12 Black artists in Birmingham that are making the city look better

studio 2500
This mural at local artist, Willie Williams Jr.’s art gallery Studio 2500 was painted by E.L. Chisolm of ELCreative LLC. (Tira Davis / Bham Now)

Our community is filled with unbelievable talent whether it is musical, theatrical or artistic. The beauty of our city has been enhanced with dozen or new murals around town and even street art. Here are 12 amazing Black fine artists in Birmingham you should know about who are leaving their marks in The Magic City with brush strokes.

Loved the mural in our featured image? It was painted by E.L. Chisolm of ELCreative LLC. Be sure to check out the website.

1. Carey Fountain

local art
Fountain calls this drawing “Self-Portrait #1”. (Carey Fountain)

Carey Fountain is a multidisciplinary artist, musician and community organizer. Fountain takes on many forms of art including painting, photography and videography. His works have been featured in Sidewalk Film Festivals and he is the Manager of Public Programs for the Birmingham Museum of Art.

2. Larry Silver

local art
Silver and his painting “Masks Only” at Studio 2500. (Larry Silver)

Larry Silver is a creative who describes his art as a form of communication and uses it to tell the experience of where we as Black people are, have been and where it is possible for us to go. You can view two of his latest pieces on display at Studio 2500 in North Birmingham.

3. Alan Thornton

local art
Isn’t this painting amazing? (Alan Thornton)

Alan Thornton is a painter and commercial artist in Birmingham who plays with color and contrast. He creates colorful depictions of the average person through mainly markers and acrylic paint. His cartoon doodle drawings will put my stick people to shame—you have to check them out.


YOGI DADA is a local artist and painter who creates beautiful things for humans. She believes that art is truly what you make it and produces artwork for humanity. She recently collaborated with Naughty but Nice Kettle Corn on a collector’s limited edition kettle corn to celebrate Black women in history.

5. Michael T. Atkins

Another artist in Birmingham you have to check out is Michael T. Atkins. Atkins is an Alabama native whose technique conveys a sense of harmony with rich, vibrant hues. According to his website, his artwork is included in numerous private art collection throughout the U.S. and he uses his childhood and past traumas as inspiration for fueling his passion for painting.

6. Lynthia Edwards

local art
Did you know that Edwards received multiple awards for her art? (Lynthia Edwards)

Lynthia Edwards is a multidisciplinary artist who is best known for her collage pieces that present the complex emotions associated with Black girls’ experiences in the South. Her creations tend to express the racial and gendered isolation she experienced as child with different versions of her younger self.

7. Sydney A. Foster

artist in Birmingham
Look at this breathtaking photo. (Sydney A. Foster)

Sydney Foster is an Alabama-based artist who brings art to life through a camera lens rather than a paint brush. She is an image maker and director whose work have gained popularity is surrounding areas including Atlanta, Georgia. Her solo exhibition “Sydney A. Foster: Realities and Reflections” can be viewed at Wiregrass Museum of Art in Dothan through March 26.

8. Erin LeAnn Mitchell

Erin LeAnn Mitchell tends to create artwork through various mediums that include acrylic paint, fabric appliqué and spray paint. According to her website, her work propels Black people into a space and time that enables us to live authentically free. As a continuum of those who came before and those who will come after, she delivers messages of a brighter future in the black experience.

9. Zachary A. Edison

Zachary Edison’s artworks range from drawings, paintings, intaglio prints, and sculptures and have been included in numerous exhibitions. They are even a part of various private collections. He is a preparator with the Birmingham Museum of Art and a member of Birmingham’s non-profit printmaking co-op PaperWorkers Local (a society of artists working to promote and create opportunities for other local artists).

10. Steven Mark Finley Jr.

Steven Mark Finley Jr is a contemporary fine artist who works wonders with acrylic paint and a blank canvas. You can view his newest collection of painting at TrimTab Brewing Company on Fifth Avenue South. The collection includes these paintings:

  • Conversations After Dark
  • Tight Grip
  • Rolling Lies (The Gamble)
  • Nine Kisses (Lucky One)
  • Talkin Alot (But What Are You Saying?)

11. Tony M. Bingham

Tony M. Bingham is a local artist and instructor at Miles College. Bingham has collaborated with Birmingham-based Architecture and Construction company Creature in 2021 on a project called Praise House – Sun Shadows where they followed his design. He was also the 2020 SECAC Artist Fellowship Award Recipient.

12. Amber (Quinn) Cunningham

Amber Quinn Cunningham is a photographic artist who is studying and continuing her artistic practices at The University of Alabama. Cunningham lives by a quote by American visual artist Roy Decarava that says—

“You should be able to look at me and see my work. You should be able to look at my work and see me.”

And her artwork follows that notion.

But wait, there’s more

Birmingham is in no shortage of artistic individuals. Check out these others stories we’ve done that includes 12 more artists:

Did we miss your favorite local artist? Tag us @BhamNow and let us know. Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE newsletter.

Tira Davis
Tira Davis
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