If You Like the Connection and the Walk, You’ll Love the Crawl

 “Did you go to Magic City Art Connection this year?” Miranda McPherson asked.

“Briefly,” I said, handing her the tablet which had resided on a nearby tabletop.  “Long enough to take a few photos.”

She began scrolling through the images.  “This was a neat idea.”

“Wasn’t it?  That’s Matchsticks, Hoover High’s entry in the Connection’s high school art exhibition.  I was really impressed with this year’s entries.  Did you notice the giant tack in the background?  Under A Tack was the Alabama School of Fine Art’s homage to an object that’s never considered until one can’t be found.”

“The students got really creative,” Miranda observed as she looked at Zipper, produced by Mountain Brook students Harrison Dutton, Isabella Mulkin, and Kathryn Oakes to “bring attention to the small, forgotten yet brilliant and ubiquitous object.”

“And here’s Christy Turnipseed.”

“For me, it’s always a highlight of the annual event to see what new Lil’ Seeds creations Christy has come up with,” I said.

“And this would be…?”

Charles Pinckney, a jewelry artist from Athens, Georgia.  That’s Stephanie Bynum in the photo with him, and I remember him telling her that his earrings, bracelets, and pendants are inspired by his memories.  ‘I shape the piece to tell the story,’ he said.  ‘That’s the magic of art.  In very short order, it can prompt someone to start dusting off memories of their own that they haven’t thought about in years and have let lay fallow.’”

“This is Stephanie again, isn’t it?”

“Right, with her poodle Jackson.  At right is his new friend Noel.”

“A very distinctive dog.”

“That’s one of the things I always like about the Magic City Art Connection,” I said.  “You see things there that you don’t often encounter.  But I suppose that one of the reasons you put together Birmingham Art Crawl, right?  So that such things can be seen more often?”

“Well, it wasn’t just me who put it together, but absolutely.  Events like the Art Connection and Art Walk are great, but they’re only once a year,” Miranda replied.   The creative director of Clear Marketing & Design, she returned to Birmingham five years ago after some time away and noticed that something was missing.

“Why isn’t something like Art Walk happening once a month?  Most major cities have an event like that once a month.  I haven’t understood why Birmingham didn’t have one.”   So, as a self-described lover of fine arts, she set to work to make it happen.

Which it does, from 5-9 p.m. Thursday in downtown Birmingham when more than 25 artists and performers will exhibit their work and talents in venues provided by local businesses.  An after-party will follow at Matthew’s Bar & Grill.

“Will you be able to make it?” Miranda asked.

“Regrettably, no.  I will not be in town.  But I hope the rest of Birmingham will more than make up for my absence.”

“We’re hopeful for a good turnout.  And you’ll get another chance to come to one.  Birmingham Art Crawl will be a regular first Thursday event.  We’re excited about bringing people to the cultural and historical center of downtown and give them a fun event that showcases local art, performers, and venues.”

“Groovy,” I said.

“Did you just say ‘groovy?’”

“I did.  Should I not have?”

“Use it all you want.  I like ‘groovy’,” Miranda said with smile.  “I think that sums up Art Crawl rather well.”

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