The Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art was founded in 1991 to help support the Museum’s contemporary art collection and related exhibitions, as well as to educate its members and the community at large about contemporary art through programs, events, and art-related travel. Throughout the year, the Collectors Circle organizes a variety of events and activities for its members, including tours of contemporary art exhibitions and private collections, as well as gallery talks and lectures by experts in the field. The group maintains a busy travel schedule with frequent trips to regional, national, and international art destinations. At the Collectors Circle’s annual dinner, members vote to acquire a new contemporary work for the Museum, the cost of which is covered by annual membership dues.
$500 per member
$250 per junior member (under 40)
Artist Lecture - Steinunn Thorarinsdottir
7pm // May 2, 2013 // Steiner Auditorium
Steinunn Thorarinsdottir will be visiting the BMA to discuss the outdoor installation of her exhibition Horizons. This lecture is free and open to the public.
Collector's Circle Travel to Seattle, WA
May 16 -19, 2013
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Ron Platt will lead a 3-day trip to Seattle over May 16-19. Highlights include visits to the amazing Seattle Art Museum and Sculpture Park, the Pilchuck Glass School, Experience Music Project, and several of Seattle’s top private art collections.
The trip is for current Collectors Circle members and is limited to 25 travelers. A deposit of $250.00 is required, $150.00 of which is a non-refundable donation to the Collectors Circle. To sign up or ask questions about the full itinerary, please email Amanda Schedler at
or (205) 297-8067 by March 18.
"What I Did on My Summer Vacation" Slide Slam
6pm // August 8, 2013 // Members Room
Members are invited to share and discuss images of their recent contemporary art adventures.
Private Tour of Exhibition
6pm // September 26, 2013
Private tour with Ron Platt of the new BMA exhibition Dawoud Bey: The Birmingham Project.
Annual Dinner and Voting Event
October 17, 2013
Movie Night: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
March 7, 2013
The Collectors Circle enjoyed an award winning documentary on Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei as part of the Museum's First Thursday programming.
Alabama Artists Celebration
February 7, 2013
Trip to Miami, FL for Art Basel Art Show
Curators Ron Platt and Jeffreen Hayes, as well as the Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art and the Sankofa Society, attended Art Basel in Miami Beach, the most prestigious art show in the Americas. More than 260 leading international galleries showcased works by more than 2,000 contemporary artists. The trip was rounded out by visits to private collections, artists’ studios, galleries, and museums.
The Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art and the BMA Junior Patrons Present Cary Leibowitz
Members enjoyed hors d'oeuvres and drinks with Cary Leibowitz, Director of Modern and Contemporary Editions at Phillips de Pury and Company, New York, before his lecture on collecting contemporary prints and multiples. Leibowitz, an artist and collector as well, has a rare understanding of contemporary art and its market.
5th Annual John Morton Lecture in Photography: Dru Donovan
In her photographs, Dru Donovan explores the body and life’s daily rituals and interactions. Some of her photographs depict situations witnessed and photographed in real time, while others are created with false backdrops, models, and props. Donovan says that, “the construction and staging of scenes allow me to locate and investigate the intersection between one reality that exists and another imagined.”
20th Anniversary Dinner and Voting Event
At this event, members voted for a new acquisition of contemporary art for the Museum’s permanent collection.
Trip to Crystal Bridges
The Friends of American Art and the Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art visited the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Founded by Alice Walton, heir to the Walmart fortune, and designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the museum--which opened to the public last fall--features an outstanding collection of American masterpieces, including Asher B. Durand's Kindred Spirits and Norman Rockwell's Rosie the Riveter. Crystal Bridges' collection of contemporary art includes major works by such notables as Jenny Holzer, Claes Oldenberg, Andy Warhol, Kerry James Marshall, among numerous other important American artists. Participation is strictly limited to 15 members from each support group.
Private viewing and tour of the new BMA exhibition Andy Warhol & Cars: American Icons
Collector's Circle Birmingham Bus Tour
This popular Collectors Circle event was renewed with a half-day bus tour of visits to artists' studios and private collections in and around Birmingham.
Cocktails with Collectors at the home of Jack and Rebecca Drake
The Collectors Circle joined Birmingham collectors Jack and Rebecca Drake at their home. The couple's passion for art encompasses contemporary painting, sculpture, photography and works on paper, as well as contemporary design.
A group of Collectors Circles members travelled to Los Angeles with BMA Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Ron Platt and Development Director Kate Cleveland. The focus of the trip was Pacific Standard Time, for which the region's institutions came together to celebrate the birth of the L.A. art scene. Among the numerous highlights of the trip were studio visits with artists Larry Bell and Tomory Dodge, and private tours of exhibitions at The Getty Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Santa Monica Museum.
The Collectors Circle went back to one of America’s most amazing cities for Prospect.2, the second edition of New Orleans’ contemporary art biennial. Prospect.2 brought together the work of 26 local, national and international artists working in a range of artistic media. Curator of Modern And Contemporary Art Ron Platt led a tour of the Prospect.2 exhibitions at the city’s participating museums and venues, as well as a bus tour of the numerous site–specific art projects inspired by the New Orleans’ distinctive history and culture and conceived specifically for Prospect2.
Contemporary Art Lecture at the BMA: “Art in the Age of AIDS"
Since 1989, December 1 has been “World AIDS Day/A Day Without Art” a day when the international arts community pauses to remember and respond to the AIDS crisis and its impact on cultural life. Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Ron Platt gave a special lecture on the role AIDS has played in the art of our time.
Screening of WASTE LAND
Members of the Museum’s Collectors Circle and Junior Patrons presented a special screening of the Oscar-nominated film WASTE LAND. Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest dump, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he works with a people who make a living from scavenging recyclable materials to create photographic portraits of them out of these materials.
Noted Birmingham photographer Sonja Rieger presented a slide lecture focused on her stunning new portraits of drag performers at the Platinum International Newcomers Pageant. Rieger is Professor of Photography at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, where she has taught since 1979. She received her BFA from Rutgers University and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Over the past 20 years she has exhibited her work regularly, most recently at Birmingham’s beta pictoris gallery and at the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans.
- Curator Ron Platt led a full day trip to Atlanta devoted to modern & contemporary photography.
- At the 20th Annual Collectors Circle Dinner, members of the Collectors Circle Dinner voted to apply this year's membership funds toward the acquisition of a painting by Kerry James Marshall.
- Andy Warhol Paints a Portrait : A Lecture by Neil Printz
Neil Printz, Editor of the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonne, presented selections from Warhol’s 40-year love-affair with the human face, focusing on the portraits of Birmingham’s Charles and Caroline Ireland, painted in 1979 when Warhol’s portrait practice was flourishing and he was at the height of his creative powers.
Talk and advance screenings by video artist Janet Biggs - Janet Biggs, a participant in this year’s Sidewalk Film Festival, is a renowned artist whose striking and meditative videos have been exhibited internationally. At this special talk and screening for Collectors Circle members, Janet discussed her approach to video and pre-screened her two short entries to this year’s festival.
Cocktails with Collectors - Collectors Circle members met at a private home to view a collection that focuses on contemporary paintingincluding works by artists such as David Reed, Thomas Nozkowski, Monique Prieto, Radcliffe Bailey, John Sonsini, and numerous others.
Collectors Circle trip to Chicago - Collectors Circle members traveled to Chicago with Curator Ron Platt for visits to museums, galleries, outdoor art, artists' studios and private collections.
Cocktails and Conversation - Members were invited to bring a friend or two who might be interested in joining the Collectors Circle to enjoy hors d'oeuvres by Sol y Luna, live music, and door prizes.
University of Montevallo Professor Kelly Wacker spoke about contemporary art from an art historical perspective in the Museum's Members Room.
Gallery Talk by sculptor and UAB Professor John Douglas Powers at the Alabama School of Fine Arts Gallery. John discussed his work and the Alabama School of Fine Arts exhibition Elysium with Collectors Circle members. See images and video of John's work at www.john-powers.com