Celestia Morgan: Disparities at the Paul R. Jones Museum

Celestia Morgan, Walmart (Fairfield 1972), 2021, archival pigment print

The Paul R. Jones Museum is proud to present a solo exhibition, Celestia Morgan: Disparities, March 4 – May 20, 2022. The museum will host a reception for the artist on Friday, April 1 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., during downtown Tuscaloosa’s First Friday festivities.

What does it mean in our society, one of the richest in the world, to not only systematically deny opportunities for progress and prosperity, but to also obstruct access to basic life needs such as food and housing? Continuing within her series of critically acclaimed photos and visual works titled REDLINE, Celestia Morgan’s new work asks difficult questions of her viewers. In visually frank images, Morgan’s work displays and discusses historically deep-rooted inequalities related to housing and other basic life necessities. She works across several artistic mediums, incorporating sculpture, map making and community engagement as well as photography and video into her work.

Celestia Morgan standing with arms folded in an art gallery before her framed photographs.
Celestia Morgan

“We are thrilled to be able to host this exhibition for her at the Paul R. Jones Museum,” said Daniel White, director of the museum. “We know Celestia as both an artist and as a colleague, and it is rare that we get to merge the two and celebrate our own with a solo show.”

Morgan’s recent exhibitions include REDLINE at the Birmingham Museum of Art; the National Public Housing Museum’s Undesign the Redline in Chicago; and New Southern Photography, curated by Richard McCabe at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. She has also exhibited her work at the Minneapolis (Minn.) Institute of Art; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas; and the Birmingham (Ala.) Civil Rights Institute. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Lenscratch, The Bitter SouthernerArt Papers, the Southern Foodways Alliance journal Gravy; and Burnaway. Morgan’s work is in the permanent collections of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Birmingham Museum of Art and in many private collections across the country.

Celestia Morgan was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She earned her BFA in photography from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2012 and her MFA from The University of Alabama in 2017. Morgan has taught visual arts in the Birmingham City Schools and served as a photography instructor at UA. She is currently a postdoctoral research associate at UA. Her website is here.

Celestia Morgan: Disparities has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Paul R. Jones Museum is an essential part of the education and development of UA students and our community. Admission to the gallery is free. Hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and on the First Friday of the month, 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Call the museum at (205) 345-3038 or email the director for more information. The Paul R. Jones Museum is located at 2308 Sixth Street, in downtown Tuscaloosa, one block from the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. 

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