Magic City Art Connection is back April 22-24—meet the artists, chefs + more making this year’s event a smash hit


Magic City Art Connection
Find art galore. (Magic City Art Connection)

Magic City Art Connection (MCAC) is back April 22-24 at Sloss Furnaces and we are bursting with joy! From awe-inspiring artists and outstanding chefs to fun and festive entertainment, this year’s event is sure to be one you’ll never forget. Avoid that FOMO—read all about what’s in store at this beloved Birmingham event then grab your tickets to attend.

A 39 year celebration 🎉

Magic City Art Connection
Magic City Art Connection

New to the MCAC scene? Then get ready to learn why it’s sure to be your new favorite event.

MCAC is a three-day contemporary arts festival that’s brought art, culture, creativity and more to The Magic City for over 30 years. In fact, 2022 marks the festival’s 39th year! This year’s event takes place Friday-Sunday, April 22-24 at Sloss Furnaces and is gearing up to be an amazing weekend.

Here’s what to expect during the festival:

  • 150 juried fine artists from the region and around the country featuring thousands of works of art in all mediums, styles & price points
  • Corks & Chefs: A Taste of Birmingham (25th year! Ticketed.)
  • Imagination Festival art workshops for kids
  • Live dance & music performances on stage
  • Special exhibitions & art installations
  • Festival Café with food trucks
  • And more!
Magic City Art Connection
Imagination Festival. (Magic City Art Connection)

New this year: an entertainment district located near Sloss Visitor Center and outdoor plaza. Here you’ll discover live music, food trucks, more artists and dreamy downtown views.

Get your tickets now for Magic City Art Connection.

Artists in the spotlight

In keeping with previous years, MCAC brings art of all kinds to The Magic City, making it an awe-inspiring event for art collectors and newbies as well as the art curious. Two artists to have on your radar during the festival are MCAC Featured Artist Chloe York and MCAC Distinguished Artist Ann Trondson. Meet them both:

Chloe York | MCAC Featured Artist

Magic City Art Connection
Chloe York—Magic City Art Connection’s Featured Artist. (Chloe York)

Chloe York has held a prominent presence in the art world with over 100 group and solo exhibitions throughout the mid-South. Her eye-catching and whimsical creations come alive with intricate detail, candied colors and bold patterns.

“This will be my third year taking part in MCAC. Since moving to Birmingham in 2017, the festival has been instrumental in connecting me with the incredible artistic community here, artists and art lovers alike. 

To have been selected for the honor of Featured Artist this year has been very exciting, to say the least. I had a blast working with the marketing team to choose an image of my work for the promotional materials and it was a wonderful feeling to see my special profile page on MCAC’s website. There’s an incredible lineup of makers this year, as always. I’m definitely in good company!”

Chloe York, Artist

Awarded Best in Show at the 2021 Magic City Art Connection, be on the lookout for her work at this year’s event. Learn more about Chloe

Ann Trondson | MCAC Distinguished Artist

Meet Ann Trondson, Alabama-based multidisciplinary artist and 11th recipient of MCAC’s 2022 Distinguished Artist Award. The honor, which has been given to a handful of local artists over the festival’s 39 years, is a tribute to an artists accomplishments and leaderships.

Ann’s latest exhibition, The Day Series, features daily collages that are pieced together via fragments from the Sunday edition of the New York Times in order to create a visual depiction of the maelstrom of news we’re immersed in on a regular basis.

“I feel so honored to be named this year’s recipient for MCAC’s Distinguished Artist Award and given a space to showcase my newest project, The Day Series.” 

Ann Trondson, Artist

Don’t miss a special exhibition of selected works from Ann Trondson’s The Day Series at this year’s MCAC. Learn more about Ann.

Corks & Chefs is back for its 25th year

What goes best with a weekend filled with art, activities and fresh air? Food and drinks, of course! Get ready to say Cheers!—Corks & Chefs (C&C) is back this year. With Birmingham’s impressive food and drink scene, it’s the perfect MCAC pairing.

The 25th Corks & Chefs: A Taste of Birmingham is one of our city’s most flavorful event experiences featuring chefs, bartenders, brewers, vintners and more. As part of its silver anniversary milestone, C&C is honoring the Birmingham Chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier International, a diverse professional organization of women leaders in food, beverage and hospitality whose mission is education, advocacy, mentoring and philanthropy. The event looks forward to spotlighting a few of their members in the tasty lineup.

Here’s a look at the many featured restaurants, chefs, caterers, cocktail bars and more participating in the event to date. Features are still being added!

Featured Restaurants, Chefs, & Caterers:

  • Chez Lulu / Continental Bakery, Chef Carole Griffin
  • EastWest, Owner Colby Conklin 
  • EATS Highland, Chef Wendy Cruse
  • El Barrio Restaurante y Bar, Chef Neville Baay
  • Homewood Gourmet, Owners Chris & Laura Zapalowski (Les Dames D’Escoffier International Birmingham Chapter Member) 
  • Ocean, Chef George Reis
  • Pizza Grace, Chef Ryan Westover
  • Sol y Luna, Chef Jorge Castro & Aimee Castro (Les Dames D’Escoffier International Birmingham Chapter Member)
  • Southern Graze, Chef Maureen Holt (Les Dames D’Escoffier International Birmingham Chapter Member)
  • Watkins Branch Bourbon & Brasserie, Chef Alexander Johnson
  • Wasabi Juan’s, owners Barby & Luis Toro 
  • Sorelle, Joy Smith (Les Dames D’Escoffier International Birmingham Chapter Member)
  • The Greek Kouzina, Fanoula Gulas (Les Dames D’Escoffier International Birmingham Chapter Member)

Featured Pop-Up Cocktail Bars:

  • Juniper
  • Paper Doll
  • Queen’s Park

Featured local and Alabama breweries & distributors:

  • Avondale Brewing Company
  • Cahaba Brewing Company
  • Druid City Brewing Company 
  • Ghost Train Brewing Company
  • Good People Brewing Company
  • Salty Nut Brewery
  • Straight to Ale
  • Trim Tab Brewing Company
  • Yellowhammer Brewing Company

Featured wine distributors:

  • Alabev
  • International Wines
  • Vineyard Brands

Get your tickets now for Corks & Chefs.

What kind of food will be available at Corks & Chefs?

Eats from Sol y Luna’s 2021 Feature, a Duck Empanada. (Magic City Art Connection)

The answer is all kinds! Sol y Luna Tapas and Tequila was one of Corks & Chefs earliest partners and will be serving up amazing featured food items at this year’s event.

“After all these years it is a tradition for me to be part of C&C. I still remember when I got here in 2000, when with my brother Guillermo participated for the first time, I was really impressed to see this beautiful festival and all the restaurants and camaraderie between owners and chefs.

For me and Sol y Luna, it is important continue to support this event, because it offers the opportunity to be part of one of the best festivals in town and bring more new people to our business.”

Chef Jorge Castro, Owners & Head Chef, Sol y Luna

Another place to watch out for is Pizza Grace, one of the newest restaurants in Birmingham and also a newbie to C&C. While you may know them for their incredible pizza creations, they’ll be featuring something unexpected during C&C—carrot cake that features locally-sourced carrots and a vibrant beet cream cheese icing.

“We are looking forward to connecting with the community. As newcomers, we really enjoy meeting Birminghamians. We love chatting about our passion for naturally leavened bread, artisan ingredients, and local produce. 

Helene Jones, Co-Owner, Pizza Grace

Don’t forget the seated tasting seminars!

Corks & Chefs
Laura Newman from Queen’s Park during a Corks & Chefs seminar in 2019. (Magic City Art Connection)

During C&C, some of Birmingham’s finest food and drink experts offer seated tasting seminars filled with yummy food and/or drinks and lots of know-how. Here are some to look forward to:

  • Steva Casey, Tiki by the Sea, Lou’s PubMint Juleps
  • Stephen Humphreys, Athens ImportsVintage Wines
  • James Joseph, Old Forester: Old Fashion? Old Forester!
  • Laura Newman, Queen’s Park: Magical Modifiers: Creating your own seasonal cocktail ingredients for better at home drinking
  • Chef Susan Notter, Elizabeth Moore Chocolates: Chocolate and ganache tasting featuring single origins
  • Chefs Tyler & Jennifer Lyne, Chef Micah Cook, Tasting TBLMolecular Gastronomy

Check the website for the full seminar schedule

Event Details

Magic City Art Connection:

What: Magic City Art Connection
Friday-Sunday, April 22-24 | Friday, Noon-6PM | Saturday, 10AM-6PM | Sunday 10AM-5PM
Sloss Furnaces, 20 32nd St N, Birmingham, AL 35222
Advance Day Ticket – $10 | Day Ticket at Gate – $12 | Kids 15 + under – free

Special Twilight Hour Event Ticket:

Treat yourself to a sunset Twilight ticket. For $25, it grants you:

  • Entry to all 3 MCAC festival days
  • Access to a unique sunset viewing event on Friday, April 22 from 4-6PM that includes: live performance, a complimentary cocktail and a charcuterie box.

Twilight tickets available here.

Corks & Chefs:

What: Corks & Chefs
Saturday-Sunday, April 23-24 | Session 1: 11:30AM-1:30PM | Session 2: 2-4PM
Sloss Furnaces (under main Casting Shed), 20 32nd St N, Birmingham, AL 35222
Advance Ticket – $45 | Day Ticket at Gate – $55

Want to learn more about Magic City Art Connection? Check out their website and give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram.

Sponsored by:

Patience Itson
Patience Itson
Articles: 1664