Graduate Student Sculpts World Under a Microscope

Following UA’s health and safety guidelines, this MA thesis exhibition will continue in order to fulfill the requirements for the MA degree, but is closed to the public. The exhibition is documented and presented in an online exhibition on Flickr and on Facebook.  

The University of Alabama Department of Art and Art History is proud to present Beneath the Fabric, the MA thesis exhibition of Kelsey Meadows. The exhibition runs March 23-27, 2020, in the Sella-Granata Art Gallery on UA campus.

Work by Kelsey Meadows, unglazed ceramic, 2019.

Meadows will showcase unglazed ceramic sculptures which she created after studying a variety of objects under the scanning electron microscope. She used the microscope to explore formal visual properties of organic and inorganic objects – properties like positive and negative space, and light and shadow – at The University of Alabama’s Central Analytical Facility. Meadows looked at organic objects that were close at hand, like clay and ceramic glaze, and then branched out to natural items such as bees and seeds, and even, she added, “a few extremely old fragments of Earth’s mantle” that she had, as well as inorganic objects. “I was studying form. There is an incredible similarity between the categories [of organic and inorganic objects] visually when you take the context of the object itself out of the equation.”

Meadows realized that, magnified thousands of times under the microscope, these objects became much more complex, like microscopic landscapes and other worlds. The micrographs she collected became references images for her sculptural work. But, she noted, her works are inspired by the images. They are not a literal translation of them.

“Viewing ordinary materials under a lens,” Meadows said, “reveals the more peculiar aspects of their nature, exposing the abstract structural elements that form the tangible world. Beyond the scope of our vision, matter itself exists with distinctive beauty in the shapes, textures and patterns that link together.”

Meadows, from Sykesville, Maryland, holds a BFA in ceramics and sculpture from Frostburg State University. She is a graduate teaching assistant in ceramics, working toward the MFA.

The Sella-Granata Art Gallery features student exhibitions, as well as visiting artists, and is a vital learning resource for the UA department of Art and Art History. Admission to the Sella-Granata Art Gallery is free. For more information, contact the gallery at (205) 348-1893.

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