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ChARTing New Directions

ChARTing New Directions is the Mobile Arts Council’s educational program. Its mission is to cultivate creativity in youth through arts education. In our classes, we work to develop artistic skills, encourage creativity, and boost confidence in our students.

This past summer, ChARTing partnered with the Alabama Contemporary Art Center to facilitate free art camps for the local Boys & Girls Clubs!  Here, we provided exposure to the arts, as well as fulfilled teaching opportunities to up-and-coming local artists. Each student was given opportunities to become involved with Mobile’s community through direct interaction with local professional artists and organizations.

Email Lucy or Angela for additional information about our programming.

The Throwdown

2018 Throwdown Event Pictures

The Throwdown is a live art competition featuring local artists competing for the title of Throwdown Champion. Competitors have 90 minutes to create works of art from a shared supply table. Attendees watch art in action and have the opportunity to take these pieces home in the live auction at the end of the night.

Now in its seventh year, The Throwdown is Mobile Arts Council's largest annual fundraiser. This event has raised over $100,000 to fund our mission of strengthening, supporting, and sustaining the local arts and cultural community.

This year's live art and silent auction is gearing up to be the most dynamic one yet, with five local artists vying for the title of Throwdown Champion. They are: 2017 winner Devlin Wilson, 2016 winner Ardith Goodwin, Cat Pope, conz8000, and Ben Kaiser.

Attendees will also enjoy live music by local favorite Yeah, Probably, food by Heroes and Royal Scam, beer by Haint Blue Brewing Company, and additional beverages to ensure an entertaining evening. Join us on Thursday, September 20 from 6-9 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) at 23 East to witness Mobile's only live art competition in-person!

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, see our Sponsorship Information!

If you are interested in becoming a future sponsor, see our Sponsorship Information!

Sponsors for website

2017 Arts Grants Recipients

The Mobile Arts Council received a total of 19 applications for our 2017 Arts Grants - submitted from various arts organizations, crafters, graphic designers, photographers, musicians, theaters, visual artists, and videographers. With great difficulty, our panel of professional artists and arts educators selected the following four recipients:

- Karen Bullock (Photographer)
- Nancy Goodman (Quilter)
- Peter Kohrman (Musician/Composer)
- Mystic Order of the Jazz Obsessed (Nonprofit Jazz Organization)

The individual recipients will use their $1,000 grants to further their careers as artists, as well as give back to the Mobile community. MOJO will use their funding to provide an outreach program that takes Jazz mini-concerts and educational lessons to children ages 6 – 13 at the Mobile Public Library this summer.

We want to thank everyone that applied for their time and dedication to their art, and for their ongoing support of MAC! Through this experience, we have gained a higher awareness and appreciation of the many talented artists in our community. Going forward, MAC strives to make this an ongoing service we provide to the Mobile area each year.

If you have any questions regarding our arts grants, please contact Program Director Lucy Gafford at

The Artys

The Artys is Mobile’s only arts award program that acknowledges the priceless contributions made to the arts and cultural community. For fourteen years, Mobile Arts Council has presented these awards to recognize the creative achievements of individuals, organizations, and businesses. Each year members of the community submit nominations, which are then narrowed down to three finalists in nine different categories. The winner of each category is announced live at the awards event and presented with the Arty, a limited edition work of art created by a different local artist each year.

2017 Recipients

Visual Artist – Sean Herman

Performing Artist – Lynn Campbell

Arts Educator – Stephen French

Cultural Innovation – Lynn Henderson Oldshue

Design – Patricia Richardson

Literary Artist – Frye Gaillard

Business – Kazoola

Organization – Alabama Contemporary Art Center

Art Soldier – Donna and Joe Camp

Patron – John Thompson

Lifetime Achievement – Charles Smith

2017 award by April Livingston
2016 award by Susie Bowman

2016 Recipients

Visual Artist – JD Crowe
Performing Artist – Thomas Rowell
Art Educator – Paige Vitullli
Artistic Innovation – Frye Building Project
Artistic Design – Ron Barrett
Literary Artist – John Sledge
Business – Windcreek Hospitality
Organization – Mobile Museum of Art
Art Soldier – Steven Alsip
Patron – Jake Peavy
Lifetime Achievement – Tut Riddick
2015 award by Rene Culler

2015 Recipients

Visual Artist – Ardith Goodwin
Performing Artist – Stacey Driskell
Art Educator – Nancy Raia
Artistic Innovation - 1065 Music Festival
Business – Bienville Books
Organization – Downtown Mobile Alliance
Mover and Shaker – Henry and Kate Seawell
Lifetime Achievement – Charlie Smoke
2014 award by Kate Seawell

2014 Recipients

Artist – Jason Guynes

Business – PNC Bank

Educator – Ben Harper

Organization – Mobile Ballet

Patron – Harold and Carlos Parkman

Volunteer – Mike Box

Emerging Artist – Lucy Gafford

Lifetime Achievement – John and Mickey Cleverdon

2013 award by Rachel Wright

2013 Recipients

Artist – Mike McKee
Business – Crescent Theater
Educator – Lori Bilbrey Vaghefi
Organization – Mobile Symphony Orchestra
Patron – Dr. Thomas Rosandich
Volunteer – Dan Silver
Emerging Artist – Riley Brenes
Lifetime Achievement – Carmen Brown
2012 award by Wanda Sullivan

2012 Recipients

Artist – Scott and Sarah Wright

Business – wellbornIdeas

Educator – Carolyn Greene

Organization – Spring Hill Medical Center Auxiliary

Patron – Gordon and Geri Moulton

Volunteer – Janetta Whitt-Mitchell

2011 award by Joe Hobbs

2011 Recipients

Artist – Rachel Wright

Business – Black Classics Book & Gifts

Educator – Orren Kickliter

Organization – MOJO (Mystic Order of the Jazz Obsessed)

Patron – Catt Sirten

Volunteer – Martha LoCicero

2010 award by Wayne McNeil and Paul Moxon Photograph by Tom Loehr

2010 Recipients

Artist – Wanda Sullivan

Business – The Blind Mule

Educator – Jane Shaw

Organization – Gulf Coast Ethnic and Heritage Jazz Festival

Patron – Herndon Inge III

Volunteer – Laureen Lynn

2009 award by Brad Robertson

2009 Recipients

Artist – Charles Smith

Business – Gallery 54

Educator – Danny and Pam Mollise

Organization – Azalea City Quilters’ Guild

Patron – Arlene Mitchell

Volunteer – Elmo Hammer

2008 award by Charles Smith Photograph by Mark Calametti

2008 Recipients

Artist – Kate Seawell

Business – Evonik - Degussa

Educator – Nancy Raia

Organization – Mobile Art Association

Patron – Yvonne Kalen

Volunteer – Marian Blake

2007 award by Casey Downing, Jr. Photograph by David Trimmier

2007 Recipients

Artist - Lil Greenwood

Business - Alabama Power Company

Educator - Charles "Mack" Clark

Organization - Joe Jefferson Players

Volunteer - Joe Riemer

2006 award by John B. Howell III Photograph by Mark Calametti

2006 Recipients

Artist - Dr. Sue Walker

Business - The Chesser Gallery

Educator - Dr. Joseph Mitchell

Organization - WHIL-FM

Patron - Palmer Bedsole

Volunteer - Celia Mann Baehr

2005 award by Bertice McPherson Photograph by Amanda Napper

2005 Recipients

Artist – Casey Downing, Jr.

Business - Ciba

Educator – Barbara Laurendine

Organization – Mobile Opera

Patron – Dr. Sam Eichold

Volunteer – Patrice Baur

2004 award by Tony Wright

2004 Recipients

Artist – Ira Swingle, Jr.

Business - Mobile Register

Educator – Christy LeGros

Organization – Theatre 98

Patron – Sybil H. Smith Charitable Trust

Volunteer – Jane Williamson