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2nd Annual Design Week Birmingham

Monday October 20 - Saturday October 25

The UAB Department of Art and Art History is a proud sponsor of the 2nd annual Design Week Birmingham, a multifaceted event including lectures, film screenings, exhibitions, workshops and social gatherings inspired by the belief that design matters. 

The DAAH has partnered with Design Week Birmingham to present keynote lecturer Aaron Draplin, charismatic designer and Field Notes creator, Thursday, October 23. Draplin, with his penchant for bold simple graphics and Americana, founded Draplin Design Co. (DDC) in 2004 and has designed widely-recognized projects in print, identity, web, and illustration for clients including Field Notes, Esquire, Nike, Red Wing, Burton Snowboards, Ford Motor Co., and the Obama Administration.

For a full schedule of events go to www.dwbhm.com.

WHISPER AWAY: UAB DAAH Prayer Flag Project // Installation

October 20-26, 2014
UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts Sculpture Garden 

Opening Reception Wednesday, October 22, 5:00-6:30 p.m.


Inspired by and in collaboration with Birmingham artist Carrie Bloomston’s Happy Flag Project, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Art and Art History is creating a community prayer flag installation to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s visit to Birmingham. 

The large-scale installation of more than 1,000 flags will be on exhibit Oct. 20-26 in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences’ Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts Sculpture Garden, 1221 10th Ave. South. An outdoor reception is planned for 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22. Associate Professor of Art History Dr. Cathleen Cummings will present a short lecture. The event is free and open to the public.  

Since July, the Department of Art and Art History has collaborated with participants across the UAB campus and throughout Birmingham in making prayer flags. DAAH faculty led Woodlawn High School students in making flags during the Woodlawn Summer Bridge Program, and the UAB departments of Anthropology, Biology, Government, Sociology, Philosophy, Theatre, as well as the School of Public Health, have contributed to the project. Assistant Professor of Art Doug Baulos led prayer flag workshops across campus, including with the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, UAB Art Club and the UAB Honors College, and UAB art students enrolled in painting, drawing, design, photography and art classes have made hundreds of flags throughout the semester.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture Stacey Holloway’s Intermediate Sculpture class designed the installation and presented their installation proposal to a committee of UAB officials in September. The interactive installation will span more than 100 feet across the AEIVA Sculpture Garden and include seating areas for meditation.

“The project has a positive impact on our students’ academic learning by seeking to achieve real objectives for the community and deeper understanding of professional skills, including working in team environments,” said DAAH Chair Lauren Lake. “Their experience enhances understanding, which leads to more effective action.”

While traditional Tibetan Buddhist motifs are featured on many flags, others include personal messages, commemorations, quotes, or other ecumenical and/or nonreligious messages. Students have been encouraged to express themselves, their hopes, their dreams and other positive ideas onto the flags.

“Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom,” Bloomston said. “The flags do not carry prayers to gods, which is a common misconception; rather, the Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space. Therefore, prayer flags are thought to bring benefit to all.”

Prayer flags positively change the environment in which they are placed, and the same should be said of art, says Jared Ragland, DAAH visual media and outreach coordinator.

“Our goal has been to create a project that celebrates the Dalai Lama’s visit and provides an opportunity for creative expression and interdisciplinary collaboration across UAB and around the city of Birmingham,” Ragland said. “This installation will, like the recent ‘Magic Chromacity’ project, highlight UAB’s Cultural Corridor through the presentation of a public artwork that explores multicultural identities and vernacular sources in a contemporary art context.”

Use and follow #UABWhisperAway on social media for all project updates.

For more information, contact Jared Ragland at raglandj@uab.edu.

A Seat at the Big Table: Bloom Studio // Exhibition

Monday, Aug. 11-Monday, Sept. 22, 2014
Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts
Reception Friday, August 29, 5-7:30 p.m.

Works by advanced design students in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Bloom Studio will be on exhibition Aug. 11-Sept. 22 in the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, 1221 10th Ave. South.

UAB’s Bloom Studio, run by UAB Graphic Design Associate Professor Doug Barrett, allows Department of Art and Art History Graphic Design students to gain real-world experience working directly with regional clients, local non-profits, and under-served communities on Design for Good projects.

Design for Good, an American Institute of Graphic Arts platform, is a movement to ignite, accelerate and amplify design-driven social change. It creates opportunities for designers to build their practice, network and visibility. The exhibition, “A Seat at the Big Table: Bloom Studio,” will showcase works produced by Bloom Studio students from the last two years, including projects for The Cahaba River Society, Bibb County Tourism Board, Lakeview District/Sloss Real Estate and more. Admission is free. A reception is planned for 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29.

The AEIVA is open to the public 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 12-6 p.m. Saturday and closed Sundays and holidays. For more information, contact John Fields at jfields@uab.edu.

Pulp + Bone // A One-night Only Student Exhibition

Thursday, August 7
6-8 p.m.
UAB Visual Arts Gallery

The UAB Department of Art and Art History presents a one-night only student exhibition, "Pulp + Bone." Students enrolled in the 2014 summer “Drawing: Figurative Themes” course have spent the semester exploring the figure as a subject of art and researching contemporary and historic figurative works. Through the course students have been introduced to formal figurative drawing and the considerations of the figure in contemporary art practice. Works by each student will be exhibited in a one-night only exhibition, Thursday, August 7, 6-8 p.m. at the UAB Visual Arts Gallery in the Humanities Building, 900 13th St. S.

Featuring the works of UAB students: Lucy Allen, Emily Bailey, Michael Baker, Matthew Barton, Tria Bolden, Rachel Ejem, Claire Godbee, Carolyn Harwood, Wesley Holmes, Glendinning Johnston, Caroline McCarter, Winston O’Rear, Sav Owen, Patrick Parks, Katherine Rubens, Jaylen Strong, and Tait Wayland

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Summer Bridge Program brings Woodlawn students to DAAH

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A group of 50 rising ninth- and 10th-graders from Woodlawn High School will enjoy an early college experience at the University of Alabama at Birmingham through the Summer Bridge Program from July 28-31.

The Summer Bridge Program, which introduces students to life on campus, has been organized by the UAB Office of the Provost in collaboration with the UAB School of Education and the UAB Department of Art and Art History.  

Summer Bridge is a free program designed to help students successfully transition from middle school to high school, both academically and socially. The program’s objectives are to assist students in the academically challenging high school environment; to expose students to, and engage them in, college project-based learning experiences to develop and reinforce academic skills; to provide students with an opportunity to begin building and utilizing community resources while building peer networks; and to acclimate students to a college campus and career planning as soon as they enter ninth grade. Lunch will be provided, as well as school bus transportation with pickup and drop-off on the Woodlawn campus.  

The School of Education’s Department of Human Studies will focus on sharing environmental sciences research and education with Summer Bridge students, and on improving the quality of life for individuals, families and communities through wellness education. Students will engage in hands-on learning opportunities in the exercise physiology wet lab, measure and collect data on calorie intake and energy expenditure, and learn about prevention and control of diseases. Throughout their time with faculty and in the labs, students will measure their individual activity by collecting data from pedometers with a goal of evaluating the impact of small changes in lifestyle behaviors.

“Our faculty members are excited about sharing a portion of their workday and research with these students,” said Kristi S. Menear, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Human Studies. “These activities give students a true picture of career options available in environmental sciences. The bonus is these students will come away with health and wellness information they can immediately apply to their lives, to create a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their families.”

On Thursday, July 31, student participants will visit the Department of Art and Art History at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts for a series of four hands-on studio art courses.

The courses include screen printing with Associate Professor of Graphic Design Doug Barrett, which will cover the fundamentals of silkscreen from screen preparation to final print and how to properly use screen-printing equipment and tools. Students will have an opportunity to print and take home a poster made in class.Instructor Jared Ragland will teach students a course in camera obscura (Latin for “dark room”), including the history of and how to create a life-sized camera obscura. Professor of Painting Gary Chapman will lead students in making prayer flags. Inspired by and in collaboration with Birmingham native Carrie Bloomston’s Happy Flag Project, students’ flags will be combined with thousands of others to blanket Birmingham during the visit of the Dalai Lama in October. DAAH Chair and Associate Professor of Art Lauren Lake will guide students as they cut and sew as part of a community sewing team to create the final work “Magic Chromacity.” Visiting Artist Amanda Browder, who is leading the “Magic Chromacity” project, will Skype with the students. The work will debut in August, when the giant fabric works will adorn the AEIVA and UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.

Interlude/Influence: Faculty and Alumni at Work // Exhibition

Monday, Aug. 11-Monday, Sept. 22, 2014

Works by faculty and select alumni of the 
University of Alabama at BirminghamDepartment of Art and Art History will be featured in an exhibition, “Interlude/Influence: Faculty and Alumni at Work.” The exhibition will be on show Aug. 11-Sept. 22, in the UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, 1221 10th Ave. South. A reception is planned for 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29. Admission is free.

“Interlude/Influence” will examine the dynamics of the master/apprentice relationship that occurs within the academic art context. The exhibition includes works by DAAH faculty James AlexanderDoug BarrettDoug BaulosGary ChapmanDerek CraccoCathleen CummingsJessica DallowStacey HollowayLauren LakeHeather McPhersonSonja RiegerNoa TurelErin Wright and Elisabeth Pellathy, with staff members Bonard Hughins and Jared Ragland. The exhibition also includes works by DAAH alumni Dan Bynum, Merrilee Challiss, Clayton Colvin, Brian Curtin, Christopher Dacre, John Fields, Jonathan Gann, Chad Burton Johnson, Jessica Pattmon, David Sandlin and Ester Song.

The AEIVA is open to the public 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 12-6 p.m. Saturday and closed Sundays and holidays. For more information, contact John Fields at jfields@uab.edu.

Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi: Edward M. and Hermione C. Friend Lecture

Thursday, September 18, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts Lecture Hall

2014 Edward M. and Hermione C. Friend Lecture: Dr. Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, “The Dak'Art Biennial and 20th Century Black Cultural Politics of Visibility,” at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.

Dr. Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi is an artist, art historian, and curator of African art at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. He holds a B.A. in Fine and Applied Arts from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria, a postgraduate diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies from the University of Western Cape, South Africa, and a Ph.D. in Art History from Emory University. Nzewi has participated in international artists’ residency and workshop programs, and over 35 art exhibitions in Africa, Europe, and the United States. He has curated exhibitions in Africa and the United States, such as Afrika Heritage Biennial in Nigeria (2002, 2004, and 2007), Transitions: Contemporary South African Works on Paper at the High Museum Atlanta, USA in 2009, and the Dak’Art Biennial in 2014. He is a recipient of several academic fellowships, scholarship, and artists’ awards, including Robert Sterling Clark Foundation Fellowship (2011) and Smithsonian Institution Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (2012). His recent essays include "The Individual and Community: Aesthetics of Blackness in the works of three Black British Artists," Critical Interventions, No. 12 (Fall 2013), “The Contemporary Present and Modernist Past in Postcolonial African Art,” World Art, Issue 3, No. 2 (autumn/fall 2013)," and "Curating Africa, Curating the Contemporary: The Pan-African Model of Dak’Art Biennial,” SAVVY: Journal of contemporary African Art, [special edition on Curating: Expectations and Challenges] No. 4 (November 2012). He is a contributor to Grove Art Online summer 2014 update on African Art and Architecture, Oxford University Press, and co-editor of New Spaces for Negotiating Art (and) Histories (forthcoming), a book on independent art initiatives in Africa.

The announcement of the creation of Dak’Art 1989 marked a pivotal moment in African and international art scenes. President Abdou Diouf’s government had emerged from the worst part of Senegal’s economic crisis in the 1980s, and was ready to revert to international cultural diplomacy as crucial to national development and economic growth. The mainstream artworld had also begun to re-examine the meaning of internationalism with groundbreaking exhibitions such as Magicians of the Earth and Another Story. Yet, these events at the twilight of the decade preceding the expansion of the art world and the emergence of new forms of cultural mediation in the 1990s do not fully explain what precipitated Dak’Art. A full picture must include a rigorous engagement with 20th century global black cultural politics, which inspired and continue to drive Dak’Art’s geopolitical focus. This lecture maps this history.

Throughout the twentieth century, the essence of black cultural politics was the aspiration for institutionalized political and cultural visibility. The tenor of the quest has continued to evolve with changing historical and contemporary conditions. The Dak’Art Biennial in Senegal responds to the specifics of contemporary cultural politics, but with the benefit of a complex and often difficult black history. Several pan-African conferences and cultural fora organized between 1900 and1959 in different locations in the Western world explored racial uplift, and attempted to forge a united political front against racism and colonialism. These events promoted interaction among black people from different countries and provided an initial context for pan-African internationalism to blossom. This particular pan-Africanist spirit culminated in the black cultural congresses in Europe at the twilight of colonialism, and later manifested in the pan-African cultural festivals in Africa. The early pan-African congresses and festivals, including the International Congress of African Culture in Salisbury (Harare) in 1962, and the First World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar in 1966, the First Pan-African Festival in Algiers in 1969, and the Second World Festival of Black and African Arts in Lagos in 1977, made a case for black cultural visibility on a global scale. Significantly, they gave international recognition to modern black and African artists, a role currently championed by Dak’Art for contemporary artists of African descent.

Dr. Nzewi will present his lecture at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, September 18, in the UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, Lecture Hall, 1221 10th Ave. South. Admission is free and open to the public.

The Friend Lecture series was established in 2005 by Mrs. Ellen Elsas and her husband Dr. Fred Elsas, in memory of Mrs. Elsas’s parents who were active supporters of the arts in the Birmingham community. With the objective to bring important and engaging speakers in the disciplines of art, art history, and criticism to the UAB campus for the benefit of our students and the community, the annual Friend lecture has featured such noted curators, critics, and art historians as Robert Storr, Tom Eccles, and Ivan Gaskell.

For more information, contact Jared Ragland at raglandj@uab.edu

Students Exhibit Works from Alternative Materials

News: Students in Visiting Professor of Sculpture Stacey Holloway’s summer interdisciplinary Source Material course used alternative materials to create installations and sculpture-based artworks for a one-night-only exhibition Wednesday, June 18, presented by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Art and Art History.

After researching contemporary artists who use nontraditional sculptural materials, such as Ann Hamilton, Tara Donovan, Clive Murphy, Wolfgang Laib, Berndnaut Smilde and Sakir Gokcebag, the students experimented with material choices and the relationships among materials, process, form and content. During the first two weeks, students completed single-day projects with various materials including powders, liquids, expired media and common household items. Next, they were assigned three formal projects: a recycled, a terrain and a final of their choosing. 

Katie Gonzalez, Loryn Green, Daniel Heron, Wesley Holmes, Angela Isbell, Kelsey Parrish, Jacob Phillips, Aaron Scott and Ryan Tucker participated in the exhibition.

Upon completion of the course, students were expected to have a greater appreciation of what can be accomplished through the use of easily obtained objects and an expanded vocabulary and understanding of contemporary art, Holloway says.

UAB Design Student Hannah Rettig Selected for Woodlawn Foundation Bus Design

News: A design by University of Alabama at Birmingham student Hannah Rettig will adorn a refurbished school bus, essentially a mobile classroom, that will travel Woodlawn neighborhoods providing information and services to parents and children in an effort to help increase student success in school.

The bus and its services will be unveiled along with Woodlawn Innovation Network at Woodlawn Foundation’s community fair Sunday, June 1, from 3-6 p.m., with the special presentation at 4 p.m., in the Social Venture Parking Lot, 5529 First Ave. South. Free food, games and prizes will be provided to participants. The Woodlawn Innovation Network is the new STEAM curriculum — science, technology, engineering, art + design, and math — within the Woodlawn system of schools.

Kyana White of the Woodlawn Foundation approached UAB Assistant Professor of Art Doug Barrett for designs, and he assigned it as a project within the semester schedule. Eighteen of his Department of Art and Art History ARS 250 Introduction to Graphic Design students participated and submitted 15 designs. Barrett says he loves these sorts of projects, which are community- and service-based.

“While it seems really complex, it was actually a great project for beginning students,” Barrett said. “They had no preconceptions of what they could or could not do, so the sky was the limit. It also was a great project to think in 3-D. Since the bus is a complex object, they had to think about it in those terms.”

White met with the students and talked about the foundation’s mission, what the bus will do and who the audience is. The students then worked for three weeks on designs and presented the designs back to members of the Woodlawn Foundation. That also served as an excellent way for students to practice presentation skills and work with a client, Barrett says. The work of first-year graphic design student Hannah Rettig was chosen.

The students worked in Adobe Illustrator because vector graphics are scalable and can be made giant, Barrett says. Rettig’s file was sent to a specialty printer who printed the design on large sheets to wrap on the bus. The graphics that fit over the windows are transparent from the inside.

Barrett was an inaugural faculty fellow in Service Learning at UAB last year. The interdisciplinary team of faculty members worked for a year on theories, implementation and assessment of academic service learning and how to integrate it into courses across disciplines.

“This type of project gets students to give back to the community and to understand that they can make a difference,” Barrett said. “The added fact that Hannah gets to see her work become real and take its place in the world is very exciting for a young designer.”

UAB Service Learning likes to highlight projects such as this, says Libba Vaughan, coordinator of Academic Engagement and Global Citizenship in Service Learning.

“This is the best kind of community engagement project — students collaborating with a community partner on a project that not only addresses a need defined by the partner, but enhances student learning as well,” Vaughan said. “Doug Barrett does a great job of connecting what he needs to teach in ARS 250 with a real-world, hands-on project. Kyana White and the Woodlawn Foundation were terrific community partners because Kyana served a valuable and vital role as a community instructor to Doug’s students.”

White says the Woodlawn Foundation is working to create a seamless education pipeline that ensures students will graduate from high school with an intentional path forward to college or a career. The bus is the group’s Mobile Parent Resource Center, one of several projects within that pipeline.

“Beginning in August, the repurposed school bus will travel neighborhoods surrounding Woodlawn community schools to provide information and services to our children’s primary educators, their parents,” White said. “Resources will include workshops and activities designed especially for parents, such as financial management classes and parenting workshops, as well as services for their children including early childhood screenings, immunizations, and more. The bus features six computer workstations, a projector and screen, and Wi-Fi. It is essentially a mobile classroom.”

by Shannon Thomason

After Sōsaku Hanga // Exhibition

Thursday, June 5-Thursday, July 17, 2014

Exhibition: "After 'Sōsaku Hanga': Creativity and Modernity in Japanese Prints of the 1960s and 1970s," a companion exhibition to the Birmingham Museum of Art’s Shin Hanga: Japanese Prints from the 1920s and 1930s exhibition. Curated from the permanent collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art by UAB Assistant Professor Cathleen Cummings, this exhibition explores the works of Sōsaku Hanga printmakers of post-war Japan and the growing influence of the West on traditional Japanese print aesthetics. Unlike traditional Japanese prints of the ukiyo-e tradition, which were made through a collaboration between artist, block-carver, printer and publisher, artists of the sōsaku hanga tradition sought individual and highly personalized expression in their works, and executed all stages of the print-production process themselves. The exhibition features many of the movement’s most important artists, including Watanabe Sadao, Umetaro Azechi and Mori Yoshitoshi, working in the 1960s and 1970s — a time of great cultural flux in Japan.

The AEIVA is open to the public 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 12-6 p.m. Saturday and is closed Sundays and holidays. For more information, contact John Fields at jfields@uab.edu.

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Objects of Authority // Exhibition

Thursday, June 5-Thursday, July 17, 2014

Exhibition: "Objects of Authority: Embroideries and Other Contemporary Arts from Western India
," curated by Cathleen Cummings, UAB Assistant Professor of Art History, and Cynthia Ryan, UAB Associate Professor of English, at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts. Several students from Cummings’ recent graduate seminar have also participated in curating the exhibition, which will feature approximately forty works of art produced in rural contexts in India over the last four to five decades. Older, heirloom embroideries from Gujarat will be juxtaposed with those produced in the last two to three years under the aegis of Indian NGOs to highlight the effects of commodification on artistic production, and the aesthetic results. The exhibition will also feature paintings and textiles from Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, where similar aesthetic modifications have occurred as those in Gujarat, to draw attention to the intersections of market needs and artistic invention that have resulted in new aesthetic traditions cropping up across these regions.

The AEIVA is open to the public 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 12-6 p.m. Saturday and is closed Sundays and holidays. For more information, contact John Fields at jfields@uab.edu.

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Faculty, Student to Exhibit at Space One Eleven

Friday, July 11, 2014

Exhibition: “Mentor-Mentee Windows” featuring Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture Stacey Holloway and Department of Art and Art History student Jacob Phillips at Space One Eleven’s Front Porch Gathering in Birmingham, Alabama.

Space One Eleven will unveil Holloway’s “The Huntress” and Phillips’ “Amalgamation of Knowledge” as part of SOE’s ongoing Mentor-Mentee Windows program, which showcases the works of art mentors and their students. The installations will be unveiled to the public at 5 p.m., with artist talks at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. SOE is located at 2409 Second Ave. North. Call 205-328-0553 or visit online at spaceoneeleven.org.

Space One Eleven is a visual arts nonprofit founded in Birmingham in 1986. Its mission is to provide professional opportunities for artists, create a forum for public understanding of contemporary art and offer arts education to area youth. SOE’s summer Front Porch Gatherings are designed to bring the community together. A longtime part of American history and identity, the act of porch sitting has been lost due in large part to the distractions of technology. SOE aims to resurrect the activity, which can build and sustain communities with live, face-to-face interaction.

This project is supported, in part, by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Alabama State Council on the Arts; the Board of Directors; friends of Space One Eleven; local foundations; private, corporate and individual donors; and the UAB Department of Art and Art History.

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Source Material // One-Night Only Student Exhibition

Wednesday, June 18 5:30-7:30pm

Exhibition: A one-night only exhibition with work by Visiting Professor of Sculpture Stacey Holloway's summer Source Material course students. Featuring: Katie Gonzalez, Loryn Green, Daniel Heron, Wesley Holmes, Angela Isbell, Kelsey Parrish, Jacob Phillips, Aaron Scott, and Ryan Tucker.

In the summer interdisciplinary course Source Material, students were engaged in projects that consider alternative source materials for the construction of installations and sculptural based artworks. Researching contemporary artists that use untraditional sculptural materials – such as Ann Hamilton, Tara Donovan, Clive Murphy, Wolfgang Laib, Berndnaut Smilde, and Sakir Gokcebag – the students experimented with appropriate material choices and the relationships between materials, process, form, and content. 

During the first two weeks, students completed single-day projects, each with various materials, such as powders, liquids, expired media, as well as other common household items. Using their gained knowledge through these quick projects, students were then assigned three formal projects - a recycled, a terrain, and a final of their choosing. 

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to have a greater appreciation of what can be accomplished through the use of easily obtained objects as well as an expanded vocabulary and understanding of contemporary art. 

Works by each student will be exhibited in a one-night only exhibition, Wednesday, June 18, in the UAB Visual Arts Gallery in the Humanities Building, 900 13th St. S. from 5:30-7:30pm.  For more information, contact Stacey Holloway at shollow@uab.edu

Amanda Browder: Magic Chromacity // Installation

Installation: Friday, August 29-Friday, September 5*
Lecture: Thursday, August 28th, 6 p.m.
Opening reception: Friday, August 29th from 5 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Two buildings on the University of Alabama at Birmingham campus will be covered with giant swathes of colorful fabric for a large-scale art installation by New York City-based artist Amanda Browder titled “Magic Chromacity.”

In the first joint project for UAB’s Cultural Corridor, the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, the Department of Art and Art History, and the College of Arts and Sciences’ new Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts commissioned Browder to create “Magic Chromacity.” The vast artworks Browder is creating use recycled and donated materials collected in Birmingham and Brooklyn, New York, and will adorn the AEIVA and ASC buildings for one week. These huge, vibrant, quiltlike works will allow the buildings, which face each other on 10th Avenue South, to reflect and complement each other while also serving as individual installations.

Browder will give a free, public lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, and an opening reception will be held from 5-7:30 p.m. Aug. 29, in the AEIVA. The Department of Art and Art History, John S. Jemison Fund, and the Alys Stephens Center sponsor her lecture. “Magic Chromacity” will be available for viewing Friday, Aug. 29, through Friday, Sept. 5. The installation will be illuminated each night until midnight.

Browder describes her work as “being soft sculpture/found object installation with an affinity for abstraction and minimalism.”

“I use forms that are similar to the images in a comic book: reduced, simplified, and reconfigured to be idealized and sensational,” Browder said. “I appreciate the transformative nature of materials, and how the combination of familiar objects can create abstract relationships. These relationships generate open-ended narratives, and ambiguous situations that are defined by the choice of materials. Central to the psychedelic experience, I use bright colors and familiar materials to recreate this subtle change in perception.”

With “Magic Chromacity,” Browder has orchestrated “a physical installation that connects to both our sense of spectacle and our feeling of the familiar.”

magic_chromacity_w.jpg“Although the forms are abstract, the use of bright colors and familiar materials creates a perceptual accessibility that welcomes a quick response,” Browder said. “The transitory aspect of the installation, a feature more commonly associated with the performing arts, reminds us that memory is a primary basis of community culture.”

For Browder, UAB’s Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts and the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center are dramatic symbols of Birmingham’s involvement in contemporary art and performance. “Magic Chromacity” metaphorically “sews” these two buildings together using fabric, a traditional material found in local homes, and which, in the form of clothes, has always been a personal bridge between public, private, functional and celebratory worlds, she says.

The works began during her first visit in November 2013, as part of her ongoing residency at the DAAH. More than 200 community volunteers from ArtPlay and Bib and Tucker Sew-Op, students from Birmingham City Schools including the Woodlawn Summer Bridge program, and UAB students, staff and faculty helped create the works during community sewing days. Browder will be in residence with the Department of Art and Art History leading up to the installation of the artworks Aug. 26-28.

Browder has invested more than 250 hours of sewing in the project, not including the countless hours volunteers spent collecting, arranging, cutting, pinning and sewing. More than 10,000 square feet of fabric has been used so far, along with 250 spools of thread. The longest section of the piece will measure more than 100 feet.

To keep up with the project and see photographs from the residency, visit the Department of Art and Art History on Facebook. Use and follow #Magic_Chromacity on social media for all project updates.

Born in Missoula, Montana, in 1976, Browder currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received her Master of Fine Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2001 and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 2001-2007. She has received grants for public works by the Brooklyn Arts Council in New York, the North Brooklyn Public Arts Council and the Chicago Community Arts Assistant Program in Illinois. Browder has exhibited nationally and internationally at the SWAB Art Fair, Barcelona, Spain; Gallery Poulsen; Copenhagen, Denmark; Nakaochiai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Lothringer 14, Munich, Germany; White Columns, New York; Mixture Contemporary Gallery, Houston, Texas; The Missoula Museum of the Arts, Missoula; and Gallery 400-UIC and The Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, Illinois. She is a founder of the art podcast www.badatsports.com and a member of the Round Robin Collective.

For more information, contact Jared Ragland at raglandj@uab.edu

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*UPDATE // Sept. 3, 2014: After a round of severe weather over the Labor Day weekend, and with the threat of impending storms over the next few days, The College of Arts and Sciences is removing Magic Chromacity early to protect the artwork. While we regret the circumstances, it is of utmost importance that we preserve the art and ensure it is returned to Amanda Browder in the best possible condition. We hope everyone has enjoyed this remarkable installation, and we are honored to have been able to display it on campus.

Leslie Wayne: Mind the Gap // Exhibition & Lecture

Thursday, June 5-Thursday, July 17, 2014

Exhibition & Lecture: Leslie Wayne: “Mind the Gap,” at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts. New York artist Leslie Wayne is the fourth exhibitor at the AEIVA, and “Mind the Gap” is the first solo exhibition of paintings at the AEIVA. Wayne is an internationally exhibited artist whose works have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, ARTnews and Art in America. Wayne also is a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Artist Grant and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Artist Grant. 

While at UAB, Wayne will make studio visits and speak to painting students. She will also oversee the installation of her delicate, brilliantly colored abstract works, made entirely of paint, but pushed and manipulated on panels or sculpted and folded to evoke the look of draped fabric or clay. The thick layers and designs are created without a brush.

“Mind The Gap” will present a cross section of the artist’s past and present works, and Wayne will present a lecture on the exhibition at 4 p.m. Friday, June 6, in the UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, Lecture Hall, 1221 10th Ave. South. A free reception is to follow, from 5-7:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

The lecture and residency are sponsored by Friends of the Department of Art and Art History Lydia Cheney and Jim Sokol. Cheney and Sokol will lend two of Wayne’s works for the show, while others will come from the artist’s gallery in New York, Jack Shainman Gallery.

The AEIVA is open to the public 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 12-6 p.m. Saturday and is closed Sundays and holidays. For more information, contact John Fields at jfields@uab.edu.

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Spring 2014 UAB Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition

Wednesday, April 30 - Thursday, May 22

Exhibition: UAB Department of Art and Art History presents the spring 2014 UAB Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition, at the UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, 1221 10th Ave. South. A free opening reception will be held Thursday, May 1 from 5:00-8:00pm. The exhibition will feature student works including graphic design, drawing, painting, printmaking and photography by seniors Matthew Barton, Christina McCoo, Ryan Meyer, Mary Morgan, Kelsea Nichols, and Haley Salzburn.

To read the exhibition press release, go here: BFA student works on exhibition April 30-May 22

Admission is free. The AEIVA is open to the public 10:00am-6:00pm Monday-Friday; 12:00-6:00pm Saturday; and closed on Sunday and holidays. For more information, contact John Fields at jfields@uab.edu.

Tushar Gandhi: Forum and Lecture

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Forum and Lecture: UAB presents Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, in a free forum and public lecture.

Tushar Arun Gandhi is the son of journalist Arun Manilal Gandhi, grandson of Manilal Gandhi and great-grandson of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, known as Mahatma Gandhi. He lives in Mumbai, India, and runs the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation.

Gandhi will spend a day at UAB as part of a three-day trip to Birmingham to speak about and promote human rights and peace. From 12-4 p.m. May 6, the public is invited to participate in “Gandhian Paths to Global Progress: A Forum with Tushar Gandhi” at UAB’s Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, 1221 10th Ave. South. The forum is free; participants must register by email at raglandj@uab.edu or by phone at 205-975-0693. Lunch and a coffee break will be provided. See the forum schedule below.

Later in the day, at 6 p.m., Gandhi will deliver his lecture on human rights, “Three Marches and a Dream: Salt and Freedom,” in UAB’s Mary Culp Hulsey Recital Hall, 950 13th St. South. The lecture is free and open to the public; seating is limited. To reserve a seat, call or email Monica Robinson at 205-975-6267 or monie@uab.edu.

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Gandhian Paths to Global Progress: A Forum with Tushar Gandhi
Co-leaders: Tushar Gandhi, N. S. Xavier, Cynthia Ryan, Cathleen Cummings
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, 1221 10th Ave. South

Schedule (a PDF version of the schedule is available for download by clicking HERE)

Part I: Interrogating the Terms 12:00-12:45 p.m.
What is peace building? Is it post-war economic development, relationship building, or any project aimed at social change? Terminological confusion negatively impacts how the field is understood and funded. It makes it difficult for practitioners to collaborate on peace building projects when people bring different expectations about what the scope of peace building includes. 
Lisa Schirch

How do we effect meaningful change in the globalized world of the twenty-first century if individuals and nations perceive the terms of the discussion in differing ways? Here we initiate a discussion about the concepts and terms for understanding and implementing peace and justice in a globalized world, considering the ways in which the vocabulary may be understood in environments different from our own.  

Lunch 12:45-1:30 p.m.

Part II: Working Toward Real Cultural Conscience 1:30-2:45 p.m.
A society of people guided by conscience would manifest law and order without legalism and militarism. Such a society would encourage interdependence and genuine individuality with a spirit of fairness and responsibility toward oneself, fellow humans, and the world.
–N. S. Xavier

Drawing together psychological and spiritual connections Dr. N. S. Xavier will offer a number of case studies to springboard exercises and discussion of the development of real cultural conscience. Participants will work through a variety of exercises in response to specific case studies—including the examples set by M. K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus, and others in using conscience to guide their choices—and will explore the power of real cultural conscience to combat fanaticism, abuse, prejudice, violence, and other negative states, especially those wielded by mobs. Participants will discuss conscience strategies for combating problems in our communities and our world.

Coffee Break 2:45-3:00 p.m.

Part III: Deploying Gandhian Philosophies in a Globalized Economy 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Mahatma Gandhi bequeathed to us three guiding principles: Ahimsa (or nonviolence), Satyagraha (or the force born of truth and nonviolence) and Sarvodaya (or upliftment of all). It is the value of these principles that we have to rediscover if we want to deal effectively with today's challenges.
–Sonia Gandhi, Capetown, 2007

As Sonia Gandhi noted in her 2007 Capetown speech, the essence of Mahatma Gandhi’s political philosophy was the empowerment of every individual, irrespective of class, caste, color, creed, or community. To him, extreme poverty was itself a form of violence. Working in small groups, participants will examine a range of case studies—the development of handicrafts industries in India and elsewhere that promote income generation at the village level, TATA Industries and the possibilities of Trusteeship, “green computing” and “techno-Gandhian philosophy” for example—to explore strategies and tactics for incorporating equity and equality, environmental conservation and stewardship, and contribution to a larger social purpose within processes of profit and economic development. Participants may consider approaches to commerce and economic growth in light of the following questions, among others: How does the particular program/industry address poverty in context? In what ways might this approach conflict with socioeconomic priorities within the culture? What additional complications (in 2014) affect the question of poverty in this particular cultural context?

For more information or to RSVP, contact Jared Ragland at raglandj@uab.edu

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38th Annual Juried Student Exhibition

Wednesday, March 19-Friday, April 18, 2014

Exhibition: UAB Department of Art and Art History presents the 38th annual Juried Student Exhibition, in the UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, 1221 10th Ave. South. A free opening reception will be held  Friday, March 21. The annual UAB Juried Student Exhibition features the best student work from across artistic media. Artist George Ferrandi will be the juror for the 2014 UAB Juried Exhibition. Admission is free. The AEIVA is open to the public 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 12-6 p.m. Saturday; and closed on Sunday and holidays. For more information, contact John Fields at jfields@uab.edu.

George Ferrandi: The Prosthetics of Joy // Exhibition

Wednesday, March 19-Friday, April 18, 2014

Exhibition: George Ferrandi: “The Prosthetics of Joy,” in the UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, 1221 10th Ave. South. A free reception is planned for Friday, March 21, 5-7:30pm. New York artist George Ferrandi will exhibit for the first time her project, “The Prosthetics of Joy,” a multimedia, one-act play, where the players, the set and the costumes are indivisible. During the live performance event of “The Prosthetics of Joy,” the artist will reconstruct a specific photograph from the inside out. The photo is of 40 or so children at a party dressed like serious adults, in little suits and fedoras, in the midst of a unanimous and literal jump for joy. The children from the photo will be played by UAB students, faculty and staff. Ferrandi’s work has been performed and exhibited around the country. She has received grants from the Franklin Furnace Fundwinners for Performance Art, the Mid Atlantic Arts Council and the RISD Part-time Faculty Association. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Brooklyn Rail and The Huffington Post. Ferrandi teaches sculpture and performance art at the Rhode Island School of Design and at Virginia Commonwealth University. Admission is free. The AEIVA is open to the public 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 12-6 p.m. Saturday; and closed on Sunday and holidays. For more information, contact John Fields at jfields@uab.edu.

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George Ferrandi: The Prosthetics of Joy // Performance

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Live performance: UAB presents artist George Ferrandi in a live performance of “The Prosthetics of Joy,” 6:30 p.m., in the UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, Small Gallery, 1221 10th Ave. South. This event is sponsored by the John S. Jemison Fund, UAB College of Fine Arts and the UAB Department of Art and Art History. The live performance of “The Prosthetics of Joy” project was commissioned by the Department of Art and Art History for the AEIVA. Ferrandi is the juror for the 38th annual Department of Art and Art History Juried Exhibition in 2014. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, contact John Fields at jfields@uab.edu.