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Photographic tribute to the city’s 150th anniversary now on display at Birmingham Museum of Art

In July, the City of Birmingham launched the Birmingham View Photo Challenge – a competition calling for photographs that captured the people, landmarks and events of Birmingham as a tribute to the city’s upcoming 150th anniversary.

The winning photographs from this competition are now on display in a new exhibition at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

On display until January 9, 2022, the works are currently on display in the paneled gallery on the first floor of the museum’s Bohorfoush corridor.

The challenge asked participants to submit photos in four distinct categories: Birmingham Events, Cityscapes & Landscapes, Birmingham Landmarks, and People. The photos were to be taken in Birmingham between 2019 and 2021 using a mobile phone or professional camera.

[READ MORE] Mayor Woodfin announces plans to celebrate Birmingham’s 150th anniversary

A panel of visual artists and city business leaders judged the competition, including fine art photographer Carolyn Sherer, Darius Hill, chair of the visual arts department of the Alabama School of Fine Arts, Laura Kate Whitney of the Birmingham Business Alliance, and photographer and sculptor Celestia “Cookie” Morgan. In 2019, the Birmingham Museum of Art hosted “REDLINE”, Morgan’s series of photographs and small sculptures exploring the history of redlining in Birmingham. One of these photographs is now part of the museum’s permanent collection.

[Read more about Celestia Morgan’s “REDLINE”] Discrimination exposed by brilliant black artist from Alabama

In a press release, Birmingham city organizers said the contest judges were in awe of the entries and in awe of the “creative choice of subject and composition” of the entrants.

The judges of the Birmingham View photo competition. (Courtesy of the City of Birmingham)

“The selections truly represented the breadth and richness of life in the Magic City,” said Dr Graham Boettcher, director of the Birmingham Museum of Art, in the same press release.

The Photo Challenge is one of many initiatives announced by Mayor Randall Woodfin as part of the city’s 150th anniversary. A letter-writing campaign called “I love Birmingham because…” was also launched this year. Poet Seneca Wilson submitted his love letter to the city in a poem and video. A copy of his poem, “The Magic City”, is also on display in the Birmingham Museum of Art Photo Gallery. The poem and video are also on the city’s 150th anniversary website.

"The magical city" by Sénèque Wilson

Seneca Wilson’s “The Magic City” is also on display in the Birmingham View Photo Gallery. (Courtesy of the City of Birmingham)

The letters will be kept in the Archives Department of the Birmingham Public Library. People can always send their love letters about Birmingham to [email protected] with the subject line: “I love Birmingham because.

Birmingham officially became a city on December 19, 1871 when the state legislature voted to confirm it as a city.

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