The Birmingham Museum of Art hired UA art alumna Meredith Randall Knight (MFA 2014, BFA 2011) as coordinator for their studio programs in the BMA’s education department. According to an interview introducing Knight, she will be reestablishing their studio classes and bringing in new projects. “I have a ton of ideas but I also want to include participants and community members in the brainstorming process and hear what they want.” Knight has taught art through the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project, co-directed the Black Belt 100 Lenses program and taught art at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, as well as taught art to middle and high school students.
Influenced by folk art and the self-taught art resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, Knight incorporated found and upcycled materials and post-consumer waste products into her sculpture while at UA. Her MA exhibition, Resurface, at the Sella-Granata Art Gallery in 2013, featured sculptures made from Styrofoam, bubble wrap and plastic bags, some embedded in concrete, to represent the processes of change in Nature. Plastic, inorganic, non-compostable materials fashioned into shapes suggesting growth, erosion and decomposition, created a dissonant, sometimes ironic, commentary on the world. The theme of community was also part of her work as family and friends often helped collect those upcycled materials. Her MFA thesis exhibition, The Marrow of It featured outdoor sculpture of similar materials in a Southern landscape. In 2015, Knight and brother, alumnus Greg Randall (BFA 2014) installed her sculpture, Helical, outside the Von Braun Center in Huntsville. Knight said, “this one is plastic grocery bags, tubing, bamboo fiber and reinforced concrete.”