Create Birmingham, in partnership with the City of Birmingham, is pleased to announce that Lydia Walker has been selected as the local artist partner for Birmingham’s 2022 Asphalt Art Initiative. Birmingham is one of only 26 cities in the country selected by Bloomberg Philanthropies last year to receive an Asphalt Art Initiative grant to create visual art on roadways and pedestrian spaces, enhancing public space and public safety while promoting collaboration and civic engagement. This public art project will activate a critical juncture of mobility, social infrastructure, and history in the Smithfield neighborhood at the intersection of 8th Avenue West and Center Street. Lydia uses art as an engine to immerse herself in community and believes that public art is a vehicle to spread uplifting messages reflective of the beauty of the City’s citizens. Lydia moved to Birmingham from Los Angeles in 2014 to attend Miles College, and she is proud to call Birmingham her home. She has shared her passion through building arts programming, creating community murals with local artists and organizations, and working as a teaching artist for Birmingham City Schools with the Birmingham Museum of Art. The public engagement process and the design process in partnership with the Department of Transportation will take place this spring and summer, with the collaborative community installation process taking place this fall.
“I am so excited to work with the Smithfield community on this project because it is a community where I have so many fond memories; from going to Legion Field every MLK Day and doing community service work to enjoying festivities like the Magic City Classic and other games! I can’t wait to collaborate with community members to design asphalt art that speaks of love, unity, and embracing our beautiful roots to everyone in Smithfield!”– Lydia Walker