Sculpture Grad Student Wins National Scholarship

Molly Lay

Sculpture graduate student Molly Lay was awarded the Leslie and Francis Posey Foundation Graduate Art Scholarship in 2021. The Posey Foundation awards scholarships to qualifying full-time graduate-level art students who are majoring in painting or sculpture. The application is open to international and U.S. students.

Lay has been working in sculpture for several years and is drawn to a variety of materials for her work. “Scrap metal, natural found objects, and textiles have been consistent materials in my studio practice over the most recent years,” she said. The objects speak to her as an artist when she works with them. “There is an important exchange that occurs between artist and material. Each learns from the other. Listening is the key.”

Lay said that after graduation, she plans to teach sculpture and 3D design at the college level. She chose UA’s MFA program because she would be able to assist in courses right away, gain experience and then teach as an instructor of record by her second year. “I have felt very supported, encouraged, and equipped throughout this process. [Professor] Craig Wedderspoon has proved an excellent mentor and challenging instructor. His over thirty years of experience in the career of public sculpture makes him an extremely helpful professor at this point in my art career.”

Lay’s work is included in the fall 2021 UA Studio Graduate Student Show in the Sella-Granata Art Gallery in Woods Hall. She has held an internship at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Education and Community Engagement, worked as a curator for the Great Explorations Children’s Museum in Saint Petersburg, Fla., and as summer art program coordinator at Brookwood Baptist Church in Birmingham. As a freelance artist, she created illustrations for advertisements and painted a mural in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 2018. Lay received the BA in studio art from Samford University and studied a semester at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, County Clare, Ireland.

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