Associate Professor Sarah Marshall has a solo exhibition, Untrustworthy Night, September 6-28, 2018, at the 621 Gallery in Tallahassee, Fla. She features a collection of printed and dyed fabric works in which, she notes, “tones of blue, images of the eye and collage assembly suggest the nighttime activities of the human imagination." http://www.621gallery.org/2018/09/sarah-marshall-untrustworthy-night/
The Mother of Alabama Art Photography: Gay A. Burke
Exhibition: October 5 – 26, 2018
Opening reception and reunion: October 5, 2018, 5:00-8:00 p.m. (First Friday)
The Arts Council Gallery, Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center
620 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
In many ways, Gay Burke is responsible for bringing art photography to Alabama and raising the profile of photography as an art form throughout the South. She is the “Mother of Alabama Art Photography.” –Wayne Sides, photographer and author
Over four decades, photographer and professor of art Gay Burke developed a distinguished fine art photography program at The University of Alabama Department of Art and Art History, all the while creating her own photographic work. Out of this program came award-winning artists such as Miller Mobley, Janice Hathaway, Wayne Sides, Karen Graffeo, and many others.
Burke’s innovative work has been exhibited in more than 80 national exhibitions including numerous solo exhibitions at venues such as the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; the University of California, Berkeley and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Burke studied under distinguished photographer and photomontage innovator Jerry Uelsmann at the University of Florida and worked with renowned documentary photographer Walker Evans. At UA, she was the first woman to achieve full professor status in the Department of Art and Art History. She died in May of 2017.
This semi-retrospective exhibition showcases forty works by Gay Burke, some never shown before. Most of the photographs are multi-negative prints. To create them, Burke shot 35mm film photographs, developed the negatives in her darkroom, and then painstakingly combined two, three or four negative images in the darkroom to produce a new image. These photographs, with their often surreal juxtapositions of seemingly unrelated objects, are a result of careful and skillful manual manipulation, long before the days of "photoshopping." None have been digitally manipulated.
Please join us on opening night, Friday October 5, 2018, for a celebration of Gay Burke and a reunion of her former students from 5:00-8:00 p.m. An exhibition of photos by some of her former students, Butterfly Effect: Honoring the Legacy of Gay Burke, will be held at the same time in The University of Alabama Gallery, also in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, sponsored by the Alabama State Council on the Arts.
A one-time pop-up sale featuring hundreds of Gay Burke’s prints will immediately follow the opening reception, also in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. All proceeds from the sale of these photos will go to fund the annual Gay Burke Memorial Fellowship in Photographic Arts, administered by the Alabama State Council on the Arts.
The Arts Council Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. on weekdays and noon-8 p.m. on First Fridays. The University of Alabama Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and noon-8 p.m. on First Fridays. Galleries are closed on weekends. Admission is free.
The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is located at 620 Greensboro Avenue in Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about the CAC, The Arts Council or Bama Theatre, patrons should LIKE the Facebook page “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” and follow tuscarts on Twitter. Call 205-758-5195 or visit tuscarts.org for further information.
Dr. Lucy Curzon, associate professor of art history, was named to a three-year term as a College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Board Faculty Fellow. The Leadership Board of the College of Arts and Sciences recognizes its most promising or most accomplished teacher/scholars, individuals early in their careers who demonstrate exceptional promise or faculty members who have brought distinction to the College and University throughout their careers. Curzon will receive a $5,000/year stipend for three years.
Curzon teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on modern and contemporary art, and contemporary practice and community engagement. Her current research focuses on national identity and visual culture, particularly relating to the interwar, wartime and early postwar periods in Great Britain. She has also published on contemporary portrait painting. In 2018, Curzon received the Historians of British Artist Book Award for Exemplary Scholarship on the Period after 1800 for her book, “Mass-Observation and Visual Culture: Depicting Everyday Lives in Britain” (Routledge, 2017).
For more information about UA Department of Art and Art History programs, click here: https://art.ua.edu/academics/.
In medieval art, it is rare to know the name of an artist, but the names of the clergy who managed payment for construction projects are often in the records. Thanks to a UA College Academy of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (CARSCA) grant, this past June, Assistant Professor Dr. Jennifer Feltman traveled to Paris and Amiens, France, to study the books read and written by the clergy of the Cathedral of Amiens for a new project that proposes a way to understand how sculptural programs were designed.
“I primarily consulted twelfth- and early-thirteenth century biblical manuscripts, but also some sermons and commentary—all of these manuscripts are unillustrated, which may seem a strange source for an art historian. But I was studying them not only for their textual context, but also for the layout of text and commentary on each folio. Bibles of the twelfth century were often organized into columns with a main text and commentary in the margins. It is my supposition that the façade of Amiens preserves a pattern of thought, shaped by the layout of texts; it also brings together a variety of texts available in the cathedral library. So, while sculptures certainly aren’t the same as a manuscript of the Bible, they might be called a stone Biblia, using the original sense of the word for Bible—a collection of texts.”
Dr. Feltman is currently completing a book manuscript, Moral Theology and the Cathedral: Sculptures of the Last Judgment in Thirteenth-Century France. The book illuminates the ways in which Parisian moral theology was disseminated through clerical networks across the dioceses of France and made visible in sculptural programs at the cathedrals of Chartres, Paris, Reims and Amiens. With the support of the NEH, she has developed a companion website: Portals of the Last Judgment - Chartres, Paris, Reims, Amiens.
Dr. Feltman teaches courses in medieval, Early Christian, Byzantine, and ancient art history.
For more information about UA Department of Art and Art History programs, go here: https://art.ua.edu/academics/.
Butterfly Effect: Honoring the Legacy of Gay Burke
October 5-26, 2018
Reception: Friday, October 5, 5–8 p.m.
The exhibition Butterfly Effect: Honoring the Legacy of Gay Burke features the work of more than 20 artists who studied under Professor Gay Burke over the course of Burke's 42-year career teaching photography in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Alabama. Burke passed away in 2017.
An opening reception will be held on First Friday, October 5, 5:30-8:00 p.m. The opening will be a homecoming and reunion for Gay Burke’s students and colleagues.
Former students Elliot Knight and Andy Meadows identified twelve former students of Gay Burke's spanning the years from 1973 until Gay’s retirement in 2015. Each artist was asked to invite at least two additional photographers to participate. The exhibition will feature work that the artists created during their college years learning from Gay, as well as work they created more recently. The exhibitors include Sarah Ann Austin, Barbara Lee Black, Wanrudee Buranakorn, Breanna Conley, Kathleen Fetters, Jenny Fine, Karen Graffeo, Johnny Goodwin, Ad Kanyalak, Elliot A. Knight, Jim Lockhart, Kristen Mance, Kathryn Joy Mayo, Andy Meadows, Sarah Cusimano Miles, Michael E. Palmer, Ben Rigsby, Laura Shill, Wayne Sides, Emily Thomas, Terrell Taylor and Jerri Wilson. The exhibition will run in conjunction with Gay Burke: The Mother of Alabama Art Photography, an exhibition of 40 works by Gay Burke in The Arts Council Gallery, Oct. 5-26.
The University of Alabama Gallery is located at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, 620 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL. Hours are Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.-noon and 1 – 4 p.m. on weekdays and noon – 8 p.m. on the first Friday of the month.
For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, go here: https://art.ua.edu/academics/.
Dr. Wendy Castenell traveled to the United Kingdom to present her paper, "Mutable Identities: The Performance of 'Whiteness' in a Colonial Louisiana Portrait" at Durham University's Portraiture Conference in July. The conference was sponsored by the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture. Castenell noted, "It's a rare opportunity to be able to present my research internationally and I'm grateful to the Department of Art and Art History, Dean Olin, Associate Dean Tricia McElroy, and Associate Dean Roger Sidje for travel funding. Castenell is Assistant Professor of Art History and teaches courses in American and African American art history.
UA art instructor Wade Folger MacDonald received the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) 2018 Emerging Artist Award. The award recognizes exceptional early career artists and helps promote their work internationally for the year. As part of the award, MacDonald participated in an exhibition at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburg, Penn., during this year's NCECA conference and addressed the conference with an artist talk. A generous monetary prize is also granted to the award recipients. In addition, an exhibition titled Parallel/Collision that MacDonald proposed and is co-organizing has been accepted for this year's NCECA conference. Here is a video of MacDonald's talk:
He also wrote a post, titled "Becoming an Artist and Advice for the Future" for the NCECA Blog. MacDonald teaches courses in ceramics and art foundations in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Alabama.
For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, go here: https://art.ua.edu/academics/.
When President Trump hung a portrait of President Andrew Jackson in a prominent spot in the Oval Office, in hopes that Americans would associate Trump with the controversial president who fought for the “common man,” it helped put Jackson back in the public discourse. Jackson – unusually for his day – carefully crafted his public image – one thing the two presidents have in common. And UA assistant professor of art history Dr. Rachel Stephens is helping to clarify that conversation.
Stephens’ monograph – the first book-length study of Andrew Jackson's personal portrait artist – has recently hit the bookshelves. Selling Andrew Jackson: Ralph E. W. Earl and the Politics of Portraiture, from the University of South Carolina Press was published in June 2018. In it, Dr. Stephens examines the role of Earl, Jackson’s “Court Painter,” in Jackson’s inner circle and the influence of his portraits on Jackson’s political career and historical legacy.
We asked Dr. Stephens a few questions about what she hopes her book will bring to readers. Here are her answers:
What will we learn about Andrew Jackson by reading your book that we didn’t know before?
RS: Andrew Jackson's reputation precedes him, but few realize that he actually hired a full-time artist. Artists were always clamoring to paint the early presidents, and dozens of artists painted Jackson, but in order to control his own visual message, he hired Earl's services full time, and Earl even lived at Jackson's plantation and at the White House. I believe that Earl and Jackson collaborated on the portraits, and that each one was intended to respond to the current events of Jackson's life. Earl and Jackson became very close friends over the course of their 21-year friendship, and Earl is buried in the Jackson family cemetery at the Hermitage.
How many paintings total did Earl paint of Andrew Jackson?
RS: Earl painted untold numbers of portraits of Jackson. He painted him almost daily for fifteen or more years. An unfinished portrait of Jackson was on his easel when he died. The exact number is impossible to calculate because Earl didn't sign his works and records for them do not exist, but there are dozens of them!
How many times a day did Earl paint images of AJ?
RS: Seemingly, Earl was employed full time in painting Jackson. Visitors to Jackson's White House regularly mention Earl at his easel in the background or in his studio. Depending on the nature of the portrait, it might take Earl anywhere from a few days, to over a year to complete a portrait.
What’s the most important thing you hope to communicate to readers with this book?
RS: I'm so happy to see the book in print! I hope it will educate readers about the significant impact that Ralph E. W. Earl had on Jackson's career and also the importance of his contribution to American Art.
Rachel Stephens is an assistant professor of art history in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Alabama. Her research investigates the art and visual culture of the antebellum era, particularly in the South. For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, go here: https://art.ua.edu/academics/graduate-programs/art-requirements/.