You may have seen our posters for The Great Receipt Race in the windows or on the walls of you’re favorite Birmingham small business. But, do you know the artist behind the original piece of artwork? Meet Birmingham native Erin Mitchell, an interdisciplinary artist. Her work has been featured on the hit FOX drama, “Empire” and she previously served as an art teacher in Chicago before returning home.
We recently asked her a few questions about her work as well as the importance of supporting local artists, especially right now.
Q: You’re an accomplished artist whose work has been featured on TV. You’ve also recently relocated back to Birmingham from Chicago. What about Birmingham brought you back?
A: The change of pace brought me back to Birmingham. I was looking for space and breathing room to create. I also had a goal to paint a mural in the city, which I was able to accomplish in Ensley. (on Ave F, down the street from Morgan Pediatrics) In returning to the environment most fruitful to my practice, I also found my locale added another layer to the meaning of my work.
Q: You mentioned that moving back to Birmingham added another layer of meaning to your work. Can you expound on that?
A: The shift allowed my art to speak directly to the audience it’s influenced by and be a representative of black southern stories in spaces still limiting their diversity of work.
Q: Your work features different colors, textures and patterns. Recently, you designed the poster for REV’s Great Receipt Race. What were you hoping to convey in that piece?
A: I want the design to convey a call to action through the motion of the figure (made of receipts) whipping through the city.
Q: The Great Receipt Race is all about everyone supporting small businesses by shopping locally. What does that type of support mean for Bham artists?
A: Artists are small businesses too and the same tactics help ensure our success and livelihood. Share, repost, PURCHASE, employ (and pay fairly) local Birmingham artists and creatives because we’re worth it.
Visit www.erinleannworks.com for more on Erin Mitchell.
Purchases from Birmingham small businesses can enter you to win gift cards from local restaurants and retailers during the Great Receipt Race this holiday season!
Get started by texting RACE to 267-TEXTREV (267-839-8738)!
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We are approaching the finish line for the 20th Street Refresh, which calls for a celebration – and you’re invited! The City Center Business Improvement District (BID), funded by downtown property owners, is partnering with the City of Birmingham and REV Birmingham to celebrate a refreshed Birmingham Green. Come join the party on May 20th from 4 to 8 p.m (with a special celebration happening at 6 p.m.)!