Tonight, 6pm at Urban Standard (2320 2nd Ave North) you will find a flock of Birmingham’s most clever and creative folks gathering to celebrate the Birmingham Arts Journalturning 5-years-old. BAJ Art Editor Liz Reed says both the party and 52-page quarterly publication are helping to put our city in the global arts spotlight…
“In the five years since Birmingham Arts Journal was first published, we’ve put the famous, the infamous, and the unknown together,” says Reed. “A local Birmingham poet deserves to be featured next to a world-class writer. A photographer whose pictures of war-torn Palestine were published in the New York Times, deserves to keep company with less-experienced artists from Birmingham and beyond.
We’ve published over 200 artists and writers in the past five years. We really don’t expect to see our contributors from Russia, Viet Nam, France, Ireland, Hollywood and other faraway places – even though we’d love to welcome them to Birmingham. We do expect representatives of all art forms to come enjoy stories and poems from the latest Birmingham Arts Journal as well as some favorites from past issues. There will be an interesting mix of writers, poets and artists, as well as people who enjoy hearing authors read and hearing artists talk about their work. Birmingham Art Association will provide a variety of snacks/goodies and there will be a “cash bar” offering coffees and teas.”
Tonight’s anniversary bash will increase the local attention that the BAJ gets. Something that Reed says will help the staff grow the journal’s circulation and content.
“A lot of artists do not know about the journal – getting the word out is very important,” says Reed. “I “shop” websites and visit galleries, then send requests for submissions. It’s best when an artist sends 8 – 10 pieces from which I can choose. We’ve always had great quality art. In the beginning, we drew mostly from the work of Birmingham Art Association members. Now we have the opportunity to select art from all over the world. We have fewer art submissions than prose and poetry and I’d like to see that change. We use approximately 10 pieces of art for each issue – I like to have plenty to choose from. “
Banner Press, in Homewood, prints the journal every quarter. Printing locally is just one step in the BAJ’s plan to use local talent and skills to create a world class arts publication.
“Our goal for Birmingham Arts Journal is to create a high-quality venue for local, national, and international writers, poets, and artists and provide our readers an enjoyable (and enlightening) experience, while largely remaining independent of political and factional pressures,” says Reed. “We are not academic. We are not non-academic. We just like to publish work that is excellent, special and diverse.”
Birmingham Arts Journal 5-year Anniversary Party
Event: Tonight, Feb. 29th
Location: Urban Standard (2320 2ns Ave North)