Cultural Arts Center Features Bethany and Frank Engle Art Retrospective

(Tuscaloosa, Ala.) Retrospective, an exhibit featuring the work of UA art alumna Bethany Windham Engle and former ceramics professor Frank Engle, will be displayed at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center June 2-30, 2017. The exhibit, consisting of two- and three-dimensional art in a wide range of media, will be displayed in both The University of Alabama and The Arts Council Galleries. An opening reception will be held on June 2, 2017, from 5-8 p.m. during First Friday. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

Confederate Rose Blossom, a painting by Bethany Engle
Bethany Windham Engle, Confederate Rose Blossom

Bethany Windham Engle has been an integral part of the Alabama art scene for over 60 years during which time she taught art in several West Alabama institutions including Shelton State Community College, The University of Alabama, the University of West Alabama and in the Tuscaloosa County school system. She was part of the integration team in the Tuscaloosa County schools and was one of the founding faculty of Shelton State Community College. Her educational background includes the AA from Stephens College, MO, and the BFA and MA in studio art and the EdD from The University of Alabama. Her work has appeared in both national and international competitions as well as publications such as Eyes On: Abstracts, CPS to the Point, Art Galleries and Artists of the South, Best of Worldwide Artists: Charcoal, Pastel and Pencil, Best of Worldwide Landscape Artists, Best of America: Watermedia Artists, Strokes of Genius and Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing. For many years her works were exhibited in her gallery at Artist’s Row in Northport. 

Frank L. Engle (1916-2002) was an internationally known sculptor, designer, painter, glass artisan, ceramicist and professor. Engle completed numerous commissioned works, the majority of which were in welded steel, lead, fiberglass and plaster. He attended the John Herron Art Institute (now part of Indiana University in Indianapolis) and did graduate studies in sculpture with an emphasis in ceramics at the University of California. His design career began at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation after which he founded Engle Studios, producing decorative designs for home décor. He also did private commissions including designs for Ford Motor Company and The Shamrock Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

Engle taught at the University of Iowa and Evansville University in 1949, sold the studio, then joined The University of Alabama faculty in its newly created art department. He won numerous awards, participated in single and group exhibitions, spent time as a research scholar in Europe and served as a representative for the non-profit American Craft Council. In the late 1960s, Engle began teaching ceramics at The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to help establish what would later become the UAB Department of Art and Art History.

In 1980, Engle retired as Professor Emeritus of Art. He continued to work from his home and studio and received numerous commissions.  His work is included in many private, public, university, church, and corporate collections in the United States, Mexico and Europe. In 1994, Engle was presented with the Distinguished Career Award by the Society for the Fine Arts and the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of Alabama. A room in Woods Hall in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Alabama was named in his honor. Engle died on February 20, 2002, in Tuscaloosa, and his ashes were interred on the grounds of Windy Hill, his home in Tuscaloosa County. 

The University of Alabama Gallery is open weekdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and The Arts Council Gallery is open weekdays 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. 

The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is located at 620 Greensboro Avenue in Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about the CAC, The Arts Council or Bama Theatre, patrons should LIKE the Facebook page, The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center, and follow tuscarts on Twitter. Call 205-758-5195 or visit for further information.