Hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Art and Art History, the online store now features limited edition prints created by Guggenheim fellow David Sandlin, sculptor and conceptual artist Willie Cole, and California-based mixed-media artist Travis Somerville.
DAAH students work with UAB DAAH visiting artist Travis Somerville to produce his limited edition print, “House Arrest,” in the UAB DAAH Printmaking Studio, Nov. 6, 2015. Photo by Leita TurnerWorks by three visiting contemporary artists created through a special program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will join a trove available for sale to help support student scholarships.
Hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences’Department of Art and Art History, the online storenow features limited edition prints created through its visiting artist atelier program. The department has invited a diverse group of artists to participate in the series, including Guggenheim fellow David Sandlin, sculptor and conceptual artist Willie Cole, and California-based mixed-media artist Travis Somerville.
Since 2009, Assistant Professor of Printmaking Derek Cracco, MFA, has led the visiting artist atelier program, connecting artists to UAB art students in the joint production of unique works of art. The program promotes historical and contemporary printmaking practices and introduces printmaking methods to artists whose works typically lie outside the medium. As part of the residency, Cracco offers intensive, one-on-one training to connect each artist’s research interests and aesthetics with his or her envisioned print concepts, and invites printmaking students to work with the visiting artist.
The projects are executed within the historic tradition of the artist’s atelier, French for workshop or studio, where young artists and artisans learn techniques and execute works under a master.
“This series gives UAB students the opportunity work alongside established artists by assisting in a project,” Cracco said. “As studio technicians, the students use their knowledge and skills, including relief, intaglio and planographic methods, to help each artist achieve his or her goals. Through these projects, the students are also challenged to creatively solve problems they may not usually face in their personal studio practices.
“It is always interesting to see how each visiting artist embraces the medium while approaching the processes of printmaking from different directions,” he said. Money raised from the sale of prints also will support the Visiting Artist and Scholar Series.
Associate Professor of Printmaking Derek Cracco holds an etched plate during production of UAB DAAH visiting artist Travis Somerville’s limited edition print, “House Arrest,” in the UAB DAAH Printmaking Studio, Nov. 6, 2015. Photo by Leita TurnerSandlin, a UAB alumnus, worked closely with students to create an edition of colorful lithograph prints. Sized at 22 by 30 inches, the print was created by painting with inks, Xerox toners and paint pens onto transparency films. The films were then exposed to photographic lithography plates, one color at a time. The frenetic, science fiction cartoon-inspired image is typical of Sandlin’s style, used to express ideas of individual freedom and engage in social critique.
Cole, whose recent exhibition “Transformations” at UAB’s Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts featured works made from women’s shoes, discarded water bottles and matches, made two prints during his residency at UAB in 2011, and he also served as juror for the 36th annual Juried Student Exhibition. The prints reference the artist’s African-American heritage and feature a common motif in his work, the steam iron. In “Home Mark,” a 31-by-23-inch two-color print, a large-scale scorched iron mark is printed on a thin sheet of rice paper. The shadowy, modulated dark tones radiating from the scorch mark come from the spit bite process, in which the printer paints nitric acid directly on the metal print matrix to produce a brushed ink effect. Cole’s 32-by-25-inch two-color print “No Mas” combines line etching and aquatint with chine-collé, a technique in which thin, tissuelike paper is bonded to the printmaking paper under pressure of the printing press to create translucent layers.
Fifteenth-century line etching techniques merged with 21st-century digital technologies in Somerville’s “House Arrest.” To create the print, Somerville scanned found photographs and used an inkjet transfer paper to copy the image to printmaking paper. A traditional line etching produced by Somerville was then printed on top. As the artist worked on the etching, UAB advanced printmaking students assisted by operating the press, preparing papers and mixing inks.
Through printmaking, one of the most democratic art forms, these short-term residencies support UAB’s new Quality Enhancement Plan, which focuses on learning in a team environment, says UAB Department of Art and Art History Chair Lauren Lake, MFA.
“The Department of Art and Art History plans to continue to support the atelier program biennially, as part of the Visiting Artist and Scholar Series, which brings artists, critics, theorists and curators informed on a wide range of historical and contemporary art topics to the UAB campus and community,” Lake said.
Chang, who was named a 2015 Fulbright Scholar in 2015, is this year one of 57 Phi Kappa Phi fellows selected nationwide.University of Alabama at Birmingham graduate Bliss Chang has won a 2016 Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship worth $5,000. This award is one more elite step in the journey of the Montgomery native through his undergraduate education at UAB, a fellowship in Germany, and now, the joint M.D./Ph.D. program at Harvard Medical School.
Among his achievements, Chang was:
- UAB’s only Beckman scholar in 2013.
- One of 15 Sparkman fellows at UAB in 2014, as chosen by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Sparkman Center for Global Health. “The 2014 Sparkman fellows represent the leaders of tomorrow,” Henna Budhwani, Ph.D., MPH, deputy director of the center, said at the time.
- One of two UAB students named as 2014Goldwater scholars, by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in Excellence in Education Foundation. UAB’s two scholars that year were among just 283 students who received the award nationwide. The scholars were selected based on their academic achievements outlined in the nominations submitted by faculty members.
- Winner of a prestigious 2015 Fulbright scholarship to conduct research in Germany for a year after graduating from the UABCollege of Arts and Sciences with degrees in biochemistry and biology. The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. government, gives students the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research overseas as part of the organization’s goal to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Participants are selected based on academic merit and leadership potential and help contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
“Chang exemplifies the caliber of students coming to UAB…”
“Chang exemplifies the caliber of students coming to UAB in increasing numbers to prepare for dynamic careers and leadership roles that impact our state, nation and world,” Shannon Blanton, Ph.D., dean of the UAB Honors College, said at the time of the Fulbright award. “His appointment reflects UAB’s continued tradition of academic excellence and commitment to serving our local and global community.”
The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Chang is among 57 students nationwide to receive a Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship this year.
Since its creation in 1932, the Fellowship Program of Phi Kappa Phi has become one of the Society’s most visible and financially well-supported endeavors, allocating $345,000 annually to deserving students for first-year graduate or professional study. Currently, 51 Fellowships of $5,000 and six of $15,000 are awarded each year.
The exhibition includes works by 22 faculty members in many media. A free opening reception is planned for 5-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, at the UA Gallery.Works by art and art history faculty from the University of Alabamaand the University of Alabama at Birmingham will be on exhibition Aug. 5-Sept. 30 at the University of Alabama Gallery, in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center in downtown Tuscaloosa.
The exhibition is free and open to the public; an opening reception is planned for 5-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, in the gallery, 620 Greensboro Ave.
The show will include the works of 22 artists, from printmakers and painters to sculptors and more.
Each university has a great program, says Craig Wedderspoon, a UA professor of sculpture. Although they are in the same university system, the two departments have never collaborated. He hopes this exhibition will spark more collaboration with each university and other art departments in the area.
“We want to be more integrated with the schools in the rest of the state and region,” Wedderspoon said.
Derek Cracco. "Phoenix Cluster" | Acrylic on panel | 2016Participating faculty from the UA Department of Art and Art Historyinclude Adrienne Callander (fibers), Jane Cassidy (digital media),William Dooley (painting and drawing), Jason Guynes (painting),Chris Jordan (digital media), Sarah Marshall (printmaking), Matt Mitros (ceramics), Giang Pham (studio foundations), Pete Schulte(drawing), Sky Shineman (painting), Bryce Speed (painting) and Wedderspoon.
Participating faculty from the UAB College of Arts and Sciences’Department of Art and Art History include James Alexander(ceramics), Doug Barrett (graphic design), Douglas Baulos(drawing and bookmaking), Gary Chapman (painting and drawing),Derek Cracco (printmaking), Stacey Holloway (sculpture), Lauren Lake (drawing), Elisabeth Pellathy (new media), Sonja Rieger(photography) and Erin Wright (graphic design).
The University of Alabama Gallery offers a year-round schedule of exhibitions from permanent collections held by UA, as well as works by faculty, students, and guest artists and designers. It is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 8 p.m. on the first Friday of the month. For more information, call the gallery at 205-345-3038 or 205-342-2060.