SMGA to Host Poetry, Music Performance and Video Screening

The UA Department of Art and Art History presents Assistant Professor Holland Hopson and Professor Emeritus Hank Lazer in a performance of their poetry and music and a screening of their collaborative video Brush Mind: Begin To on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art in Garland Hall on UA campus.

Holland Hopson (left, on banjo) and Hank Lazer during a performance of “Brush Mind.” Image courtesy of the artists.

Hopson’s and Lazer’s four-year collaboration has resulted in three installments of their Brush Mind series, the book and accompanying album field recordings     of mind     in morning, and recent performances at the New Orleans Poetry Festival, Blue Ridge Arts Center, and more.

Hopson’s and Lazer’s video, Brush Mind 3: Begin To, is part of the 2024 UA Department of Art and Art History Faculty Biennial Exhibition, on display through February 12, 2024, in the SMGA.

Hank Lazer said “It’s always a great joy and pleasure to collaborate with Holland Hopson to explore the ever-new relationship between poetry and music in an improvised performance. This one is extra special taking place beside the video installation of our collaborative Brush Mind: Begin To.”

Holland Hopson is a sound and media artist, composer and improviser. A multi-instrumentalist, he usually performs on clawhammer banjo and electronics. Hopson often augments his instruments with custom-designed sensor interfaces and performs with his own highly responsive, interactive computer programs. He has performed in Australia, Europe and North America with notable experimental and outsider musicians. Recent exhibits of his artwork include the Southern Sonic sound art festival at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; the Automated exhibit in the Fringe Arts Festival, Bath, UK; and SCREEN2019:Climates. Hopson has held residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Hambidge Center, Harvestworks Digital Media Arts, and others. At UA, he is an assistant professor of Arts Entrepreneurship in New College and in the department of art and art history and a Fellow of the Collaborative Arts Research Initiative (CARI).

Hank Lazer has published thirty-four books of poetry, including field recordings   of mind   in morning (with 15 music-poetry tracks with Holland Hopson on banjo – available on YouTube). Forthcoming in 2024 from Chax Press: Abundant Life: New & Selected Poems. In April 2015, Lazer was selected for the state of Alabama’s highest literary award, the Harper Lee Award, for a lifetime of achievement in literature. Lazer retired in 2014 from the University of Alabama (where he continues to teach innovative seminars on Zen Buddhism and Radical Approaches to the Arts for the Blount Scholars Program and OLLI) after 37 years in a variety of positions, including associate provost for Academic Affairs, executive director of Creative Campus, and professor of English.  To order books, learn about talks, readings, and workshops, and see photos of Duncan Farm, see Lazer’s website:

Admission to the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art (SMGA) is free. The gallery is located in Garland Hall, 103 Garland Hall, 700 Capstone Drive, University of Alabama campus. Hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters when school is in session. The SMGA is closed during the summer. Information about visitor parking is available on the UA parking services website. For more information, contact the gallery at (205) 348-1891.