Celebrate Magic City Art Connection’s FAB 40th with artists, food + more—April 28-30

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Magic City Art Connection
Magic City Art Connection is an art lovers dream festival. (Magic City Art Connection)

Get your party blowers ready, Birmingham! Magic City Art Connection (MCAC) returns for its FAB 40th anniversary, April 28-30 at Sloss Furnaces, and it’s going to be an event you’ll never forget. From incredible artists featuring works of all mediums to amazing food and drinks including the 26th Corks & Chefs event, read on for what to expect this year. Tickets available in advance here. 

Event Details – 40th Magic City Art Connection

Magic City Art Connection
Shop artist booths for amazing works of art. (Magic City Art Connection)

Discover art from local & regional artists

Magic City Art Connection
“Confectional Facade” by Dirk Staschke. (Magic City Art Connection)

MCAC’s main focus is spotlighting art and artists, and during this year’s FAB 40th, you’ll discover amazing works guaranteed to wow you. Whether you’re new to the art world, are art curious or a serious collector, there will be thousands of works of art on exhibit in all mediums, styles and price points, so be prepared to explore and shop.

As the Festival celebrates its 40th year in Birmingham, it is reconnecting with many of its supporters and past artists. Dirk Staschke is one of those artists. Although he will not be exhibiting his work at MCAC, he does have a dual role at the FAB 40th—Featured Poster Artist & Juror. 

  • His 2011 piece, “Confectional Facade”, is being showcased on MCAC’s 40th annual Festival poster. Made up of around 40 towering cakes and confections built in clay, it’s the perfect piece for the poster design, plus it’s a sweet nod to the festival’s momentous birthday year. 
  • He’s jurying the 175 artists in the show and giving out cash awards to talented artists.

Plus, Dirk has a special connection to the Festival, Birmingham, Huntsville and Montevallo University.  

  • He was an early MCAC exhibitor from the 1995 festival, creating a full circle moment for MCAC as he returns once again in the dual role of poster artist + juror. 
  • He’s a full-time studio artist in Portland, Oregon, but has strong ties to Alabama. He’s originally from Huntsville and graduated with a BFA from Montevallo University. 
  • His work has been shown internationally + resides in the permanent collections of several museums. COOL FACT: Dirk’s work “Fish Tray” is in the permanent collection at the Birmingham Museum of Art. 

“I have a special connection to this fair from when I was awarded the First Place Prize in 1995. In addition, it was the first time I had made a substantial income from the sale of art and the first realization that it was possible to make a living as an artist.”

Dirk Staschke, Artist

Celebrating 40 incredible years

Magic City Art Connection
It’s time to celebrate Magic City Art Connection’s FAB 40th. (Magic City Art Connection)

In honor of MCAC’s milestone anniversary, the festival will feature something extra special—MCAC’s 2023 Spotlighted Exhibits. This awe-inspiring exhibit offers a look back at works purchased at MCAC over the years by local collectors and supporters. 

Local cake designers, bakers and cake enthusiasts are also taking part in the celebration by creating artful designs for a beautiful—and delicious—confections exhibition called “Eat Cake”. 

Be sure to stop by the Sloss Furnaces Bath House to see both of these Special Exhibitions!

Can’t wait to attend MCAC’s FAB 40, April 28-30? Get your tickets in advance now!

Enjoy food & drinks

Magic City Art Connection
Popsicles are the perfect festival treat. (Magic City Art Connection)

What pairs best with incredible art during a weekend-long festival? Food and drinks! During MCAC, some of the city’s hottest—and tastiest—food trucks will be on site serving up mouthwatering eats, drinks and more. Here are some to expect:

Grab a seat at a tented lounge area or the Cafe & Dining area. You can also eat on the move while browsing artist booths and more.

Check out the full list of food vendors and which day(s) they’ll be at the event.

Special foodie event

Corks & Chefs
Incredible food, drinks + more at Corks & Chefs. (Magic City Art Connection)

Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30, Corks & Chefs: Taste of Birmingham returns for its 26th year during the MCAC festival. This is one of Birmingham’s longest-running events of its kind, gathering chefs, caterers, bartenders, brewers, vintners and more for a flavorful experience you’ll never forget. 

There will be one tasting session per day from Noon-3PM, presenting eight culinary features alongside wine, craft beer, cocktails, kombucha and tasting seminars.

From Sol y Luna and Tasty Town to The Essential and The Son of a Butcher, feast your eyes on Corks & Chef’s full lineup here

Event Details – Corks & Chef’s

Educational experiences for kids & adults

Magic City Art Connection
Kids will experience art-making projects and more. (Magic City Art Connection)

Art making and art education are big at MCAC, and the most exciting part is there are lots of activities, classes and more for both kids and adults.

For the kids:

Children of all ages can explore MCAC’s Imagination Festival (IF)—a unique area that promotes creativity, learning and exploration. Here, they’ll take part in inspiring and educational small- and large-scale art-making workshops led by some of The Magic City’s very own artists and instructors.

Greater Birmingham Area school students will also take part in the festival through IF’s Art Trip programming. Thanks to this program:

  • 600 elementary students will visit the festival and engage in hands-on-art-making projects.
  • Students from Greater Birmingham Area schools will take part in the High School Sculpture Project Competition, creating unique sculptures and installing them at Sloss Furnaces. The theme of this year’s competition is “Shape-Shift-Flight”.

For the adults:

Magic City Art Connection
Adults will have plenty of art-making opportunities. (Magic City Art Connection)


MCAC has partnered with Forstall Art Center to bring back a festival favorite—Collectors Classroom. Saturday & Sunday, Birmingham artists and instructors will present a series of two-hour educational art classes for adults in a variety of mediums. There are limited seats. So sign up today!

View classes, Master Artists and reserve your spot.

Inspiring through live performances

Magic City Art Connection
Get ready for live + interactive performances. (Magic City Art Connection)

Want to make your MCAC experience even better? Add in time to see some of the live dance and music performances scheduled. What’s especially cool is that many of the performances are being presented in an up close and personal way. Some performances could even move amongst the gathering audiences and performance space.

Here’s a peek at some of the performances taking place throughout the festival weekend:

Performances will take place at the Festival Cafe/Visitors Center and at the Spray Pond. Go here for the full list of performances, plus dates and times.

Know before you go

Magic City Art Connection
Magic City Art Connection is a must-attend festival in Birmingham. (Magic City Art Connection)
  • Shuttle Service: To catch a ride from the west end to the east end of Sloss, or vice versa, a shuttle service will be available Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30 during festival hours. Hop aboard the shuttle at these locations:
    • Gate A: Located under the First Avenue North viaduct adjacent to the Sloss Field parking lot.
    • Festival CafĂ©: Located at the northwest end of Sloss Furnaces’ Visitor Center parking lot.
  • Festival Entry: This year, there will be two entry points into the event.
    • GATE A: Located under the First Avenue North viaduct adjacent to the Sloss Field parking lot. (Available Friday-Sunday)
    • GATE B: 32nd Street North across from Back Forty Brewing at Sloss Furnace’s South Road entrance. (Available Saturday-Sunday)
  • Venue Map: For a closer look at the festival site, view the venue map.

For more on Magic City Art Connection, visit their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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