Wellness Walls for Art presents a special exhibition, Side by Side: Paintings of Henry and Ann Betak, at the University Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, now through July 4, 2017.

The exhibition is part of an ongoing series at the healthcare facility, Wellness Walls for Art, curated by another UA art alumna, Deborah Hughes. Hughes said that Side by Side is a unique opportunity to see the work of two longtime local artists – Ann Betak, MFA alumna and her husband, retired UA Professor of Art Henry Betak – who rarely exhibit together, yet have worked closely and influenced each other over the years. Hughes observed that the Betaks’ art in this exhibition appears in a spectrum: “His linear abstractions are at one end and her nature studies at the other and in the middle that are some intriguing overlaps.” Both Betaks still actively produce work, and Hughes thinks this is the first time in a long time they have shown their work together. “I do believe it is quite some time since Henry’s work has been showcased so extensively.” 

The UMC is located 850 5th Ave E, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401. The exhibition is open during its regular business hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-4:45 pm. A Facebook event page is here.

Side by Side: Ann and Henry Betak

About the Artists

Ann Mottershead Betak has had a wide-ranging career as an artist and art instructor. She received the BFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University and the MFA from The University of Alabama. Recently retired after two decades as a Kentuck Studio artist, she has been a Hambidge Fellow, designed stained glass windows, taught as adjunct studio faculty at The University of Alabama and held painting classes for many years at Canterbury Chapel Episcopal Church and Student Center at UA. Ann Betak has participated in numerous solo, invitational and juried exhibitions over her long career. Juried exhibitions include the Montgomery (Ala.) Museum of Fine Arts; Delaware Museum AnnualTen Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region, University Art Gallery, University at Albany-SUNY; Cape May National Midsummer Competition, Cape May, New Jersey; and Wiregrass Biennial Art Competition, Dothan, Ala. Invitational exhibitions include Philadelphia Women in Fine Arts, Moore Institute; Annual Cheaha Exhibition, Talladega, Ala.; and Women’s Invitational Exhibition, Skidmore College. Her works are in public collections including Phifer Wire; Southern Progress; The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; The University of Alabama Permanent Art Collection, Sarah Moody Gallery of Art; and the Delaware Art Museum, as well as many private collections around the country.

Henry Betak received the BFA and MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University. His long career in academia includes teaching at Tyler School of Art, Skidmore College and twenty-six years teaching painting, drawing and design in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Alabama. Henry Betak has participated in numerous solo, invitational and juried exhibitions, including Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston Salem, NC. Juried exhibitions include The Butler Institute of American Art, Ohio; Artists Biennial, New Orleans Museum of Art; Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, NY; The Columbus (Ga.) Museum; and the Red Clay Survey, Huntsville Museum of Art. Invitational exhibitions include Brenau University Galleries, Gainesville, Ga.; Wiregrass Museum of Art, Dothan, Ala.; Business Center of Alabama, Montgomery; and Southeast Artists Traveling Exhibition, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. His works are in public collections including BellSouth; Bank of Tuscaloosa; New York State Arts Collection for Public Buildings; Eastman Pharmaceuticals; The Butler Institute of American Art;The University of Alabama Permanent Art Collection, Sarah Moody Gallery of Art; University of Delaware; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art; and Canterbury Chapel Episcopal Church and Student Center, Tuscaloosa, as well as many private collections around the country. He has been a Hambidge Fellow and Hambidge artist-in-residence, and is currently represented by Corporate Art, Montgomery.

Artist and UA art alumna Deborah Hughes has curated the Wellness Walls for Art changing exhibitions at the University Medical Center since 2013. Exhibitions have included A Brush With Art – Paintings by The Tuscaloosa and University PaintersThe Many Faces of Art in Adult Continuing Education; A Sense of PlaceThe Artist’s Studio, Inside and OutAbout People and Quilting and Carving; and More Quilters, Carving and Printing Too! featuring the prints of Isadora Bullock and quilts by the West Alabama Quilters Guild.

For information about Wellness Walls for Art, contact Deborah Hughes at deborahhughes50 [at] gmail [dot] com or 205-310-5939.