There is nothing more compelling than entering the mind of an artist, and Birmingham’s local artists consistently produce unique, moving and intriguing work. We are so inspired by Birmingham’s creatives, in fact, that today we are excited to introduce you to another monthly installment of SB Art Gallery! This month we’re celebrating the arrival of the highly anticipated 35th Annual Magic City Art Connection. From abstract acrylic paintings to one-of-a-kind sculptures, these masterpieces will capture your imagination and get you excited for this year’s festival. Here’s what to expect:
Ashley Wingo and Hannah Greenwood of Greenwings Ceramics combine simple, yet striking elements, modern designs and innovative lithograph print techniques to create one-of-a-kind ceramics that reflect the uniqueness of the Magic City.
Chiharu Roach, Painting
“I have always been interested in the human mind,” says artist Chiharu Roach, a Japanese native and Birmingham resident. “In my Tangled Hair series, I’m symbolizing the different memories, feelings and behaviors our minds create that affect our lives.”
Chris Bruno, 2D Mixed Media
Chris Bruno was raised by professional artists, his father a photographer and his mother a painter. Thus, he has always lived an artist’s life. He began his career with photography and later moved to painting while working in a studio near his parents. Multifaceted layers influence Chris’s paintings, as he uses acrylics, graphite and layering with papers, fabrics or sometimes other found objects.
Chris McCarthy, Glass
According to his website, Chris McCarthy of Park Avenue Glass is “fascinated by the ability to play with fire to create form. He sculpts each piece, thinking about the effect of light and diffraction. His use of the Venetian techniques of Murrini, Incalmo and Battuto gives his work depth and complexity. McCarthy creates simple elegant forms that radiate and glow with warmth.”
Cindy Miller, Jewelry
Cindy Miller of Cindy Miller Designs has spent her life in pursuit of creative fulfillment. Art and archeology are the leading influences in her life, and she began building her jewelry with traditional silver. This lead to the discovery of Precious Metal Clay (PMC), which is now her medium of choice. According to her website, Cindy has been working with PMC since 2004 and received her PMC certification in 2008. As part of the Metal Clay Master’s Registry, she has earned a rating of Masters Level II and was awarded the Saul Bell Award for Metal Clay, one of the most sought-after design awards for jewelers and metalsmiths worldwide.
Charity Ponter, Photography
Charity Ponter of Charity Ponter Photography is one of Birmingham’s most well-known photographers. According to her website, Charity explores the lines between art, documentary and portrait photography in order to reveal honest connections with her subjects. Through her work, Charity offers a visual landscape in which people and situations can freely share realities on a deep and often spiritual level, reads her website.
Daniel Powers, Photography
Daniel Powers of Powers Photography is inspired by “great cities and bathed in rain, fog, mist and twilight and solitary figures walking through empty streets absorbed in thoughts not meant for us,” reads his website. His photographs take familiar scenes and transform them into an emotional landscape.
Debo Groover, 2D Mixed Media
Debo Groover and Tina Torrance of Debortina Studio work to create stunning pieces through the unique technique of using polymer clay as a painting and collage material. Together, they use their creativity to discover new color combinations and patterns for both clay and paintings. Tina makes the smaller pieces and together they finish everything else.
Deeann Reives, 2D/3D Mixed Media
Deeann Reives is a contemporary artist working with mixed media, acrylic and abstraction. “In all of my paintings, I use a sewing technique called free-motion machine embroidery on top of painted papers and then incorporate those papers as collage. I love the way the stitched lines sit on top of the layered paint forms, embellishing each piece with texture and delicate lines,” says Deeann.
Eli Helman, Drawing
Eli Helman of The Drawings of Eli Helman is a self-taught artist with a style of ink drawings he calls “Maximalism.” Through his website we learned that he emphasizes intricately drawn lines, shapes and patterns while exploring eclectic subjects through a blend of whimsical and thought-provoking imagery. Eli is inspired by music, humor and nature, and some of his pieces take over 100 hours to complete.
Ellie Ali, Painting
According to her website, Ellie Ali is a self-taught artist whose paintings were first inspired by the jazz and literary worlds of the 1950s and ’60s and then by her traveling and painting in North Africa, Europe and India. The human figure is a constant in her work.
Harry Hearne, Clay
Harry Hearne of Turning Point Clay Studio explains, “Most of my work has been focused on building form from joining and stacking thrown segments. I consistently test glaze combinations to provide unique and appealing options for a Cone 6 Oxidation environment.”
Howie Tung, 2D/3D Mixed Media
Howie Tung of Tung Art, who is originally from Taiwan, draws from his extensive background and his exposure to Western culture to create unique pieces by combining modern technique with oriental disciplines.
Jamie Carnathan, Photography
Jamie Carnathan of JCarnathan Art Photography is a self-taught artist inspired by nature, architecture and odd objects. “I discovered a way to combine my love of photography and abstract art when I learned the technique of layering photographs with colorful filters and other photographs to create an abstract piece of art,” explains Jamie.
Jesse Kunerth, Computer Generated
According to his website, Jesse Kunerth of Dose Creative creates pop art by combining his travel photography with his design background. “All of my pieces are original. I just do one and that’s it. The goal is to make art that’s more connected with people.”
Katherine Linn, Printmaking
Kathrine Linn of Linn Printworks creates striking linocuts. “An original print is an image taken from a block or a plate that was conceived and created to be printed. Each image is developed with the idea that it will eventually be printed multiple times to produce an edition. The initial drawing and the actual block are just stepping stones, the matrices that lead to the resulting prints. Each time the block is inked and run through the press, an original work of art is produced,” Katherine remarks on her process.
Leslie Peeples, Printmaking
Leslie Peeples of Sweetwater Print Co-op creates images inspired by her home of North Florida. “I believe there are many layers to the perception of reality and that art reveals deeper layers than most people perceive. My art digs down to soulful, spiritual or mythical dimensions of places and beings. I want others to see the ethereal and Eden-like beauty of the world around us,” she explains.
Lisa Krannichfeld, Painting
Lisa Krannichfeld finds inspiration in her unique experience of growing up in a Chinese family living in the American South. According to her website, her expressive portraits refute the traditional portrayal of women being passive subjects to gaze upon, evident in their confrontational, and at times defiant expressions. Krannichfeld continues to break tradition by using traditional Chinese ink and watercolor materials in a nontraditional, free-flowing form.
Mia Badham explains, “In my work, I contemplate the markings that our lives leave behind. At first, I considered physical evidence, a wrinkle or a scar. Skin provides evidence of old memories and forgotten pain. I think of it as a site that could be excavated to unearth the stories beneath. Some events don’t leave a visible reminder. I give a voice to the traces left behind by emotional trials such as a bad habit or a broken heart.”
Miriam Omura, Fiber
Miriam Omura, who creates woven imagery, explains, “Materially my artwork follows my interests in weaving, cloth and the tactile quality of layers. In the past, my work has visually taken cues from a variety of influences including folk art and religious art. Currently, I am embarking on a body of work that revolves around family history and what gets lost in translation. Family photographs have a place in recording our past and the generations before us leading to our own being.”
See all of these artists and more at the 35th Annual Magic City Art Connection this Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Linn Park. You can purchase tickets and learn more here.
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