My colleague, Jill England, and I made our art festival debut this past weekend at Art Walk. One of the city’s two big annual art festivals, Art Walk invites the public to wander through the streets and shops of downtown Birmingham and peruse the artwork of local and regional artists of all stripes. The gale force winds and torrential downpour of Friday night just about destroyed our little venture. However, with stiff upper lips, we regrouped and reclaimed our ground on 23rd Street Saturday morning. I regret that I cannot name all the wonderful people that came to our aid in our time of need. Without the slightest prompting friends and strangers alike lent their support, literally holding down our tent on multiple occasions, no questions asked, just wanting to help. This is truly a great city full of the kindest folks you could ask for.
To the ever growing list of new food and drink establishments popping up in Birmingham’s Lakeview district add Mojo Pub and Grill. Forgoing the trappings of the gastropub, Mojo’s concept is almost revolutionary in its simplicity: a comfortable neighborhood bar serving exceptionally well executed takes on American bar food staples. Their one concession to fancy bar food, the duck confit fries, is so good you can hardly hold it against them. From the cheesesteaks to the burgers to the hand-battered corn dogs, Mojo’s food is simple, unpretentious and absolutely delicious.
The recently renovated Walnut Gallery in Gadsden, Alabama played host this June to the latest iteration of artist Jenny Fine’s ever-evolving work inspired by her family and its connection to her hometown of Enterprise, Alabama. Her piece, “Flat Granny and Me: A Precession in My Mind,” is an otherworldly experience, related to reality only through the recognizable Southern imagery of cotton stacks, red clay, peanuts and effervescent Southern belles. Upon stepping into the gallery space, one has the sense of having somehow stumbled into Ms. Fine’s unconscious mind mid-dream. Out of the costumed characters, machine produced fog, shifting lights and ethereal soundtrack, Ms. Fine has produced a sometimes eerie, sometimes touching tableau of sights and sounds that places one firmly within history and simultaneously outside any physical place or time.
Birmingham Fashion Week took place the first week in May this year. A series of events culminated in the final runway show Saturday night. Under a huge white tent, in the sweltering heat, myself and a dozen or so other photographers shot the event from “the pit.” Not actually a pit at all, but a raised platform at the end of the runway, from this vantage point we stretched and strained, composed and recomposed and let shutters fly throughout what proved to be an exhilarating night of fashion and performance!
Black Sheep Antiques is located in Harpersville, Alabama, about a 45 minute drive from Birmingham. Although it’s a bit out of the way, the moment you step inside you realize you’ve found something special. Owner Barbara Adkins’ stylish aesthetic sensibility is readily apparent, not only in the items she selects during her travels around the Southeast, but also in the thoughtful and elegant way in which she arranges them in her shop. I really enjoyed taking some photos of this beautifully curated little space recently.
I recently had the good fortune to see St. Paul and The Broken Bones while shooting a private event. I already knew and loved this band’s music, but seeing them live was truly amazing. Their live show is even better than I imagined: energetic, musically potent, and front man Paul Janeway’s charismatic stage presence is a joy to behold!