Alabama has a thriving art community that is cherished by locals and collectors alike. With more than twenty five galleries across the state, packed with an impressive assortment of folk and fine art, there are plenty of places to go to if you are looking to see amazing work made by very creative people. Art is an incredibly diverse field, so what can and can’t be considered art is pretty broad. What’s important is that it brings people together to admire something fantastic and take joy from it. Here are a few places and events great for getting a first hand experience of Alabama’s colorful art community.
The Birmingham Museum of Art
Birmingham is known both for its appreciation of art and for having amazing food. The Birmingham Museum of Art possesses a collection of more than 27,000 pieces that cover both ancient and modern time periods. Founded in 1951, the museum is considered one of the finest regional museums in the United States, and houses a variety of media types, including paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and decorative arts. The museum will be hosting Art on the Rocks this summer, a music and art event that presents a colorful compilation of visual and performing arts. Live music, dj mixes, and artist demonstrations are all part of the event. Art on the Rocks is on its fifteenth year, and dates are set for June 14th, July 12th, and August 9th.
NuCon Fan Convention
NuCon is a pop culture convention held in Gadsden and has the mission to remain “For the Fans, By the Fans”. Pop-culture conventions typically focus on bringing fans of media together to celebrate a love for the shows and movies they enjoy. Plenty of local artists will set up as vendors and sell their own original art, or fanart that’s been inspired by the styles of shows and movies that are popular. Illustrators at conventions are known for taking commissions, and even offer workshops to help fans learn to draw characters from popular culture. The convention was founded by Matthew Davis in 2017, and offers a wide range of things to see. They offer lectures, panels, and costume contests that focus on topics like sci-fi, fantasy, cosplay, anime, steampunk, and much more. Panel topics are also varied, covering film making, 3D computer art, leather work, and more.
Folk Art at Naked Art
The State of Alabama has a long and rich history of folk art. It’s difficult to define folk art, but usually pieces are made by normal people within a community who are looking to express themselves or make something beautiful for people to use, like quilts or birdhouses. Locations like the Naked Art Gallery curate a fascinating collection of local folk art by artists such as Tina Kirk and Elayne Goodman. Naked Art was founded in 1998 and focuses on Alabama-based artists, with over 70 artists exhibiting at any one time. Their next event is entitled Birmingham Art Walk, and is being held on the 7th and 8th of September.
Art is definitely thriving within the state of Alabama. With a huge variety of art related events coming up, the summer and beyond is looking good for lovers of music and art alike.
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