Wayne Sides: Collecting Four Decades of Photos – Part One

More and more artists are undertaking projects to record, display, catalog and/or store their artwork, both digital-born and material. In this semi-regular series, we are featuring some of our UA art community who are, to find out more about how they approach it and what their experiences are along the way. If YOU have begun a project of your own or have just begun thinking about it, we’d like to hear from you. Please write or call Rachel Dobson, even if it’s just to let me know you’re interested and are going to think on it. We believe this is a significant and developing story about how artists live in the 21st century and we hope this will be an ongoing feature of The Loupe. Part Two of our interview with Wayne Sides coming soon!

Wayne Sides, 1975 New College alumnus in visual and performing arts, is building a new Wayne Sidesphotographic works of more than four decades. The current Professor of Art at the University of North Alabama in Florence has begun a long-range project of scanning, organizing and displaying his vast collection of mostly 35-millimeter black and white film photography. The site currently is divided into seven “galleries” of photos, which will evolve as he adds new work. Says Sides,“The site is going to be a real living, breathing entity, with many functions.”

A video on the website’s About page introduces Sides’ abstract vision and the variety of work that will be displayed on the site in the future. Over time, the range of subject matter will expand to include documentary-historical, landscapes, photographic art interpretations and series. He will also add new work as it develops. He explained, “The vast majority of the work will be photography, but, outside of photography, I have always used images, texts, symbols and found objects to incorporate into physical collages as well. I plan to have a separate section on the site to share images of work that fall into such a category.”

Wayne Sides, "Left Behind," 2010, mixed media photo collage, 40 x 40 inches. From the exhibition, "Wayne Sides Human Traces/Tracce Umane," 2010, Pietrasanta, Italy.Sides commented that building the website “has pretty much consumed my life” while also teaching at UNA, traveling and taking photographs. In the next couple of years, he plans to get back to exhibiting his new work and possibly older work that he says the public has never seen before, as well as book projects. He added, “I have periodically collaborated with writers and other creatives using my photographs, which I plan to continue. A future section that includes examples of these collaborations and other book-related media will also probably be added to the site at some point, not only to share my photographic work, but to highlight their writing and works as well.”

At UA, Wayne Sides concentrated in photography under professors Jim Barnes and Gay Burke. In 1975, he received a BS from UA’s New College in visual and performing arts. Sides gained national recognition in the late 1970s and the 1980s 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 the 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. Among his photographic publications are Sideshow (1979); Litany for a Vanishing Landscape with Jeanie Thompson (Hiram Douglas Trust of Florence, AL, 1992); Photographs by Guy Martin (Thunderhouse, 1979); Brambu Drezi by Jake Berry and Wayne Sides (Pantograph Press, 1998). His website address is

Read Part Two of this article:

Wayne Sides, photograph from "Sideshow," page 14, 1979. Location: Mobile, Ala., 1976.Wayne Sides, photograph from Litany for a Vanishing Landscape, 1990Wayne Sides, photograph from "Sideshow," page 24, 1979. Location: Decatur, Ala., 1978.

top left: Wayne Sides, Left Behind, 2010, mixed media photo collage, 40 x 40 inches. From the exhibition, Wayne Sides Human Traces/Tracce Umane, 2010, Pietrasanta, Italy.
above left: Wayne Sides, photograph from Sideshow, page 14, 1979.  Location: Mobile, Ala., 1976.
above middle: Wayne Sides, photograph from Litany for a Vanishing Landscape, 1990.
above right: Wayne Sides, photograph from Sideshow, page 24, 1979.  Location: Decatur, Ala., 1978.