Huntsville Utility Box Inclusive Art Project

Lockheed Martin commissions local artist to create beautiful, inclusive art in Huntsville, Alabama

February 10, 2021

While Huntsville, Alabama, is best known for its ties to the aerospace industry, the city could someday be known for its new inclusive, space-themed art.

We recently teamed up with Downtown Huntsville Inc., Huntsville Utilities and local artist Jessie Andrews to beautify several public spaces with art aimed to inspire the local community and tell the story of its rich history of contributions to the space industry.

One of the main canvases for the art installation? The city's utility boxes.

“I adore Huntsville. I love to watch us expand and evolve,” Andrews said. “Street art and public art especially play a role in what we, as a community, have to say and what we value. Of course in Huntsville we value the arts, sciences and space exploration, but I think we also really value growth, our people and inclusivity.”

In celebration of Black History Month, many of the murals also feature the voices of famous African-American aerospace figures such as Mae Jemison — the first Black woman to travel into space — and Ronald McNair, famous NASA astronaut and physicist who lost his life during the Challenger Space Shuttle tragedy.

Encouraging access for all

As a Huntsville native and self-taught artist, Andrews (Instagram handle: knew exactly how to inspire a city smitten with space.

“When Lockheed Martin contacted me, I was very excited,” Andrews said. “It was a challenge and something I had never done before, and I was very happy to work with wonderful people on a fun project.”

She also has a special family tie to the aerospace industry which helped inspire the galactic aesthetic that appears throughout her work.

“Originally I was painting abstract art onto circles because I simply thought it was beautiful and a bit unique,” Andrews explained. “People would constantly refer to them as planets so I ran with it a bit and let the viewers’ mind take the lead a little. My grandfather also worked for NASA, so I grew up being inspired by his accomplishments and stories.”

Andrews is a strong believer that creativity molds and evolves communities, conversations and environments. She hopes to eventually turn Honeyblood Art into a nonprofit organization to support local students’ opportunities for creative expression and involvement in the art world.

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to have access to tools which expand their ability to self-express. Access to resources that encourage creative expression help unlock possibilities within oneself, and allow people to see their own potential through a new lens,” Andrews said.

Continuing our commitment to Huntsville

Rocket City is a hub for the aerospace industry, and we have a long-term commitment to the north Alabama region in terms of both economic impact and community involvement. Here are a few examples of our continuing efforts over the past 10 years:

  • We’ve invested in the greater Huntsville community through grants to foster the curiosity of tomorrow and donated nearly 5,000 hours in the community through volunteerism.
    • Local grant recipients include: Von Braun Astronomical Society, Madison Chamber of Commerce, Liberty Learning Foundation, Girls Inc. of Huntsville and more than a dozen others.
  • For two years in a row, we've partnered with the U.S. Space and Rocket Center to engage the local community in cutting-edge STEM missions, like Mars 2020.
  • In 2020, we partnered with Madison County schools to support distance learning initiatives and formed a partnership with Yellowhammer Brewing to support the production of 150 gallons of hand sanitizer developed for first responders and local nonprofits.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we also came together with the community to ensure its resilience. In Alabama specifically, we’ve accelerated over $95.6M to 142 suppliers; donated 8,000 units of Lockheed Martin-produced PPE; and donated 300 meals from Mason Dixon Bakery to Huntsville Hospital. Our workforce in Huntsville also received approximately $20,000 in meal vouchers to support local eateries during COVID.

With over 2,383 employees living in Alabama, several high-profile programs and our recent acquisition of i3’s hypersonics portfolio, we plan to continue expanding our impact and cultural contributions in the Huntsville community — whether through more inspirational art or other exciting projects to come.

Interested in joining our Hunstville team? See open jobs and apply today: