Skip to content

It’s time for Magic City Art Connection’s next FAB 40th reveal – THE FEATURED ART for the 2023 Poster!

This week, we announced on our blog the Festival’s 2023 Featured Artist & Juror, Dirk Staschke. Dirk is a University of Montevallo graduate now residing in Portland Oregon.

Over MCAC’s 39 year history, the Featured Artist distinction has been centered on a gifted group of exhibiting artists and award winners, MCAC Emerging Artist honorees, plus artists garnering regional, national, and international attention who have been invited to Birmingham as festival jurors. Dirk was a Festival exhibitor many, many years ago, and its been wonderful watching the trajectory of his art career since leaving Alabama. Read more about his distinguished artistic accomplishments and accolades here. Reconnecting with Dirk all these years later and inviting him to join us in Birmingham in the dual role as MCAC’s 4oth Featured Artist & Juror is a true full circle moment for us as we take a look back on the Festival’s rich history.

Choosing among Dirk Staschke’s body of work for a great poster image was certainly a feast for the eyes. Introducing “Confectional Facade”. Excerpts about this piece and Dirk’s work follow from Judy Seckler’s review for Ceramics: Art and Perception entitled “Where Confection and Illusion Collide”. Click here for a link to the full article on Dirk’s Website.

Dirk Staschke. Confectional Facade. 2011. 98″x48″x9″. Front View.

“Staschke is more involved with pristine presentation than Claes Oldenburg, an earlier sculptor famously associated with building huge replicas of food and other everyday objects. Staschke furthers the conversation by making his works visceral illusions. The dessert tower seemingly sets on a traditional wooden table, but when one walks around the elaborate sculpture, the entire back is flat,  nondescript, unglazed and without adornment.”

“The architecture of Staschke‘s sculpture is like a movie set where only the façade of the structure has a clear cut narrative. The textures and colours associated with each confection are exacting and generate fleeting moments of beauty and excess. Staschke has said that he draws inspiration from Dutch and Flemish Vanitas still life painting. Vanitas, a Latin word, means emptiness and holds forth that earthly life is meaningless and vanity is transient. Through the artist hand a tension exists between the surrounding conspicuous consumption, and the realization that gastronomy gives way to a hollow aftertaste.”


As we revel in the visual decadence and indulgence of this featured work, we hope you’ll make plans to eat cake with us the last full weekend in April as we toast year 40. We look forward to seeing you at Sloss Furnaces Historic National Landmark April 28-30, 2023.

NOTE: We’ll be back next week with the poster design. Stay tuned to our blog and social media for the next MCAC reveal.


41st Annual MCAC

April 26-28, 2024