In New Surrealist Exhibit, Alumna’s Art Hangs with Picasso, Dali, Miro

poster for an art exhibition
Poster for “Janice Hathaway Surrealist Works” at Peninsula Fine Arts Center (PFAC) in Newport News, Virginia.

It might seem surreal to have your artwork in the company of works by Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali, but UA art alumna Janice Hathaway has created surrealist art since she lived in Tuscaloosa in the mid-1970s, so the dreamlike and bizarre are part of her everyday life.

The exhibition, Janice Hathaway Surrealist Works, is part of a larger exhibition of surrealists that includes Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta and Salvador Dalí. Masters of Surrealism: Picasso, Dalí and Miró, opens November 21, at Peninsula Fine Arts Center (PFAC) in Newport News, Virginia.

The museum has included a variety of surrealists to appeal to a wide range of visitors: iconic, internationally known names as well as Hathaway, who lives locally, and even surrealists who create artworks for children’s literature, such as Maurice Sendak and Theodor Geisel (aka, Dr. Suess).

woman wearing a decorated cone hat.
Janice Hathaway by Michael Wessel, 2016

Hathaway, who received her BFA and MFA from UA in printmaking and photography, is professor of graphic and media design at nearby Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Va. She began working as a surrealist while still at UA and became involved with a group of Alabama surrealists who have continued to work together until very recently. Over the years she has created and fine-tuned a process that digitally combines photos and painterly techniques that she calls “transmorgraphy.” Hathaway says that her transmorgraphic works “create living moments in imaginary situations.”

In 2016, Hathaway had a solo exhibition at The Eugenio Granell Fundación, the only museum in the world dedicated to surrealist art, in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. She appears in the movie, Icepick to the Moon (2018), about the early Alabama surrealist groups and she will be a key figure in the forthcoming publication Pataphysics and Surrealism in Alabama (University of Alabama Press). She is included in The International Encyclopedia of Surrealism (2019).

Masters of Surrealism: Picasso, Dalí and Miró opens November 21 and will be on display through December 20, 2020. The exhibition is the museum’s final show before it closes at the end of December.

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