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. Drop us a line at our Alumni Update Form to share your news and contact info.
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.
Bethany Collins, BA 2007
Bethany Collins’s work is gaining more and more attention across the country. Collins has held solo exhibitions at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, The Center for Book Arts in New York, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Birmingham Museum of Art and more. She has been included in outstanding group exhibitions from “To Be Young, Gifted & Black,” curated by Hank Willis Thomas at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, to “S/Election: Democracy, Citizenship, Freedom” at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery to “Direct Message” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and many more. Watch a video of Collins talk about her work.
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.
Darius Hill, MFA 2015
Birmingham native Darius Hill is a multimedia artist, working in sculpture, printmaking, drawing and other media. He has been chair of the Visual Arts Department at the Alabama School of Fine Arts for two decades. Hill received the BFA from Atlanta College of Art and the MFA in sculpture from UA. He has exhibited in numerous shows around the southeast including New Vision Gallery, Atlanta; the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts; and the Crossroads Initiative, New Orleans. He has been included in juried exhibitions such as the Red Clay Survey in Huntsville and the Energen Exhibition in Birmingham. Hill’s work is in museum, corporate, and private collections throughout the U.S. He was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, earned Operation New Birmingham’s Best in Show Award at the Magic City Art Connection, and was one of 13 Alabama printmakers in the University of Montevallo’s Big Print project
Hill’s work has been reviewed in Art Papers, Birmingham Magazine, B-Metro Magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Birmingham News, and was included in the Alabama Bicentennial publication Alabama Creates: 200 Years of Art and Artists featuring Alabama’s most noteworthy artists since 1819.
View Hill’s 2021 artist talk at the MMFA here and follow his Instagram page @printdarius here.
Sylvia Hitchcock-Carson (d. 2015)
Sylvia Hitchcock-Carson was crowned Miss Universe in 1967, according to documents in Acumen. Hitchcock-Carson passed away in 2015.
Glenn House, Sr., BFA 1957 (1931-2014)
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 the method of making Alabama Kozo Asian-style paper. He also helped establish and develop the Book Arts program of the UA School of Library and Information Studies and taught courses for almost 20 years. 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 (1935-2017)
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. Read 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. He received the 2023 Governor’s Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Mississippi Arts Commission. His website is: http://edmcgowin.com/. 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, moved to Tuscaloosa and together co-founded one of “America’s most significant twentieth-century portrait photography businesses,” according to the Encyclopedia of Alabama. 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.
Jim Neel’s exhibition in the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art runs from January 12 through February 17, 2017.
Jim Neel from John Michael Kohler Arts Center on Vimeo.
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.
Elizabeth “Betty” Mitchell Walter, MA 1969
Walter was known as an artist, art educator, academic, administrator and author and served as professor and department chair for more than two decades at the University of North Alabama in Florence. But one of her most consequential roles was one that is least known: her contributions to civil rights work in Alabama in the 1960s and ‘70s, especially her part in the founding of the Freedom Quilting Bee in 1966, when she gave the artist Lee Krasner a tour of Wilcox County, Alabama. Read more here.
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.
A profile of the abstract painter Thornton Willis from James Panero on Vimeo.
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 (1921-2013) earned a BA in art and English from the Alabama College for Women (now University of Montevallo), an MA in fine arts and fine arts education from Teachers’ College, Columbia University, an MA in art history from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University. She chaired the UA department of art and art history from 1982 until 1990 when she retired as professor emerita. Liles was the first woman art department chair at three Alabama institutions: Birmingham-Southern College, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and The University of Alabama. As Donaghey Distinguished Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Liles established UALR’s art history program. She took UAB’s fledgling art program to the department level and at UA helped to establish 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.