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Senior Art Majors Present Life As They See It

The UA Department of Art and Art History is proud to present Graduating Senior Exhibition, November 11-28, 2019, in the Sella-Granata Art Gallery. The public is invited to a reception for the artists Wednesday, November 13, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Graduating Senior Exhibition features the art of three senior UA artists, Natalie Cox, Charlie Cruz and Arielle Gray, and showcases art projects they have been developing over the past year.

Charlie Cruz, “I Can’t See Me,” digital art, 2019.

Charlie Cruz, a senior double major in psychology and studio art, will present digital artworks, photographs and other works that center on questions of identity, specifically assumptions about gender, and which reflect his experiences and responses to being a transgender person: a transman. In creating these works, Cruz explores the questions, “What does it mean to be a man, woman or none of the above?”  Some of his work reflects his own inner struggles with his identity and with society’s standards and expectations. Other works celebrate friends who, as Cruz notes, “are comfortable in their presentation and gender…These people and others like them helped me feel like it is possible to be a masculine person or man despite dressing in ‘feminine’ fashion.” His work has been exhibited in the 2019 Advanced Scholarship Exhibition in the Sella-Granata Art Gallery and the Shelton State Community College Student Exhibition at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Cruz has been awarded a Bradley Endowed Scholarship in Art, a UA Department of Art and Art History Scholarship for Incoming Students, and a Shelton State Community College Fine Arts Scholarship. Cruz is a freelance digital artist whose clients include Spectrum, UA’s LGBTQA+ student organization, and Reading Allies, The University of Alabama System’s statewide reading initiative. More of Cruz’s art is on his website.

People sitting in a blurry, dark room lit by a neon "Lite" beer sign.
Arielle Gray, “On Looking,” photograph, 2019.

Arielle Gray, a photography major with a minor in art history, will present a body of work titled Wait Until Dark, a collection of still and moving images centered around “the feelings and experiences of nights out on the town.” To create an immersive experience for the viewer, Gray will project image stills with analog slide projectors and will screen a video work on a monitor. She explains, “The images are projected onto the wall in a darkened room to emulate the experience of going out at night. The places we go to party on the weekends are dimly lit and sometimes illuminated by colorful light designs and setups to entice us. I want to use these colorful lights in my images to mirror that and put my viewer into the moments I’ve captured. The ideas within my work hope to relate to the culture we have created for celebrating the night and the ways in which we experience the world when the sun goes down.” Gray received the Bradley Endowed Scholarship in Art, the Farley Moody Galbraith Endowed Art Scholarship and the Mee Too Endowed Scholarship. She has been a photographer in the Black Belt Artist Project collaborative initiative and exhibited her work in the 2019 Advanced Scholarship Exhibition in the Sella-Granata Art Gallery. Gray is a freelance commercial and fine art photographer in Tuscaloosa and has published work in Art Concept Magazine and Uncertain Magazine. More of Gray’s art is on her website.

Abstract painting of a surreal landscape with paint drips throughout.
Natalie Cox

Fredericksburg, Va., native Natalie Cox is a BFA major whose concentrations are in drawing and painting. Cox describes her paintings as “naturalistic landscape images with uniquely imagined forms.” She says, “These paintings represent my visual expression of a strangely abstract domain stemming from a combination of places I have been to and those I have dreamt up in my head. The nonrepresentational landscape and portal-like compositions create an illusionistic world that allows the viewer to decide what naturalistic forms are familiar to them.” Cox has exhibited her work in the 2018 Annual BFA Juried Exhibition, Harrison Galleries, Tuscaloosa and her sculpture is included in the Monster Takeover group on Tuscaloosa River Walk. She was named to the Presidents List in spring 2018, and the Dean’s List in spring 2017, fall 2017, fall 2018 and spring 2019.  She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key International Honor Society, Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Society and National Society of Leadership and Success.

Admission to the Sella-Granata Art Gallery is free. Hours are Monday through Wednesday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m., and Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Information about visitor parking is available on the UA parking services website. Parking is free on campus in a legal space after business hours. For more information, contact the gallery at (205) 348-2783.

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