Birmingham is awash with talented artists, from music to media to art and more. We are fortunate to have some of the best in the business right in our figurative backyard. Before I moved to Birmingham I never really cared that much about art, local or otherwise. However, after falling madly in love with Naked Art (thanks to my good friend, Lee) not long after moving to Birmingham, I jumped on the art bandwagon. Naked Art appealed to the non-conformist in me, carrying all types of strange and wonderful pieces by local artists. I had never seen anything like it before and I was hooked. Since discovering Naked Art, I have slowly, but steadily, grown my art collection and it’s full of some of my favorite artists like Sarah Woodall, Vero Vanblaere, Scott Thigpen, Chad Moore, Chris Davis, and others.
Sarah Woodall’s skylines are a must have for any Birmingham lover. She does commission work, but you can usually find her pieces during the year at ArtWalk, some of the monthly Art Crawls, and her web site sarahwoodallart.com. Being in love with all things Birmingham, we actually have a few of her pieces on our walls, some received as gifts and some just gifts to ourselves. From her depictions of Vulcan, the infamous Magic City sign, and more, Sarah creates masterpieces that work well in any decor.
Another one of my all-time favorites is local celebrity Vero Vanblaere. Vero actually owns the previously mentioned Naked Art gallery and that’s where I first discovered her work. Her pieces are so unique, many whimsical, and all tell a story. Vero also does commissioned work and her pieces can be found inside Naked Art, as well as many festivals around town. Vero’s talent has spilled over into filmmaking and she recently released her first short film Bottomless to rave reviews.
Chad Moore’s photography business is called Piffle Pics and the name is perfect. His photography cracks me up. I’m not an art connoisseur (or even that good with words), so the best way for me to describe it is pictures with characters inserted into them, usually in somewhat ironic or funny situations. They’re not always funny though; my favorite piece by Chad is a “You Are Beautiful” photograph that he did.
Chris Davis is another local boy made good. Between his commissioned playful dog portraits, clay platypi, and Vulcan beards, his art can be found all throughout Birmingham. Add to that his amazing graphic design skills, improv and comedy acts, and you’ve got a first-class artist.
Rounding out my the top of my list are Scott Thigpen, John Lytle Wilson, Delaine Derry Green, and Eric Johnson. Thigpens creations are beyond witty, Wilson’s robots and unicorns feed my inner child, Green’s vintage-inspired pieces make me wish for simpler times, and Johnson’s Birmingham metal works give me the warm fuzzies.
Do you have any favorite local artists? If so, who are they and why? Tell me in the Comments below.