Tuscaloosa Sixth Graders Create Inspired Artworks in ‘Patterns of Creativity’

(Tuscaloosa, Ala.)  The Paul R Jones Museum is pleased to announce Patterns of Creativity, the annual collaborative exhibition with area school students, the UA Department of Art and Art History and the museum. This year’s show features artwork by sixth grade students at The Alberta School of Performing Arts (TASPA) and artwork from the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama.

The exhibition opens Monday, January 23, 2023. A reception for the artists will be held during downtown Tuscaloosa’s First Friday Art Walk, February 3, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., and the show will run through February 24, 2023.

Cyanotype and stenciled self-portraits created by TASPA sixth graders.

Assistant professors Celestia Morgan and Jamey Grimes and graduate teaching assistant Katharine Murray worked with TASPA art teacher Abel Phillips to create a robust learning experience for the students. In a session with Murray, the sixth graders learned about “cyanotype,” a technique related to photography and invented around the same time, in the nineteenth century. They were able to see and talk about examples of cyanotypes and other prints that are part of the Paul R. Jones Collection. Then, in sessions with UA Department of Art and Art History graduate students and faculty and with Phillips, the students, inspired by the pieces they saw, learned how to make their own cyanotypes. They created self-portraits on fabric from printed photographic negatives and patterned stencils. The students also worked together to create a large group cyanotype project in fabric.

“The class really impressed me with their creativity by combining their digital negatives, stencils and drawings during the exposure of the cyanotypes,” said Murray.

All of the student artworks will be displayed during the show alongside the artworks that inspired them from the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama.

The Paul R. Jones Museum is an essential part of the education and development of UA students and our community. Admission to the museum is free. It is located at 2308 Sixth Street, in downtown Tuscaloosa, one block from the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. Hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and First Fridays 12 noon-8 pm. Have questions or need assistance? Call (205) 345-3038 or go to their website.

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