UA Students Organize, Demo Art for Tuscaloosa’s First Friday

BFA major Libby Morris demoing her painting method during December First Friday in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, Tuscaloosa. Photo courtesy Abi Brewer.

UPDATE: If you are a student artist and would like to be considered for a demonstrating artist position during Tuscaloosa’s First Fridays, fill out this form.

Self-described “bug enthusiast” and UA sophomore Libby Morris demonstrated her watercolor technique for the public during December’s First Friday Art Walk at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center in downtown Tuscaloosa. Morris, a BFA major at UA (follow her on Instagram) set up a mobile studio in the main hall and painted an illustration of an insect as passersby watched during First Friday festivities. Morris is working toward the Bachelor of Fine Art degree in studio art with a concentration in ceramics and painting. She also makes ceramic insect sculptures.

Artist demonstrations during First Friday are an effort by the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce to promote the arts downtown. The demos have been organized by the Chamber’s Cultural Arts and Tourism committee, which includes Sandy Wolfe, Chamber board member and director of The Arts Council, and UA student Abi Brewer. Artists who volunteer will be able to demonstrate their art practice outside of one of several downtown Tuscaloosa galleries during future First Friday Art Walks, including Harrison Galleries, Lorrie Lane Studio, Paul R. Jones Museum, The UA Gallery and The Arts Council Gallery (both in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center).

Abi Brewer, artist and junior art major in the CREATE Path to MBA program at UA. Photo courtesy Abi Brewer.

Brewer, a junior majoring in studio art in the CREATE Path to MBA program, is working with Wolfe to recruit UA student artists to demonstrate their art. Brewer also has an art business — Abi Brewer Fine Art — and is a member of the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce as she completes her undergraduate coursework at UA.

Wolfe said that several downtown businesses have asked to have demonstrating artists set up and work at their locations during First Fridays. “Abi volunteered to spearhead the artist participation,” she said, “primarily to connect with student artists.”

“I’m very impressed with her initiative and her membership as a business with the Chamber,” said Wolfe, “[and] equally thrilled that she was presented with an opportunity and committed to showing up and getting involved!”

Brewer noted that for UA students, “[Demoing] is a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the enrichment of Tuscaloosa’s First Friday events, as well as a chance to showcase their art in a high-traffic area. I demonstrated during November First Friday and had a wonderful time – I think other students might as well!”

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