Alumna Wins Failsafe/Magnum Photo Award

Our Alumni Spotlight Series focuses on UA art alumni who are in the midst of an art career now, whether they are continuing with schooling or have taken their art skills out into the work world.

Arielle Gray (BA 2019, major: studio art, minor: art history), now a freelance photographer in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, won one of three photography awards in Failsafezine’s “What Has Changed?,” an open call competition in coordination with Magnum Photos MagnumLearn. Failsafezine is a UK punk fanzine and creates online space for emerging creatives like Gray.

Arielle Gray’s photo @failsafezine

Gray said that Failsafe held an open call for emerging photographers to respond to the question: “What has changed?” — so she responded, with text and photographs. “I told them about how I was from a small town in Alabama where everything had become so familiar to me that I’d thought I knew everything about it until the pandemic and the lockdowns began,” said Gray, “And with this new way of life, I had to look within and reimagine and rethink my environment.”

As part of her award, Gray has access to an Alec Soth Photographic Storytelling course and had her portfolio reviewed by staff at Magnum Photos.

“I honestly had no idea that I would win this and what all it would entail until I got the message from them via Instagram! It was so exciting.”

Visit Gray on Instagram (at her new site) here and see her photos on Failsafe’s site.

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