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Magic City Art Connection will not be honoring an Emerging Artist this year. Instead, check out MCAC’s 2019 Distinguished Artist honoree, Amy Pleasant.

Or take a look back at 2018’s Emerging Artist(below), plus past Emerging Artists we’ve spotlighted at the bottom of this page!

Mia Badham
Birmingham, Alabama
Paper Sculpture, Clay, Mixed Media, Drawing, Printmaking, Painting

Artist’s Statement
The body is a vessel that contains remnants of an individual existence. The moments that shape or scarred you leave behind evidence. Details slip away, but their impact remains undeniable.

In my work I contemplate the markings that our lives leave behind. At first I considered physical evidence, a wrinkle or a scar. Skin provides evidence of old memories and forgotten pain. I think of it as a site that could be excavated to unearth the stories beneath. Some events don’t leave a visible reminder. I give a voice to the traces left behind by emotional trials such as a bad habit or a broken heart.

There are some imprints that cannot be simply wiped away. I investigate the complex layering of memory and how the different elements collage together over time. Every new experience is tainted by what came before. A feeling can linger, seemingly invisible, until some trigger brings it to light. I am interested in the connections between past memories and present realities. Seemingly random interactions can overlap and reveal something unexpected.

Mia Badham graduated from University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and minors in Art History and Marketing. She explores a variety of different media, but is mainly attracted to mixed media sculpting and ceramics. Her work suggests the palimpsest of the human body; the growth and alteration of memory over time. She is employed as a studio assistant for a local ceramic artist and recently interned at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.

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

To see more of her work, scroll below. Or visit Mia’s website.


Magic City Art Connection’s (#MagicCityArt/#MCACbham) Emerging Artist Award is an honor handed out annually to a talented Birmingham artist. This award was established to spotlight, support and present new Birmingham artists of great artistic potential and integrity to Festival sponsors, patrons and the public. In addition to being prominently featured at the contemporary art festival, the recipient will receive a $350 cash juried award, tickets to some of MCAC’s big events like Art Bash (Feb 24th) and Corks & Chefs (April 28 & 29, 12-3pm), and will be recognized at MCAC’s Friday Night Applause Awards event.

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