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Magic City Art Connection loves artists. So what better day than Valentine’s Day to unveil this year’s Festival Poster Artist?

It is our pleasure to announce that painter Ellie Ali has been selected as the Featured Artist of the 37th Magic City Art Connection contemporary art festival taking place April 24-25-26, 2020 in downtown Birmingham’s Linn Park.

Ellie first exhibited her work at #MagicCityArt about 20 years ago. Although she was born and raised in New York City, she has lived and painted all over the world from North Africa to India to Europe. When she decided to come South for the MCAC art show, she developed a love and affinity for Birmingham and its community of art supporters and collectors. She kept coming back year after year. And we feel lucky she did. She recently relocated to Portugal, but even that oversea distance isn’t keeping her away from MCAC.

Ellie is self taught. Her paintings are figurative, have a primitive, raw feel, and feature expressive, fluid line work, and the occasional bold use of color and texture. Works can be quite minimal or more layered and complex. But the human form “is a constant” in her art. She was “originally inspired by the jazz and literary worlds of the fifties and sixties”. It’s been wonderful seeing her painterly body of work evolve over these many years.

The Festival looks forward to spotlighting Ellie and her art on the Fountain Walk this Spring. Her usual spot. We’re sure you know where to find her.

For more about Ellie Ali, her paintings, and to see more images of her art, visit Ellie’s Featured Artist page on MCAC’s website. Click here.

About MCAC’s Featured Artist Program

This festival initiative serves to support and present artists of great artistic talent and integrity to MCAC collectors and patrons. The work of the featured artist is spotlighted on the Festival Poster, T-Shirt, and the larger marketing campaign reaching thousands across Greater Birmingham and the region. Over MCAC’s 37 year history, this distinction has been centered on a gifted group of exhibiting artists and award winners, MCAC Emerging Artist honorees, and artists garnering regional, national, and international attention who have been invited to Birmingham as festival jurors.



41st Annual MCAC

April 26-28, 2024