APPROVED: 260 foot wide mural across from Legacy Arena celebrating Alabama women

Main Street Mural
The mural is slated to be installed in June 2023 on the 10th Ave side of the DCI Building located across from Legacy Arena at 920 19th Street North. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

The Birmingham Design Review Committee has approved the painting of a mural—called Steel Magnolias—celebrating famous Alabama women.

The augmented reality-based 260-feet-wide and 20-feet-tall mural is slated to be installed in June 2023 on the 10th Ave side of the DCI Building located across from Legacy Arena at 920 19th Street North.

Main Street, Inc.

Main Street Inc.
The Main Street Mural Team presenters pictured below at the Design Review Committee on April 12, 2023: From left: Seth Collins, Allyson Anderson, Ahmad Mardis, Angelique LeDoux, (Front) Eric Higginbotham, (not pictured) Kaitlyn West. (Main Street, Inc.)

Main Street, Inc., in partnership with the owners of the DCI Building, created a volunteer-based ‘Main Street Mural Committee,’ consisting of local employees to see the project to fruition.

Last year, the committee conducted a “Call for Entries” among Alabama’s most noted Muralists that included Birmingham, regional and global muralists.

Local artist Meghan McCollum of Blank Space Bham, LLC and her team of talented artists, including Dewon Moton, will collaborate on The Steel Magnolias mural.

Here is a description of The Steel Magnolias mural from the Main Street:

“The Mural chosen depicts transformational female leaders whose voices helped change a generation and bridge communities. They represent strength, the importance of women using their voices, and reference elements that include Alabama’s familiar magnolia flower and the bold colors and quilt patterns of the Gee’s Bend Quilters*.”

The women of Gee’s Bend, a small remote black community in Alabama, have created hundreds of quilt masterpieces dating from the early 20th century to the present by transforming recycled work clothes and dresses, feed sacks and fabric remnants to sophisticated design vessels of cultural survival.”

Notable Alabama women that are planned to be on the mural include:

  • Rosa Parks
  • Coretta Scott-King
  • Helen Keller 
  • Harper Lee

Augmented Reality

Main Street
The mural is slated to be installed in June 2023 on the 10th Ave side of the Main Street, Inc — DCI Building located across from Legacy Arena at 920 19th Street North. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

According to Main Street, Inc., the muralists will use augmented reality technology to enhance the mural, making it interactive and educational. 

Here is a description from the group on how it works.

“Once the mural is completed, the Mural elements will come to life with augmented reality technology that is accessible by your cell phone. Viewers may stand safely on the sidewalk across the street from the art, point their phone at the image and watch as flowers open, the butterfly flies off the building and onto the top of the smokestack, and stories of the courageous women unfold. We may partner with other organizations to make the stories of these transformational women an interactive, engaging and educational part of the experience for the viewer.”

Circle Your Calendars

Main Street, Inc. and its team will be planning a Community Paint Day and an unveiling event to celebrate the newest mural into the Birmingham community. The organization will also celebrate its 25th year in business.

Watch this space for details about upcoming events.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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