Your art could be displayed in Birmingham—find out how local muralists can land these two opportunities

local muralist
Birmingham’s Rainbow Wall volunteers paint the 500-foot mural on June 1-2, 2019. (Pat Byington / Bham Now)

Birmingham is full of inspiring local muralists—some that have created iconic imagery that will last for years. These organizations can’t do it alone and they’re calling on you to help bring their ideas to life. Sound like something that might be up your alley? Keep reading to see how aspiring muralists could potentially have their art displayed in Birmingham.

Create Birmingham’s Asphalt Art Initiative

It wouldn’t be The Magic City without our vibrant community. That’s why Birmingham was chosen as one of 26 cities to receive an Asphalt Art Initiative grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. This grant provides funding for art in unusual spots, such as roadways, pedestrian spaces and public infrastructure to ultimately create a safer and more vibrant city.

Create Birmingham, a local nonprofit that supports Birmingham’s creative spaces, is heading up Birmingham’s Asphalt Art Initiative in partnership with The City of Birmingham—but they can’t do it alone. Check out these volunteers from other Asphalt Art Initiatives in the photos above.

This new mural, designated to be painted in Birmingham’s Smithfield neighborhood at 8th Avenue West and Center Street, is a pivotal spot for new art. It is the main through-fare between the neighborhood and downtown, according to Create Birmingham.

The timeline

Here’s the game plan. The application for artists is live through February 14, 2022 at 11:59 PM. With a $4,000 artist fee, the application is open to any artist over the age of 18, preferably with a tie to Smithfield in some way. Instead of your traditional site proposal, artists are expected to submit an artist statement and portfolio of previous projects.

After narrowing the application pool to three artists, the panel will determine which artist will complete the project. They’ll partner with city-wide departments and the Smithfield community itself to make the vision come to life.

Here’s the official timeline of events according to Create Birmingham.

  • February 14: Submissions are due by 11:59 PM
  • March 11 Three artists selected for interviews on March 14-16
  • March 18: Final artist selection announced
  • April 29: Design process completed with the Department of Transportation
  • May-July: Permitting & site prep/Survey data & metrics collection
  • August-September: Project installation

Is this project calling your name? Apply here today.

UAB’s Open Call for local muralists

Go blazers! Photo by Libby Foster for Bham Now.
Go blazers! (Libby Foster/Bham Now)

UAB’s colorful campus is missing one thing—the creativity of local artists. If you’re looking to submit your brilliant idea to their contest, just fill out this form. The space? A mystery. While the exact location has yet to be announced, they hinted at it by describing the space as an “outdoor cement parking garage wall that’s approximately 90′ tall by 125′ wide.” Basically, the possibilities are endless.

This mural will focus on showcasing the rich diversity that is found on UAB’s campus while also contributing to the beautification of their outdoor space.

Applicants must submit their official application which asks you a few short questions about your background in art, your portfolio and your ties to UAB. These must be in by February 15. After much consideration by the committee, they’ll be in touch with the winner of their open call. In order to have this mural finished before The World Games 2022, it needs to be completely July 2022.

Here is the official announcement—so go enter now. What are you waiting for?

Their open call for muralists is happening now.

Why we ❤️ local murals

Birmingham's murals
Grab some friends for a fun photoshoot in front of Birmingham’s murals. (Miranda Shaffer/Bham Now)

Murals celebrate a community—a concept bigger than the artist themselves. At Bham Now, we love a good photoshoot with a local mural, but love crediting the local artists and sharing the details with our Birmingham community even more. We never gatekeep around here!

Want to find more murals around Birmingham? Check out all four parts of our murals guide: 1,2,3 and 4.

Want to keep up with the art community in Birmingham? Give us a follow on our Instagram to see these projects come to fruition.

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Olivia Moses
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