Visualizing Feeling: The Mood Portrait Project Exhibition

Exhibition:   The Mood Portrait Project: UA Digital Art Class ExhibitionPoster by Seitz
Dates:           February 21-29, 2016
Where:         Harrison Galleries, 2315 University Boulevard, Tuscaloosa
Reception:   February 26, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor Barbara Lee Black asked her digital art students to keep a visual diary of their emotional states for the semester, interpreted in digital images. Now, some of the most thought-provoking and striking of these “mood portraits” will be exhibited at the Harrison Galleries downtown, February 21-29. The public is invited to a reception on Friday, February 26, from 6-9 p.m.

The Mood Portrait Project Student Exhibition includes works by students enrolled in Black’s digital art classes (ART 224, ART 324 and ART 408). Instructor Lee Black said, “At each meeting of my digital art classes, for the first half hour, I asked my students to create a self-portrait expressing his or her mood for that day.” The purpose of the exercise was not to illustrate, but to fully express an emotion visually, as Black added, “not just [depict] your facial features.” Students were not allowed to download images from the Internet to work with, but were required to take their own photographs for the project. They used a variety of software platforms including PhotoBooth, iPhoto, Photoshop, Illustrator and Corel Painter.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the students and Black created a Facebook Event page and a Facebook Community page to let the public know about the exhibition. Posters by four of the students promoting the exhibition were selected. Image credits, left to right: Dodson Seitz, Madalyn Schorr, Emily Heath and Jenny Jang.

Poster by Seitz Poster by Schorr Poster by Heath Poster by Jang

Barbara Lee Black is an instructor in photography and digital media. She is member of the Crossroads Arts Alliance artists’ community in Gordo, Alabama, where she maintains her studio and gallery, Untitled 134. Black has been awarded two Artist Fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Her first in 1992 supported her photographic work that incorporated objects from Ma’Cille’s Museum of Miscellanea in Gordo. Her second fellowship in 2014 allowed her to work on photographs of ephemeral sculptures. In 2010, her work was included in the exhibition, Shooting Southern: Women Photographers, Past and Present, at the Mobile Museum of Art. Black received the MFA from The University of Alabama in 2011. Her website is here.

Harrison Galleries often hosts exhibitions of students in the UA Department of Art and Art History. The gallery, owned by Jim Harrison III, is located at 2315 University Boulevard in downtown Tuscaloosa and is open Monday through Friday, 12 noon to 5:00 pm, and by appointment. Call (205) 464-0054.