After slowly reincorporating in-person events during the fall of 2021, the Birmingham Museum of Art presents a full slate of programming and exhibitions for the Spring / Summer Season 2022.
“For the first time since the pandemic began, we are thrilled to present a full slate of in-person programs and exhibitions for the spring / summer season, offering our visitors a deeper level of engagement and connection through art and culture,” says Graham C. Boettcher, R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art.
“Our exhibitions range in topic and breadth from ancient Indian sculptures to a large and colorful contemporary installation portraying Birmingham legends. Our programming will offer intimate ArtBreaks in the galleries with experts, lectures by world-renowned artists, lively Heritage Festivals, and the return of our fun and famous Art On The Rocks.”
He added, “This season, we’ll also celebrate Magic City Fashion Week, Pride Month, and invite the community to an evening open house where they can get to know all of our many collections. The arts are thriving in Birmingham and we are ready to celebrate.”
Expanding Darshan: Manjari Sharma, To See and Be Seen will be on view in the Pizitz Galleries from March 19–Jan. 15, 2023. Bringing together the striking work of rising star—global contemporary artist Ms. Manjari Sharma—with the diverse historic collections of the Birmingham Museum of Art, this exhibition not only introduces nine of the most significant deities of the Hindu pantheon and their contemporary relevance in art and faith, but also serves as a gateway to the concept of darshan—to see and be seen by the divine. Through select masterworks from the Museum’s collection, the exhibition explores the little-known temporal and regional expansiveness of the Indic world through works of art from India, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Ways of Seeing: Sports and Games will be on view in the Bohorfoush Gallery from May 10, 2022–May 2023. Ways of Seeing: Sports and Games is an exhibition drawn from across the Museum’s permanent collection that shows the influence of sports and games on art. From ancient to contemporary, art has emphasized the importance of sports to societies globally. While images of athletes and games have had major impacts on artistic practices globally, art has also shaped the image of the athlete in popular consciousness. Drawing a parallel between artists and athletes, this exhibition reveals the longstanding relationship between art and sports/games.
The BMA serves as co-host and venue for Magic City Fashion Week (June 10 – 12), an initiative that aims to cultivate, connect, and showcase the artistic community of Birmingham through fashion. MCFW places a strong emphasis on the development of emerging designers while fostering engagement with community partners to utilize fashion as a vehicle for change.
Wall to Wall: Rico Gaston will be installed in the Museum Lobby Areas from July 15, 2022–July 2023. The second artist in the Wall to Wall series, Brooklyn-based contemporary artist Rico Gaston will transform the walls of the Museum lobby with a colorful, life-size image of an iconic Birmingham figure and an abstract composition. Guests during the Museum’s signature program, Art on the Rocks, will be invited to paint alongside Rico in the lobby to help complete the installation. By using community engagement, he hopes to bring the energy from the Civil Rights movement into the present. Born in Augusta, Georgia, Gatson grew up in Southern California and received his BFA from Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1989, and his MFA from Yale School of Art in 1991.
The BMA’s major programs attract diverse audiences and each event often welcomes hundreds of visitors. Aside from Art on the Rocks for which a ticket purchase is required, all major programs are offered to the community free of charge.
A community celebration, The (Spring) ReFRAME sponsored by Medical Properties Trust takes place on March 18 and kicks off the spring season with a fun night at the Museum, highlighting recently opened exhibitions and our outstanding permanent collections. Be the first to see our newest exhibition, Expanding Darshan: Manjari Sharma, To See and Be Seen, a show that explores nine Hindu deities by juxtaposing vibrant contemporary art with historic ancient Indic art from the BMA’s permanent collection. Hear from the artist herself with a special in-person lecture by Manjari Sharma. Enjoy pop-up performances, live music, activities, and more in galleries throughout the BMA. Space is limited and registration is required.
As a part of our quarterly Heritage Festivals sponsored by Medical Properties Trust, The 11th Annual Holi Festival will take place on Saturday, March 19, celebrating the arrival of the spring season with Indian dance performances, art-making activities, live music, and finally the throwing of colors in the BMA’s parking lot. In June, we’ll host the African Heritage Festival inspired by our wide-ranging collection of African art. This event will feature live music, food, performances rooted in cultures of the African diaspora.
Art After 5 is a bimonthly after-hours series where art and pop culture collide, featuring a casual evening of art, drinks, music, and maker activities. In April, Art After 5 will partner with Bib and Tucker’s Recycled Runway with a throwback theme inspired by the classic 80s sitcom, A Different World. In June, we’ll celebrate Pride month in the Magic City with a colorful evening of performances and making.
For more than 15 years, Art on the Rocks has been one of Birmingham’s most popular summer events. On July 15th, Art on the Rocks makes a glorious return to the Magic City with live music, artist performances, DJs, signature cocktails, an interactive community mural project, and more. Don’t miss the only Art on the Rocks of 2022!
WEDNESDAYS AT THE BMA
Whether a tour, lecture, or gallery talk, each Wednesday the BMA will offer an opportunity to delve deeper into our collections with Museum educators and art experts. Our popular ArtBreak series is a quick 30-minute lunchtime gallery experience featuring special guests, including Meghan McCollum of Blank Space, a women-led social venture that works to use public art to reclaim space and strengthen communities. She’ll speak with Hugh Kaul Curator of Contemporary Art Hallie Ringle about the BMA’s ongoing Wall to Wall mural series.
Art in Conversation provides a casual lecture environment for speakers like local photographer Celestia Morgan who will talk about her Dear Black Son Project, which explores the private discussions between Black fathers and their sons via portraits juxtaposed with comments or questions. Our Highlights Tours are provided by Museum staff and feature new perspectives on collection areas such as the March tour, Goddesses around the Globe, led by Assistant Director of Learning and Engagement, Angela May.
Several other upcoming in-person and virtual programs can be found on our website, artsbma.org, along with further details about exhibitions and programming registration. Dates and details of the programs are subject to change due to the ongoing pandemic.
Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art holds one of the finest collections in the Southeast. More than 27,000 objects displayed and housed within the Museum represent a rich panorama of cultures, including Asian, European, American, African, Pre-Columbian, and Native American.