Skip to content

After watching her develop as an artist and individual, I can honestly say that Celeste Pfau is one of the best students I have ever had the pleasure of teaching. In retrospect, I see that she
single-handedly changed (in a very positive way) my approach to teaching. She embodied every characteristic you would want in a visual arts student; from having developed a very strong technical proficiency to her extraordinary ability to think conceptually.

Celeste Pfau has been a catalyst for the art community in Birmingham ever since she returned home after receiving a BFA from The Cooper Union in New York City. As a professional, Celeste has proven herself to be a flourishing visual artist; one who possesses an outstanding and whimsical imagination. Celeste follows a path of genuine curiosity about materials and tools, she seeks to make connections with skilled people of varied backgrounds and experiences. Celeste states, “I have an expanding and contracting creative space that breathes in matter like leaves, dirt, and rocks and exhales ephemeral arrangements and snapshots of what happens everyday and everywhere within the natural cycles of our world.” She is a seeker and a dot-connector. Pfau is an artist who does not accept a distinction between art and personal life. Intuitive experimentation is the basis for her practice with the goal of blurring established definitions between artistic fields to look at the creative practice in a new and contextually relevant way.

Celeste brings to mind a favorite Kiki Smith quote: “The point is not to know what you are doing; the point is to have an experience doing.” She takes pride in her craft and there is a soundness and integrity to both her process and her product. Celeste’s enthusiastic approach have proven to be the motivation that propels her, making her one of the more intriguing emerging artists in the state.

– Essay by Darius Hill, Visual Arts Chair, Alabama School of Fine Arts

Find Celeste at the Festival in Booth 115 on the Fountain Walk adjacent to the Info Center Gazebo.


Magic City Art Connection’s (#MagicCityArt) Emerging Artist Award is an honor handed out annually to a talented Birmingham artist. The award was established to spotlight, support and present new artists of great artistic potential and integrity to the Festivals sponsors, patrons and public. In addition to being prominently featured at the contemporary art festival, the recipient will receive a $350 cash award, tickets to some of MCAC’s big events like Art Bash (Feb 25th) and Corks & Chefs, and will be recognized at MCAC’s Friday Night Applause Awards dinner.

Most recent Emerging Artist Honorees:

2017 Celeste Amparo Pfau – Printmaking
2016 Ajene Williams – Metal Sculpture

2015  Jared Ragland – Photography
2014   Sarah Heath – Sculpture & Installation
2013   Christopher Davis – Painting
2012   Daisy Winfrey – Mixed Media
2011   Kristin Skees – Photograhpy
2010   Binx Newton – Mixed Media
2009   Spencer Shoults – Mixed Media
2008   Walt Creel – Mixed Media
2007   John Fields – Painting
2006   Clayton Colvin – Mixed Media
2005   Jane Timberlake – Mixed Media
2004   Merrilee Challiss – Mixed Media
2003   Amy Pleasant Henderson – Painting
2002   Annie Kammerer Butrus – Painting
2001   Joel Seah – Painting, Mixed Media
2000   Allen Peterson – Sculpture
1999   Dan Bynum – Mixed Media
1998   Beth Rogers – Photography
1997   AntJuan Oden – Mixed Media

41st Annual MCAC

April 26-28, 2024