On Sept. 9-10, Birmingham ArtWalk will celebrate 15 years of transforming Birmingham’s historic loft district into the area’s liveliest arts scene. The annual show features the work of more than 100 visual artists, along with live music, street performers, and children’s activities.
We’ve rounded up a few of this year’s featured artists including the founder and team that designed the 2016 logo. Check them out below, and we’ll see you there.
Owner of Naked Art Gallery and Birmingham ArtWalk Founder
How did Birmingham Art Walk come about? I opened Naked Art Gallery in 1998 in the what is now the loft district. I had heard of an ArtWalk that had taken place years earlier, and wanted to revive the idea on a larger scale. ArtWalk would give a chance to festival goers to enjoy the architecture of our beautiful buildings while discovering the works of artists exhibiting inside of them. We got a committee together and created the first ArtWalk in 2001 on an $8,000 budget. I was blown away by what the people of this city can do when they put their efforts together and just follow their heart because they really wanted this to happen.
Favorite thing about living in Birmingham: I love that it is not too big. I used to work in Brussels and do not ever want to be around that many people and traffic. I love my 10-minute bike commute to work and back. The people in the city are a treasure. You will be surprised by how many positive reactions you get when you ask for involvement in a new project, it makes it possible for dreams to come true.
Greatest compliment you’ve received about your work: My work being featured at Miami Art Basel 2014 and my animated film Bottomless being chosen to screen at over 20 film festivals around the world, including the Cannes Film Festival, were the best compliments I could have ever wish for. But the everyday cheer from my long time and new patrons is just as vital to me.
Artwalk 2016 Location: Freshwater Land Trust, 2210 1st Ave. North
Graphic Art, Illustrations, and Prints
Where did your inspiration come from for the design of this year’s ArtWalk logo? It was inspired by our love for how Artwalk brings the city together, making some of the most popular buildings accessible to everyone. We tried to express this using clean lines that connect the buildings to one another. There’s also a dotted line that represents a sort of trail that goes up, down, and over every featured building, which corresponds to a fantastical path one might follow during the festival.
Favorite thing about living in Birmingham: Every year downtown grows a little more, and it is so fun! We love being able to walk to dinner or walk to the theatre. Our all time favorite is riding bikes together downtown. There is a lot to be said for city living!
Greatest compliment you’ve received about your work: Someone once told me that I was their favorite local artist, which I took as a HUGE compliment. Considering all of the fantastic artists in Birmingham, I’m honored to even be on someone’s list!
Artwalk 2016 Location: Athens Flatts Parking Lot, 2306 2nd Avenue North
Where does your inspiration come from? I usually start with a few different materials in varying colors, and I just see where my creative ideas take me. I also get inspired by my customers. It’s really rewarding when people like your work and respond well to designs that you have come up with.
Favorite thing about Birmingham: There is always something to do no matter what you are into. I have only lived here for the last six years, and have seen such a growth of the city in that time. There are always new restaurants and bars opening and events for every type of cause or interest. It’s really exciting to be able to experience all these things right where you live.
Greatest compliment you’ve received about your work: That they had never seen anything like this before. There are a lot of jewelry designers, and it’s a field that is easily replicated. I try to keep my designs unique and still on trend. When someone likes something that you have come up with completely on your own that’s a huge compliment. “Art” can go both ways, and it’s always nice to have your designs recognized and appreciated.
Artwalk 2016 Location: Historic Morris Avenue
Philip E. Griffith
Southern Documentary Photographer
Artwalk 2016 Location: Philip Griffith Photography Studio, 2325 1st Ave. North