Geographers preserving Art of Joe Minter – Interdisciplinary work at its best


Joe Minter, sculptor, inside “African Village in America” which he has grown over the past three decades in Birmingham’s Woodland Park neighborhood. (Amarr Croskey, For The Birmingham)

Joe Minter’s “African Village in America” has captured the mind of Eric Courchesne, Geospatial Services Manager for the University of Alabama Geography Department.

According to a recent piece in the Birmingham Times, Courchesne arrived at Joe Minter’s home in October of 2020 to document his art for a project. Little did he realize that he would be spending the entire day immersed in sculptures representing African slavery, Civil Rights era struggles, and contemporary race issues in the US.

Since Courchesne’s “eye opening” experience, an interdisciplinary team of UA faculty members and arts nonprofit Souls Grown Deep have teamed up to preserve Minter’s work, words, and space. To date, drone aerial footage and high-resolution photographs have been amazed to catalogue Minter’s African Village from multiple vantage points. The goal, preserve Minter’s work digitally in order to maintain and promote the African Village for generations to come.

Minter’s “African Village in America” is located at 931 Nassau Ave. SW, Birmingham, Alabama 35211