September 6, 2021
Back in March of 2021 we had a great conversation with Meghan McCollum of Blank Space Bham. Meghan is a friend of Katelyn and a person she has for long wished to have on our podcast.
Meghan has applied her background in geography and urbanism so beautifully into her work making murals in Birmingham, Alabama. Because she has a deeper understanding of the social life of cities she is able to approach mural making and public art in a way that is respectful and inclusive of the community where the mural will live. Often, the community is able to participate in the process from start to finish. This means the process can take longer in some cases but the end product is better for it.
While Meghan is the brains behind Blank Space, she isn’t doing this work on her own! Meghan has built a network of artists in Birmingham that are designing and installing the murals that you see. It also happens that most of the artists she works with identify as women. While Blank Space is not exclusively women artists, Meghan is passionate about highlighting other women artists in an otherwise male dominated space.
One way she is doing that is through the upcoming Magic City Mural Fest on October 2nd through 9th. This festival will feature seven women artists from Birmingham to Los Angeles as they activate an empty alleyway in Woodlawn with public art and placemaking.
BEYOND THE PAINT
'A collaborative effort between the neighborhood and Blank Space, the concept of this festival serves a purpose beyond just elevating the voices of women in the street art realm. Aiming for an aspect of “informed community design,” we have identified key gatekeepers in Woodlawn to help usher along a festival that has lasting, positive impact communally and economically.
Murals are only a portion of the story of this project! Partnering with the neighborhood, the alley will feature the addition of lighting, security cameras, seating and landscaping in true placemaking fashion. Soon, the businesses that back on to this alleyway will be able to utilize the additional outdoor space in a COVID-safe way that be an added resource to help them continue to serve the community they love!' - Blank Space Bham / Magic City Mural Fest
During our conversation we also heard about Meghan’s experience living in Birmingham and her favorite space: Railroad Park. This space truly is a gift to the city and such an enjoyable place to be as you can tell from her photos.
See more of Blank Space Bham’s work at http://www.blankspacebham.com and follow along on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blankspacebham/
And Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blankspacebham
All images are property of Meghan McCollum & Kollectivo Design Group (unless otherwise states).