UA Printmaking Students Present Paul R. Jones Collection Exhibition

Michael D. Harris, “Family Shrine,” 1996, acrylic and mixed media on canvas. The Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama, PJ2008.0724. Courtesy of the Estate of Michael D. Harris

Associate Professor Sarah Marshall’s printmaking students in ART 321 have created artworks in response to selected works from the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama for the exhibition, Lasting Impressions: Responses to the Paul R. Jones Collection by Printmaking 321. The show opened at the Paul R. Jones Museum on Friday, May 5, and will run through July 28, 2023. The public is invited to an artists’ reception during First Friday Art Walk on June 2 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Check out installation photos of the exhibition on Flickr (more to come).

The show is the culmination of a class project in which Marshall’s students researched the experience of modern and contemporary African-American artists. Students visited the Paul R. Jones Collection. Curator Emily Bibb, who manages the collection, spoke about Dr. Jones and his legacy and presented key works in the collection. After exploring the collection, each student chose an artist to inspire their own work of art. Professor Marshall said that the work chosen could be made using any medium, and students were permitted to mix media as long as their piece incorporated at least one method, material, or concept related to printmaking.

Marshall reported that some students were drawn to specific works, or felt a strong intuitive connection to the artist. For others, they “were inspired by artistic choices about color, form and mark making, as well as the artists’ personal narratives and the way the artists’ goals aligned with or differed from the students’ own.” In some cases, Marshall said, “the student work clearly resembles the inspiration. In others, the relationship is more mysterious and elusive.”

Works selected from the Paul R. Jones Collection include paintings, photographs, hand-pulled prints, and mixed-media work by artists such as Celestia Morgan, Michael D. Harris, John Wilson, Roderick Vines, John Edward Koegel, and others.

(left) Kat Murray, “Is that John?” monoprint, 2023; (right) Michael Ellison “The Bar,” multilayer relief print, Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama. Photo courtesy Daniel White.

Exhibitors in the printmaking class are Preston Beard, advertising major; Cecily Downey, BFA studio art major with concentrations in drawing and printmaking; Kathleen Kelley, interdisciplinary studies major; Kat Murray, MFA student in printmaking; Irasema Quezada Hammock, MFA student in Book Arts; Beth Sheehan, post-grad student; Ella Smyth, BFA studio art major; Kirsten Standifer, double major in general business and studio art; SK Steen, BFA studio art major with concentrations in printmaking and drawing; and Claire Taggart, studio art major with a minor in creative media.

Grad student Kat Murray said, “The artist that inspired me is Michael Ellison with his piece titled “The Bar.” Ellison made a very dense, colorful, multilayer relief print. The print is of a busy bar scene. It’s beautiful. I chose this piece because my work is rooted in the same place, the bar. I was thrilled when looking through the PRJ collection and coming across an artist that not only is a printmaker but works around similar atmospheres.”

The Paul R. Jones Museum is an essential part of the education and development of UA students and our community. Admission to the museum is free. The museum is located at 2308 Sixth Street, in downtown Tuscaloosa, one block from the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. Hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and First Fridays 12 noon-8 pm. Have questions or need assistance? Call (205) 345-3038 or go to their website.

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