Works by UA art alumni Karen Graffeo (MFA photography), Jim Neel (MFA sculpture) and Zack Underwood (BFA painting) were juried into the Huntsville Museum of Art’s Red Clay Survey: 2020 – Exhibition of Contemporary Southern Art. The Survey, which runs August 9 – October 4, 2020, is a major recurring regional art competition. Jurors selected 100 outstanding works that “take the pulse” of contemporary Southern art. More than 1,200 works were submitted by artists in 11 southern states in all styles and media.
Karen Graffeo is professor of art and director of the photography concentration at the University of Montevallo. Her exhibition, “Let Us Now Praise the Roma,” of documentary photographs in Roma (Gypsy) communities and refugee encampments in Europe, has been exhibited in Paris, Italy, New York, and Romania. Her work includes multimedia, alternative processes and documentary photography as well as performance-based work. Graffeo was named a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 2012. She received the MFA in photography and painting from UA in 1987.
Jim Neel is professor of art and director of the Durbin Gallery at Birmingham-Southern College. Neel’s sculpture, drawings and photography have appeared in regional and national exhibitions. He is the recipient of the Southeastern College Art Conference Artist’s Fellowship and the Alabama State Council on the Arts Fellowship and has had three artist residencies with Kohler Arts/Industry. As a freelance photojournalist, Neel has covered the wars in Central America and serpent handling Holiness groups in Appalachia. His work has appeared in publications from the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Oxford American, Esquire and the critically acclaimed Salvation on Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington. Neel received the MFA in sculpture from UA in 1973.
Zack Underwood works in painting and collage to address issues around masculinity and adulthood. Underwood exhibits his work regionally, including Artfields in Lake City, S.C., the Huntsville Museum of Art and Arts Alive Gallery at the Kennedy Douglass Center for the Arts in Florence, Ala. He teaches art at Austin Middle School in Decatur, Ala., and has taught painting for the City Art Gallery of Columbia, S.C. He received the BFA in painting from UA in 2007 and the MFA in painting from the University of South Carolina in 2013.
For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.