Category Archives: Art

UPDATE: Where did those lion heads from Terminal Station go?

terminal lionA post to Facebook courtesy of the Birmingham History Center alerted many in the city’s digital world of a chance to secure a couple of lion heads — from our namesake.

The two metal pieces were part of the Terminal Station’s frontispiece and were available via an auction house in Leeds. The nonprofit made a plea (one shared to this website’s fan page as well) on June 5, the day of the auction, using the popular social platform asking for anyone who could to consider purchasing the decorative ornaments and then donating them to the museum. Unfortunately, the center’s spending limit for that evening was $4,000; the pieces sold for $8,000 (including auction house fees) to a private collector.

Incidentally, while the center did move from its former home on 1st Avenue North in October 2013, it does still exist. Its offices are currently housed in the Pythian Building on 18th Street North, across from the currently-under-multi-million-dollar-renovation Lyric Theater. Display cases containing portions of its collections can be seen in the Pythian’s lobby; at the Tutwiler Hotel; and at the Alabama Theatre. Plus, they apparently still have the virtual tour of its former home available for you to peruse.

UPDATED: Design Review: Signs… really cool signs (and a house)

After the excitement during the last Design Review Committee meeting, this one was rather sedate focusing on mostly signage, including a very powerful, interactive one close to Regions Field (see UPDATE below).


The new owner of a circa-1910 home in Avondale presented exterior renovation plans to the committee. Previously approved by the neighborhood’s advisory committee, the updates include replacing the porch supports with columns that resemble the original design of the home, new windows, a new porch floor, exterior paint, and replacement roofing. The original window openings will need to be shortened to accommodate interior kitchen renovations on one side of this one-story house. In addition, the new owners plan to install central heating and air. The committee approved the renovations with the direction for the homeowner to work with staff on appropriate exterior colors.


BeforeIDieLouisvilleMatthew Hamilton, representing TEDxBirmingham, circulated plans for a community art project sponsored by the organization. The temporary project will be the first time Candy Chang’sBefore I Die” project will come to Birmingham. The project will be installed at 112 14th Street South (across from Regions Field) and will remain until the building owner begins renovations this October.

UPDATE: A Kickstarter campaign launched on Wednesday afternoon, July 9, to help raise $2,000 in two weeks for the installation of the project.

Volunteers will be updating the project regularly and photos will be taken for a project web site. The committee recommended working with both CAP and Railroad Park as they are neighbors to the project as well. The committee approved.

Five Points South

An updated signage master plan for the Dulion Building was presented Brenda Daniels of Daniel Signs. At the last meeting, the committee requested the master plan based on the signage designs for Orbit Salon on 11th Avenue South. The new plan includes ground floor tenant signs consisting of raised letters on a black background that will be installed over the doorways. The plan was approved by the committee.

The owner of the Dulion also owns the attached building. Based on staff recommendations, the Daniel Signs worked on a master plan that would provide some consistency for signage on this block. The tenant signage on the attached building would be similar (raised letters on a black background) and installed on the transoms. The committee approved this plan as well.


At the last meeting, the committee selected two potential candidates to fill the open seat on the committee. The recommendations have been given to the city council for approval.

A subcommittee will be appointed to determine whether or not citations will be issued against Chik-fil-A based on the company’s violations at its Five Points South location.

Twice a month, the city’s Design Review Committee convenes at the Auburn University Urban Studio to discuss and approve – hopefully – plans to make alterations to the city’s structures that fall within one of the many historic and commercial revitalization districts. During this week’s meeting, committee members discussed the advantages, disadvantages, and aesthetics of seven different proposals throughout the city.

 Photo: Before I Die as currently installed in Louisville, KY. André Natta/

Statue of Linn Park’s namesake to be unveiled Wednesday

linnintransitThis morning passersby learned why a section in the southeastern quadrant of Linn Park had been getting modified since just before this year’s Magic City Art Connection in April. Wednesday afternoon will give those venturing into the city’s oldest park the chance to see the face of the person who originally paid for it to be built and learn more about one of Birmingham’s founding fathers.

The approximately 800-pound statue of Charles Linn, commissioned by the Alabama-Mississippi chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society as part of their 12th annual Legacy of Leadership campaign, and donated to the city, was created by local artist Branko Medenica and hoisted into place Tuesday morning, May 28. A formal unveiling of the statue is scheduled for 12 p.m. Wednesday, May 29.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Board granted approval for the statue to be placed on city property last year. The finished piece stands eight feet tall and sits on a five-foot tall pedestal with plaques identifying the primary donors and a brief biography of the man considered by most to be a founding father of Birmingham. The statue is based on a painting of Linn hanging in the Linn-Henley Research Library located on the other side of the park, though Linn Park’s newest resident will be bearded (the painting shows Linn clean-shaven).

While Medenica was “deeply honored” for the opportunity to create the sculpture, the commission has particular significance to him, especially because of who was responsible for funding the piece. “I have a sister-in-law who died of MS, so this [commission] has some personal meaning for me,” he said.

Wednesday’s dedication and unveiling ceremony is part of local activities recognizing World MS Day. It will also serve as the official launch of, a microsite highlighting other public works of art commissioned to recognize past Legacy of Leadership Award honorees located throughout the city of Birmingham. The NMSS chapter has been selecting and honoring local community leaders to recognize through its Legacy of Leadership campaign since 1997, enabling them to also raise several hundreds of thousands of dollars for MS research projects at UAB.

Participants will be encouraged to check-in on Facebook for coupons and prizes at each of the locations as well as where they need to go next.

Iron pour formally kicks off Sloss’ visitors center construction

Commemorative Iron Pour underwayThis afternoon city officials, members of Sloss Furnaces‘ board of directors and members of the general public gathered for something a little different than your regular groundbreaking for its visitors center. Those gathered in the shed of the historic site got to witness an iron pour commemorating the start of construction of the new 10,000 square foot facility next week.

The pour was no doubt a nod to the national historic landmark site’s designation as the only 20th century blast furnace being interpreted as a museum in the country as well as its reputation throughout the country as a center for metal arts. According to the press release for the event, the space “will use applied science, history, and interactive technology” as it attempts to inform visitors about the iron-making process. As reported yesterday by The Birmingham News, the Sloss Foundation will be covering $1 million of the cost of construction & all of the currently estimated $3 million cost for creating the center’s exhibits. The remaining $4 million will be covered by the city.

If you’ve never experienced an iron pour at Sloss, here’s a taste:


The visitors center is scheduled to open in late 2013.

Travelogue: Kyle shares photos from her Moveable Type visit

Moveable Type visits Birmingham. acnatta/FlickrDecember 1 brought Kyle Durrie and her successful Kickstarter project,  Moveable Type, to the Magic City. According to the post she recently shared about both of her stops in Alabama, her visit to Birmingham was most likely the first stop she reserved on her current nationwide tour. Durrie owns Power and Light Letterpress and Design in Portland, OR.

Her 1982 Chevy step van is a mobile print shop, including “a sign press from the mid 20th century, and an 1873 Golding Official No. 3 tabletop platen press.” There was a fairly large crowd out at Railroad Park at night after workshops were held at Woodlawn High School, the result of Cory Bordonaro‘s reaching out to Kyle (and her relationship with the Desert Island Supply Co.).

She’s gotten a great deal of coverage during the trip so far – including this post over on Pebbles & Buttons in advance of her visit to Nova Scotia.

You can follow Kyle’s journey by either visiting the project’s website or following its Twitter account. You can also help Kyle in her cross-country effort by making a non tax deductible contribution via PayPal.

Photo: Moveable Type visits Birmingham. acnatta/Flickr

Taking a look at Sloss Metals Arts’ future

Sloss-in-the-distanceSaturday morning (December 17)  will find local metal artists, enthusiasts and some just plain curious at historic Sloss Furnaces to take part in a conversation about the future of the historic site’s metal arts program.

The meeting, starting at 10:30 a.m., is the result of a recently made announcement about the retooling and re-evaluation via a press release dated December 9. We’ve learned that the meeting is scheduled to be available for viewing online live tomorrow via the program’s new Livestream channel.

The changes would not affect the public outreach component of the program, scheduled to resume in March 2012, including workshops, internships and iron pours, though we have learned that some of the full time positions will be replaced with fellowships that will be offered to artists from around the world. We look forward to updating with additional information if necessary tomorrow.

Art Connection is on, some artists donating proceeds

MCAC 2011 posterWe’ve received several phone calls about whether or not the ONB Magic City Art Connection will take place this weekend. According to their fan page on Facebook, not only is the event still taking place this weekend, but several of the participating artists plan on donating portions of their proceeds to area charities helping those affected by the tornadoes.

Two charities that have been mentioned specifically on the page are the Birmingham-Jefferson American Red Cross chapter and the Craft Emergency Relief Fund.

If you’re an artist and plan on donating proceeds from sales this weekend, we’d love to create a list via our comments section.

Crawfish Boil on as well

Another major event taking place in downtown Birmingham this weekend is the Schaeffer Eye Center Crawfish Boil, taking place adjacent to the BJCC complex. They’ve announced that donation barrels will be located throughout the festival site.