Photo exhibit shines light on the people, places that are Birmingham as city celebrates 150 years

Photo exhibit shines light on the people, places that are Birmingham as city celebrates 150 years
This cropped version of Jason Martin's "Return of Another Day" (uncropped version below) is part of the exhibit celebrating Birmingham's 150th year at the Birmingham Museum of Art. (Jason Martin)

A new exhibit of photos submitted by the public puts the spotlight on many faces and places that are Birmingham as the city approaches its 150th birthday.

Mayor Randall Woodfin invited people to submit photographic images of the city as part of the “Birmingham View Photo Challenge” – one of many activities that are part of the city’s sesquicentennial celebration. The winning photos are on exhibit at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

Applicants were invited to submit up to two photos, choosing among four categories: events in Birmingham; cityscapes and landscapes; Birmingham landmarks; and people.

“As a son of this city, I’ve always seen Birmingham as a magical, beautiful place,” Woodfin said. “From our hidden gems to areas you see on a daily ride through the Magic City, there are so many treasures that make us proud to call this place home. That’s why I’m so appreciative of all the entries for the Birmingham Photo Challenge. They capture all the people and places that define us – the heartbeat of our city.’’

A panel of expert judges selected the winners. The works will be displayed through Jan. 9, 2022. Some contestants had two winning entries.

The judges included Celestia Cookie Morgan, a conceptual-based photographer and sculptor; Carolyn Sherer, a fine arts photographer; Darius Hill, chair of the Visual Arts Department at the Alabama School of Fine Arts; and Laura Kate Whitney of the Birmingham Business Alliance.

“The selections really represented the breadth and richness of life in the Magic City,’’ said Graham Boettcher, director of the Birmingham Museum of Art.

Alabama NewsCenter is presenting a continuing series marking the 150th birthday of the city of Birmingham.

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The photo challenge is one of several artistic and cultural initiatives taking place in connection with the city’s 150th anniversary. Another is a letter-writing campaign highlighting people’s love for the city. Seneca Wilson, a local poet, is among those who took on that challenge, putting his love for Birmingham in a poem and a video. A copy of Wilson’s poem, “The Magic City,’’ is on display in the museum. View the poem and video here.

The city’s official birthday is Dec. 19, 1871 – the day the Alabama Legislature voted to confirm Birmingham as a municipality. Learn more about ongoing activities celebrating the city’s 150th anniversary here.

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