have shaped the Huntsville we know today.

Artistic Mastery and Cartographic Expertise

David Nuttall, a gifted artist and cartographer, brings his expertise to the creation of this extraordinary sculpture. With a background in cartography and extensive experience as a GIS consultant, Nuttall's artistic process combines meticulous research and creative flair. His hand-drawn plausible fictitious maps, created since childhood, have evolved over the years, showcasing an incredible attention to detail, quality, and plausibility.

The Intersection of Art and Engineering

The "100 Years Apart" sculpture perfectly embodies the intersection of art and engineering, a theme that resonates with JL Troupe Company's vision. Collaborating with David Nuttall on this project, JL Troupe aims to celebrate the fusion of artistic expression and technical expertise, highlighting the possibilities when these two disciplines converge.

"100 Years Apart" stands as a testament to the resilience and growth of Huntsville, capturing the essence of a city that continuously evolves while embracing its rich history. David's exceptional sculpture sparks reflection, inviting viewers to contemplate the changes that have shaped the Huntsville of today. We encourage you to visit the Von Braun Center and witness this remarkable artwork firsthand!


@artimaps on Instagram:


David Nuttall's Facebook post: []

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