SECAC 2018 - Birmingham, Alabama

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is pleased to present the 2018 SECAC conference, October 17-20, 2018, and welcome y’all to come together in a dialogue of openness and inclusivity while enjoying Birmingham’s unique vernacular, cuisine, and style.

Coined the “Magic City” in the late 19th century following a boon of iron and steel production, Birmingham has known a deep, yet complex history.  Yet like the steel produced from the nearby iron-rich Appalachian foothills, the fires of civil conflict and racial division have forged a community that is home to progressive ideas, cutting-edge technology and medical research, and a rich arts culture.

Sessions will take place at the official conference hotel, the newly remodeled Sheraton Birmingham. The Sheraton Birmingham is located in the heart of Birmingham’s premier entertainment district, Uptown Bham, and is steps from the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument.

With a variety of local art galleries, James Beard Award-winning restaurants, and a hip nightlife scene leading a revival of culture and activity downtown, see how the New York Times says Birmingham is ready to surprise you.

Conference sessions and off-site programming opportunities across the Magic City will include: 

  • A keynote address and private reception to view the exhibition, Third Space/Shifting Conversations about Contemporary Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Creating connections between the American South and Global South, Third Space features over 100 works of art in a variety of mediums from the BMA’s permanent collection. 
  • The annual SECAC Artist Fellowship and Juried Members exhibitions reception at UAB’s Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts. Designed by the world-renowned architect, the late Randall Stout, AEIVA is a center for UAB and the Birmingham community to engage with contemporary art and artists. The 2018 Members exhibition will be juried by Peter Baldaia, Head of Curatorial Affairs, Huntsville Museum of Art.

Enjoy post-conference local excursions to Birmingham’s Sloss Furnace National Historic Landmark, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, Vulcan Park, or outsider artist Joe Mintner’s African Village in America.  Short day trips are also encouraged to nearby Hale County, where you can visit the Rural Studio and see sites where Walker Evans and William Christenberry made their iconic photographic work, or travel further south to Wilcox County, home of the Gee’s Bend quiltmakers. The SECAC conference will also coincide with the annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts in Northport, 45 minutes west of Birmingham. Presenting more than 270 folk, visionary, and contemporary artists and expert craftspeople, the festival will celebrate its 47th year with great art, music, and food.

Submission Deadlines

  • Call for Papers: April 20, 11:59 pm EDT
  • Juried Exhibition:  April 15, 11:59 pm EDT 

Registration and Hotel Rates

Conference Registration*
Membership Category              Early Rate      Regular Rate      Onsite Rate

                      Individual                   $190                 $220                  $280
 Adjunct/Independent                     150                   180                    250
                        Student                       95                    105                   130
                         Retired                       95                    105                   130

*Conference Registration opens on August 1, 2018.

Hotel Rates (Before Taxes and Fees):
Room Occupancy       Conference Rate per Night
                   Single                 $139
                  Double                   139
                    Triple                    149
                    Quad                    159

 Media Policy

  • All meeting rooms will be equipped with one digital projector, screen, podium and podium light.
  • Presenters must supply their own laptops.
  • All Macintosh users must supply the appropriate VGA adapter.
  • No Internet access will be available in session rooms. 
  • Presenters must have website information downloaded to laptops or other media devices.
  • Session chairs must notify the conference director of any special media requests by July 1, 2018. The conference director will determine if special requests can be filled.
  • No slide projectors will be available. 


Future Conferences

For a list of future SECAC conference locations and dates, please see Future Annual Conferences.

Past Conferences

For a list of past SECAC conference locations, dates, and chairs, please see Annual Conference History.