You may have heard of some of our famous graduates, such as William Christenberry, Edith Frohock, Frank Fleming and Janice Hathaway. But there are many more stories of distinguished lives that exemplify the worth of the UA art and art history experience, and we are gathering more all the time.
Well-Known Graduates & Former Students
Sara Garden Armstrong, MFA 1977
Sara Garden Armstrong is a noted visual and sound artist whose work is included in significant national and international collections, among them the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; MoMA, New York City; Women Artists Archives National Directory (WAAND); Ira Silverberg Papers; Sun and Moon Press Archive; Sackner Archive of Visual and Concrete Poetry. Source: Sara Garden Armstrong’s page on Wikipedia.
A video of her 2014 “Sentient Matrix” is on her website and below:
William Christenberry, BA 1958, MA 1959
Renowned photographer, painter and sculptor William Christenberry (1936-2016) was known for his photographs influenced by James Agee and Walker Evans’ Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. He was also known for paintings, sculptures and multi-media constructions using the Ku Klux Klan as subject matter. More biographical information and sources on the artist is at the Encyclopedia of Alabama. See also Alabama Masters – Artists and Their Work, Georgine Clarke, ed. Montgomery: Alabama State Council on the Arts, 2008. A remembrance of Christenberry by Associate Professor of Art and Director of the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, William T. Dooley, was published by AL.com. In 2009, on the occasion of Christenberry’s solo exhibition in the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, he was interviewed in The Loupe.
Frank D. Fleming, MA 1969, MFA 1973
Internationally known for his fanciful sculptures in ceramic and bronze, Fleming’s work is in numerous international and national solo and group exhibitions, private, corporate collections and the collections of museums and galleries across the country. More at the Encyclopedia of Alabama. More about Fleming at Alabama Masters – Artists and Their Work, edited by Georgine Clarke (Montgomery: Alabama State Council on the Arts, 2008).
Edith Frohock, BFA 1968, MFA 1971
Frohock was the first woman to receive the MFA in art at UA. She specialized in painting, printmaking and artist’s books and was the first instructor to teach book arts in the South. More at Edith Frohock’s page on Wikipedia; and in the Bham Wiki.
Karen Graffeo, MFA 1987
Graffeo is an internationally known multi-media artist in photography, performance and installation, recognized for her work with the Romani people. She has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar and the recipient of numerous grants. She has had numerous national and international solo exhibitions and her work is included in public and private collections around the world and in Alabama. She is associate professor of art and director of photography at the University of Montevallo.
Howard Goodson, BA 1942, MA 1948
Howard Goodson went on to do more graduate work at Columbia University and then returned to the University to teach until his untimely death in 1975 at the age of 55. He exhibited his paintings throughout the South including solo exhibitions at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Howard College (now Samford University), Birmingham-Southern College, Alabama Artists Gallery (Montgomery), Auburn University, among others throughout the region. His work is in the permanent collections at the BMA, the Atlanta High Museum of Art, other museums and private collections. He taught classes at the Birmingham Museum of Art and held workshops at Allison’s Wells Art Colony in Way, Mississippi. Read more at The Tuscaloosa News Google News Archives site.
William Hall, BFA 1973
Bill Hall is master printer and studio director of Pace Editions in New York where he has worked since 1988. For over a quarter-century at Pace Editions, Mr. Hall has collaborated with acclaimed painters and sculptors including Jim Dine and Chuck Close. For ten years, he assisted Pace master printer, Aldo Crommelynck, best known for his extensive collaboration with Pablo Picasso. Read more about Bill Hall.
Janice Hathaway, BFA 1973, MFA 1975
An internationally known surrealist artist, Janice Hathaway transforms her photographs into multi-image collages as archival prints. A solo exhibition of her work was presented in the Eugenio Granell Fundación in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to surrealism. At UA, she focused her graduate studies in printmaking and photography and in the early 1970s, Hathaway was an active member of the Dada-inspired Raudelunas group formed by University of Alabama students to explore avant-garde music, art and performance. Read more on Hathaway’s website.
Sydney Rhodes Hauser, BFA 1967
Hauser, who died September 11, 2012, was the illustrator of the popular bestselling Proverbial Cat Calendar. She owned and managed a studio and retail shop, “The Tabby Cat,” in Sarasota for many years.
Glenn House, Sr., BFA 1957
After receiving the BFA from the Art Department, House went on to receive the MLS and the Ed.S from The University of Alabama. Among his innovations: he discovered Alabama Kozo Asian-style paper and taught for almost 20 years in the School of Library and Information Studies’ Book Arts program, which he helped establish and develop. He and his wife Kathy Fetters set up two type shops and an art gallery in Gordo, Alabama, where he has mentored several generations of UA book arts students.
Dale Wilson Kennington, BA 1956
Kennington was a painter known for her interior scenes with figures in realist style. Her work has been exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions and hangs in numerous museum collections. Grandeur of the Everyday -The Paintings of Dale Kennington was published by University of Alabama Press in 2017. In 2011, Kennington received the Governor’s Arts Award from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. She was included in Alabama Masters – Artists and Their Work, edited by Georgine Clarke (Montgomery: Alabama State Council on the Arts, 2008). Kennington died in 2017. More about her at the Encyclopedia of Alabama.
William Edward McGowin, MA 1964
Ed McGowin, known for his Name Change project, has had more than sixty solo exhibitions including the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. His work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the National Museum of American Art, and other private and public collections. More at Alabama Masters – Artists and Their Work, edited by Georgine Clarke (Montgomery: Alabama State Council on the Arts, 2008).
Mary Stephenson Mills, BS art 1927
Mary Eula Stephenson (1905-1974) majored in art at The University of Alabama and graduated in 1927. One of her early post-graduation jobs was as a finisher in a portrait studio in her hometown of Selma. In 1930, Mary Stephenson married Olan Mills and together co-founded “one of America’s most significant twentieth-century portrait photography businesses,” in Tuscaloosa in 1932. Mary Mills lent creative and technical expertise to the business she and her husband built into one of the most innovative portrait photography businesses in the US. Read more about Stephenson.
Miller Mobley, BA 2009
In 2013, Miller Mobley became the youngest photographer to shoot a Time magazine cover. Mobley has taken photos for The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, ESPN, Esquire, Wired, GQ, People, Garden & Gun, A&E, National Geographic Channel, Disney, Paramount, TV Land, YouTube, CNN, Discovery Channel, History Channel, NBC, SYFY, TLC and Fox Searchlight, among others. Visit Mobley’s website for more about his work.
James Emmette Neel, MFA 1973
Jim Neel is professor of art at Birmingham-Southern College and a sculptor. He was awarded a prestigious 2016 John Michael Kohler Arts Center Arts/Industry Residency, his second residency there, in order to create a large-scale installation piece titled Archeological Fragments. As a freelance photojournalist he covered the wars in Central America and the serpent handling holiness people of Appalachia. His work has appeared nationally and internationally in over thirty newspapers, magazines and hard cover publications including the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Oxford American, Esquire and Salvation on Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington. Visit Neel’s website for more information.
Paul Outlaw, BFA 2003
The performance and installation art of Paul Outlaw and partner Jennifer Catron has been recognized by Art in America, the Wall Street Journal, TIME, the New York Times, Hyperallergic, Vogue, Flavorwire and many other national media venues. Mobile Bay magazine wrote a feature on Outlaw (a Fairhope native) and Catron in 2014.
Barbara Gillette Price, BFA 1966, MA 1968
Barbara Gillette Price came to Tuscaloosa with her husband, new art faculty Melville Price, in 1958. She received the BFA and MA in studio art from The University of Alabama. After her husband’s death, Price moved to Washington, D.C., and began a career of art education, advocacy and administration. In 1978, she was appointed Dean at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. In 1982, she accepted the position of Vice-President of Academic Affairs at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and in 1994 she was appointed President of Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. Read more about Barbara Gillette Price on her website.
Scott Stephens, MFA 1983
Known as a master printmaker and “an inveterate promoter of graphic art in Alabama,” Scott Stephens, now Professor of Art and Chair at University of Montevallo’s Department of Art, works in large-format printmaking and historic photographic processes. His work has been recognized with a fellowship from the Southern Arts Federation/National Endowment for the Arts and two individual artist fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts in 1992 and 2002. In 2006 Stephens was designated the Carnegie Foundation CASE Alabama Professor of the Year. More about Scott Stephens at Alabama Masters – Artists and Their Work, edited by Georgine Clarke (Montgomery: Alabama State Council on the Arts, 2008).
William A. Walmsley, BFA 1951, MA 1953
After serving in the U. S. Army in Europe during World War II, William Walmsley took advantage of the G. I. Bill to earn a BFA and an MA degree at The University of Alabama. He studied painting with John Opper and John Galloway and painting and lithography with Richard Zoellner. A world-renowned printmaker and the inventor of fluorescent lithography, Walmsley became known for his use of “blatant irony, raucous humor and shameless punning” in his psychedelic and ribald art. He taught for more than three decades at Florida State University and has had numerous national and international solo and group exhibitions. His work is in the permanent collections of the Tate Gallery, London; Alberta (Canada) Institute of Technology; Art Institute of Chicago; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Modern Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Smithsonian American Art Museum; Mint Museum (Charlotte, N.C.) and the Brooklyn Museum, among many others. In 1989, he was awarded the UA College of Arts and Sciences Society of Fine Arts Career Alumni Award. His prints and other works of art can be seen on Facebook at Lazy Duke Surfboards & Fine Art Gallery.
Thornton Willis, MA 1966
Thornton Willis is a noted abstract expressionist painter who was part of the New York School of painting and termed one of the “Third Generation” of American Abstract Expressionists. His painting teacher at UA was the abstract expressionist Melville Price (UA faculty 1958-1970; see below). Willis has won a variety of distinguished fellowships including from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pollack-Krasner Foundation. His work is in many renowned collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art. More information about Thornton Willis is on this website and on Thornton Willis’ Wikipedia page.
Farley Moody Galbraith
Mrs. Galbraith and her mother, Sarah McCorkle Moody, have been the primary patrons of the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art and its Permanent Collection since its inception. For the past 25 years, Farley Moody Galbraith has supported arts education at The University of Alabama through her endowment and other gifts. Because of the support of mother and daughter, the Moody Gallery enjoys a strong reputation in the national art community. Read more about Mrs. Galbraith in our summer 2013 issue of The Loupe.
Paul R. Jones, UA Honorary Doctorate 2006
Noted art collector Paul R. Jones built one of the largest collections of 20th Century African-American art – now the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama. Read more about Jones’s gift.
Wayne Sides, BS New College 1975
At UA, Wayne Sides concentrated in photography under professors Jim Barnes and Gay Burke. Sides gained regional recognition in the late 1970s for his powerful photographs of the Ku Klux Klan. He is also recognized for his collaborative work with musicians, poets, and other performing artists and for his wide range of subject matter in his photography. His work is in numerous private and public collections and he exhibits and lectures at regional, national and international venues. Sides is professor of art at the University of North Alabama. Read Professor Sides’ essay on Gay Burke and Alabama Art Photography.
Gay Burke, UA professor of photography, 1973-2015
In 1973, Burke was hired to teach photography in the UA art department, when the subject was still suspect as a fine art medium. She earned her MFA from the University of Florida where she studied under renowned photographer and photomontage innovator Jerry Uelsmann. After she came to Alabama, Burke worked with Walker Evans at the end of his career. Photographer Wayne Sides credits Burke with raising the profile of photography as an art form in the South. She has exhibited her celebrated and acclaimed work in over 80 national exhibitions including numerous solo exhibitions at venues such as University of Nevada at Las Vegas, University of California at Berkeley and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Burke was the first woman to receive tenure in the Department of Art and Art History. Read more about Gay Burke.
Frank Engle, UA professor of ceramics, 1949 – 1974
Engle was an internationally known sculptor, designer, painter, glass artisan, ceramicist, and professor. In 1994, Engle was presented with the Distinguished Career Award by the Society for the Fine Arts and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama. More at the Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Virginia Rembert Liles, UA art department chair and professor of art history 1981-1990
Dr. Liles was the first woman chair in three Alabama art departments: Birmingham-Southern College, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and The University of Alabama. In addition, as Donaghey Distinguished Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), Liles established their art history program. She took UAB’s fledgling art program to the department level and later at UA helped to found the joint program for the Master of Arts degree in art history with UAB. In 1993, UA’s College of Arts and Sciences’ Society of the Fine Arts awarded her the Distinguished Career Award. Read more about Virginia Rembert Liles.
Melville Price, UA professor of painting: 1958 – 1970
One of the youngest members of the first generation of abstract expressionist painters, Price taught painting at UA from 1958 until his death in 1970. He was close friends with painters Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. Among his students were William Christenberry, Vicki Lowe and Thornton Willis. Read more about Melville Price’s life and work.
Richard Zoellner, UA professor of printmaking 1945-1978
Richard Zoellner was known for his abstract paintings and prints, and his New Deal murals. In 1945 he established one of only two departments of fine art printmaking in the Southeast at UA. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Library of Congress, among others.
More Notable Faculty, Alumni, Students, and Staff
Visit our In Memoriam page for information about more of the special people who’ve left us.