Printmaker’s Memories of Family Legacy and Loss Interwoven in Master’s Exhibition

Sarah Dittmann, “First Drawing,” 2019, driftwood, screen print, pen, electric tea light, and vellum paper, 8 x 9 x 6 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

The reception has been canceled due to the evolving situation around the University’s planning and scheduling related to the coronavirus. We apologize for any inconvenience. Following UA’s health and safety guidelines, this MA thesis exhibition will continue in order to fulfill the requirements for the MA degree, but will be closed to the public. It is documented and presented in an online exhibition on Flickr and on Facebook.  

The University of Alabama Department of Art and Art History is proud to present Lítost, the MA thesis exhibition of Sarah Dittmann. The exhibition runs March 23-27, 2020, in the Sella-Granata Art Gallery, on UA campus. The public is invited to the opening reception, Monday, March 23 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

Lítost is a Czech word that, Dittmann said, “is untranslatable, but can roughly be said to be a feeling we have about an immense, negative and unchangeable breach of the order we expect the world to have.” The works in this exhibition are about nostalgia and a loss of home and the ways that memories are treasured and thought about after this loss. After being uprooted from her family home a few years ago, Dittmann, who has Czech ancestry, realized how important memories of her family are to her. She incorporates into her artwork the Czech folk art traditions that have been passed down to her, as well as images from her family’s history. She also incorporates sewing, embroidery and needlework skills that were practiced by her mother and other important women in her family into her work. Crystals also appear in her work and act as an important vehicle for these memories. They represent facets of her memory and function as a personal symbol for her. About the crystal works in this exhibition, Dittmann says, “They alter the memories portrayed, just as memories distort with passage of time.”

Sarah Dittmann is a graduate student in printmaking working toward the MFA and serves as a graduate teaching assistant in printmaking. She is a printmaker and illustrator from Fairhope, Ala., and holds a BFA in studio art with a concentration in printmaking from the University of South Alabama. She has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions across the country including Narrowsburg, N.Y.; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; Portland, Ore.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Mobile, Ala.

View a sampling of Dittmann’s exhibition below. To take a virtual tour, go here.

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The Sella-Granata Art Gallery features student exhibitions, as well as visiting artists, and is a vital learning resource for the UA department of Art and Art History. Admission to the Sella-Granata Art Gallery is free. Spring 2020 gallery hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m., and Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Information about visitor parking is available on the UA parking services website. Parking is free on campus in a legal space after business hours. For more information, contact the gallery at (205) 348-1893.

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.