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People of Birmingham are being recognized and honored on some very distinguished lists these days. It’s not surprising. We boast some amazing talent here.

This past May in the world of food, Pardis Stitt and Chef Frank Stitt’s restaurant, Highlands Bar & Grill, took home two coveted James Beard honors for “Outstanding Restaurant” and “Outstanding Pastry Chef” (Dolester Miles).

The art world in Birmingham is not far behind. The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced its fellows for 2018 this past April. Among the winners is our very own Amy Pleasant, visual artist and co-founder of The Fuel And Lumber Company, an idea and space which facilitates exhibitions and related programming in the Southeast dedicated to contemporary art and community engagement.

We had the pleasure of spotlighting Amy and her work as the recipient of Magic City Art Connection’s 2003 Emerging Artist Award. 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. We have followed Amy’s art career closely since 2003, and it is especially heartwarming to see her talent being recognized in such a huge way.  Help us congratulate Amy on this wonderful honor! Or better yet, find a work of hers for your own collection. One piece is currently on view at AEIVA from the collection of Jack & Rebecca Drake.

Here are some more links and interviews with Amy about the Guggenheim Fellow.


This year, the foundation has awarded 173 fellowships to a diverse group of scholars, artists, and scientists selected from almost 3,000 applications. The fellowships are given on the basis of “prior achievement and exceptional promise.” Winners receive cash grants of varying amounts, which are undisclosed. The average grant is around $45,000.

Fine Art fellows:

•Dennis Adams, New York City; Professor, School of Art, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science
•Mequitta Ahuja, Baltimore, Maryland
•Dave Hullfish Bailey, Van Nuys, California
•Janet Biggs, Brooklyn, New York
•Phillip Chen, Ellis and Nelle Levitt Distinguished Professor of Art, Drake University
•Julia Christensen, Oberlin, Ohio; Associate Professor of Integrated Media Arts, Oberlin College
•Esperanza Cortés, New York City
•Craig Drennen, Atlanta, Georgia; Associate Professor and Graduate Director, Welch School of Art and Design, Georgia State University
•Amy Feldman, Brooklyn, New York
•Richard Fleischner, Providence, Rhode Island
•Kate Gilmore, Jackson Heights, New York; Associate Professor of Art and Design, Purchase College, SUNY
•Todd Gray, Los Angeles, California
•Hiroyuki Hamada, East Hampton, New York
•Dave Hardy, Brooklyn, New York
•Stephen Hayes, Portland, Oregon
•Lies Kraal, Venice, California
•Elizabeth LaPensée, East Lansing, Michigan; Assistant Professor, Department of Media and Information, Michigan State University
•Chris Larson, St. Paul, Minnesota; Associate Professor of Art, University of Minnesota
•Robert L. Lobe, New York City
•Nicole Miller, San Diego, California; Acting Associate Professor of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego
•Amy Pleasant, Birmingham, Alabama
•Annabeth Rosen, Davis, California; Professor and Arneson Endowed Chair, Department of Art & Art History, University of California, Davis:
•Margo Sawyer, Austin, Texas; Professor of Sculpture and Extended Media, University of Texas at Austin
•David Schutter, Chicago, Illinois; Associate Professor, Department of Visual Art, University of Chicago
•Charles Yuen, Brooklyn, New York

Photography fellows:

• Tsar Fedorsky, Gloucester, Massachusetts; Photography Teacher, The Taft School
• Lukas Felzmann, San Francisco, California; Lecturer in Art, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University
• Anthony Hernandez, Los Angeles, California
• David Maisel, Sausalito, California
• Pradip Malde, Sewanee, Tennessee; Professor of Art, University of the South
• Rania Matar, Brookline, Massachusetts
• Nicholas Muellner, Los Angeles, California; Associate Professor and CoDirector, Image Text MFA and Press, Ithaca College
• Kristine Potter, Nashville, Tennessee:
• Meghann Riepenhoff, Bainbridge Island, Washington
• Nadia Sablin, New Paltz, New York; Assistant Professor of Art, SUNY New Paltz
• Hank Willis Thomas, Brooklyn, New York
• Ian van Coller, Bozeman, Montana; Associate Professor of Photography, Montana State University

41st Annual MCAC

April 26-28, 2024