MFA Exhibition Explores Adoptive Child’s Experience

UA graduate student in studio art Liam Ward will present his Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition, titled 24, at the Harrison Galleries, February 28-March 19, 2017. A First Friday reception for the artist will be Friday March 3 from 6-9 pm. Image by Liam Ward for MFA exhibition, "24"

In the images of 24, Ward, who is an adopted child with no information about his birth parents, explores an inner world where he combines fantasy and experience. In his exhibition statement, he writes, “The idea of having no knowledge of the most profound moment of my life, my own creation, is a terrifying and somewhat humorous experience. I am creating family history of a family I have no knowledge of, while at the same time projecting my own experiences from my adolescent years onto them.” The images on exhibit are only an excerpt – “a single frame” – of Ward’s imagined world. Because the viewer also has limited knowledge, Ward expects that the viewer will participate by filling in the parts we don’t know with our own projections, much like Ward’s own experience of his birth parents. In that way, he wants “to make the viewer aware of the fiction involved within these images and realize what it means to be a parent and a child.”

Liam Ward received the BFA in studio art from State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 2013, graduating with honors. Ward was a teaching assistant at the Maine Media Workshops, Camden, Maine, at SUNY Plattsburgh and at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa. He participated in the SPE South Central Conference Exhibition in Oklahoma City, Okla., in 2015. Recent publications include American Spirit, BOAAT and in Photographers Forum in which he was a finalist in their Best of Photography Contest in 2016. He is a member of the Society for Photographic Education (SPE) and serves as a graduate ambassador for UA’s Graduate School.

This exhibition is in partial fulfillment of the Master of Fine Arts degree in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Alabama. For more information on the graduate programs of the UA department of art and art history, visit this link:

Harrison Galleries hosts a First Friday jazz reception from 6-9 pm on the first Friday of the month in downtown Tuscaloosa. Harrison Galleries is located at 2315 University Boulevard and is open Monday through Friday, 12 noon to 5:00 pm, and by appointment: (205) 464-0054.