A live theatrical performance and room-sized diorama by University of Alabama at Birmingham adjunct faculty member Jenny Fine that features photography, performances with costumed characters, props and set pieces with live musical accompaniment will also include collaborative installations by her current class of students.
Fine teaches The Collected Narrative in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Art and Art History. Her live performance event, “Flat Granny and Me: A Procession in My Mind,” is presented by Stephen Smith Fine Art, which is located in a silent-film-era theater in historic downtown Fairfield, 10 minutes from the Birmingham Museum of Art.
As part The Collected Narrative, UAB students Sydney Boehm, Dezeray Colvin, Tavaris Daniel, Torris Daniel, Jessie Davis, Jacob King, Alex Kulick, Courtney Lassiter, Katie Lutz, Meghan Malone, Amanda Morgado, Dan Nagorneac, Allie Polhemus, Annie Strong and Leita Turner will create a series of collaborative installations on the second floor of Stephen Smith Fine Art. The installations have been chosen by gallery director Paul Barrett for their ability to respond to the history of the Fairfield community, the gallery building’s original use as a silent movie theater, and the students’ exploration of creative storytelling through material, process and form. The chosen projects will involve projections, constructed environments and sculptural forms, and will be on view during Fine’s exhibition in April.
There are four opportunities to experience this live event, which is free and open to the public:
· 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 7
· 12-2 p.m. Saturday, April 8
· 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 14
· 12-2 p.m. Saturday, April 15
Fine will give a talk about her work at Stephen Smith Fine Art at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 9.
“Flat Granny and Me: A Procession in My Mind,” photo by Doug ClarkFine describes her work on her website, jennyfine.com: “I photograph my family. Photographing my grandmother for the last 10 years of her life, I often considered her my collaborator. Since her death, creating alongside her still feels like a necessary part of my process. Inspired by Victorian traditions of postmortem photography, the photographic stand-in and the contemporary ‘Flat Daddy’ (photographic cut-outs of deployed soldiers inserted into the family while the soldier is away at war), I created ‘Flat Granny’ as a stand-in for my grandmother.”
“Flat Granny” began as a life-sized cardboard cutout of her grandmother made from the photographs Fine took of her while she was alive. To reanimate her still image, she says she turned “Flat Granny” into a costume. “Flat Granny and Me” is an ongoing series of performances that take place within constructed environments shaped by early cinematic devices and the colliding “mindscapes” of her family’s stories.
“‘A Procession in My Mind’ reimagines the parade route my grandmother took as Enterprise, Alabama’s 1968 ‘Woman of the Year,’” Fine said. “I invite the viewer to step inside the photograph, inside the story, not knowing fully what has happened or what might happen next.”
Stephen Smith Fine Art specializes in cutting-edge modern and contemporary fine art with a primary focus on artists whose work engages social issues. Email StephenSmithFineArt@gmail.com or call 205-417-1098 for more information.
During the presentation of “Flat Granny and Me: A Procession in My Mind,” Department of Art and Art History students from Jenny Fine’s class The Collected Narrative will have their own collaborative installations on view.
Overall, parents believe their teens are safer than other drivers.Preparing teens for safe independent driving could save lives, though historically there has been very little research to guide parents of teens with learner permits.
A new study from University of Alabama at Birmingham developmental psychologist Jessica Mirman, Ph.D., offers insight into how parents can affect when their teen gets licensed.
With colleagues at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Michigan, Mirman studied more than 450 families from the time teens got their learner permits through the initial years of independent licensure. Results from the study were published this month in Health Psychology.
The researchers evaluated if the amount of time it took for teens to get a license was affected by parents’ perceptions of adolescents’ readiness to drive, teens’ diversity of supervised practice (i.e., the number of different environments where practice occurred), and whether or not the family participated in an Internet-based parent-supervised driving intervention program.
Each parent-child pair of participants completed periodic surveys over 24 weeks and were then followed up with to determine the teens’ licensure status. The participants were either part of a control group that did not use the intervention or part of a group that did.
“The importance of school readiness is well understood by many parents of younger children, but if you ask parents about readiness to drive, they are much less certain,” said Mirman, who is an assistant professor in UAB’s Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences. “The school readiness metrics we have for young kids just don’t exist yet for teen drivers. Most behind-the-wheel license tests really just focus on the basics of how to operate a vehicle and the rules of the road. These are necessary, but not sufficient, prerequisites for being a safe independent driver.”
Overall, the study showed that parents tended to believe their teens were as safe as, or slightly safer than, drivers in general, but these beliefs about overall safety were not related to how fast teens were licensed. Instead, licensing speed correlated with parents’ perceptions of their teen’s skill in comparison to their teen’s peers.
“The results indicate that efforts to communicate with parents about their teens’ readiness, or unreadiness, to drive will fall short in making an impact on their decision on when they should get their licenses,” Mirman said.
Instead, the authors suggest that helping parents be more sensitive to teens’ emerging skills might be more effective in promoting safe entry into licensure.
“Helping parents become more attuned to their adolescents’ emerging higher-order driving skills might be an effective approach for safe entry into licensure.” Mirman said.
Previous studies show that higher-order skills such as situational awareness, visual searching abilities, hazard anticipation and risk management skills are important for safe driving. However, Mirman’s prior research has shown that parents don’t usually focus on these types of skills during supervised practice drives. Instead, they gravitate to the basics, like vehicle maintenance and everyday routine trips.
“Ideally, we want to see teens practicing in what developmental and educational psychologists call a ‘zone of proximal development,’” Mirman said. “This means that their driving practice is appropriately calibrated to their growing skill set and is not too easy and not too hard.”
Mirman suggests that parents find that sweet spot to practice in and continue to adjust their level of support as the teen improves and takes on new challenges.
“Professional driver evaluators can be an asset to parents because they can provide objective feedback about the areas where teens need more practice and give practical tips tailored to a family’s specific needs,” Mirman said.
The results also showed that the time it takes teens to get licensed was not affected by the parent supervised practice intervention, which was designed to increase the quality of supervised practice driving.
“This is good, because we don’t want to see interventions lessening the amount of time that teens are spending during the learner period or lead to a false sense of confidence,” Mirman said.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health as part of a broader and longer-term investigation of teen drivers. Additional findings will be reported in coming months.
Eleven students will attend the conference, with registration paid by donors. Exhibitions by student and professional artists are planned at Sloss and around Birmingham, including UAB’s Project Space.University of Alabama at Birmingham Assistant Professor of Sculpture Stacey Holloway’s ARS 321: Repetition and Space sculpture class will attend the 2017 National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Birmingham.
Holloway, a faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Art and Art History, is a member of the conference’s steering committee. Titled “In Iron We Rust,” the conference will feature demonstrations and panel presentations, iron pours, and workshops on traditional and contemporary casting techniques.
Exhibitions by student and professional artists are also planned at Sloss and around Birmingham, including a student show at Space One Eleven, a professional exhibition at the Sloss Visitors Center Gallery, and the conference juried show featuring works by 15 artists from around the country in the UAB Department of Art and Art History’s Project Space. The juried show at UAB, which will open with a free reception from 8-10 p.m. Friday, April 7, was curated by Birmingham Museum of Art Hugh Kaul Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Wassan Al-Khudhairi, who also is an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Art and Art History. Visit the NCCCIAP conference website for details and hours for each exhibition: www.nccciap.com/exhibitions.
The Friends of the UAB Department of Art and Art History have paid the registration costs for 11 sculpture students to attend the conference. Friends of the Department of Art and Art History are a group of community members joined for the purpose of offering support to the department, giving particular attention to raising the profile of the DAAH through annual giving to our academic, research and service missions.
The participating artists in the juried show in Project Space are Robin Baker, David Barnum, Jazz Colgan, Erin Cunningham, David Fricke, Cassidy Frye, Emma Levitz, Matthew Mroz, Charles O’Neill, Chris Rothermel, James Vanderpool, Kelly Wilton, Ben Woodeson and Ronda Wright-Phipps.In addition to attending the conference and its satellite programming, the UAB students will collaborate with visiting School of the Art Institute of Chicago faculty and staff on a furnace pour. Joining from SAIC are lecturer Aaron Nicholson, foundry manager Dan Matheson and SAIC Columbus materials manager Eric Fuertes.
“I have attended many of these conferences as both a student and a professional sculptor,” Hollway said. “Each conference is incredibly informative, entertaining and exhilarating and provides an opportunity to make professional connections throughout the international iron-casting community. I am excited that our UAB students will have the same opportunity to develop their art practice and grow their professional networks this year.”
Department of Art and Art History’s Art Studio lab supervisor Heather Spencer Holmes will also serve as a Birmingham liaison for the conference.
Support from the biennial NCCCIAP helps the Metal Arts Program at Sloss Furnaces preserve the history and knowledge integral to working with cast iron processes. In turn, Sloss Metal Arts provides opportunities for Birmingham and surrounding communities that propagate and expand technical, aesthetic and conceptual issues pertinent to the discipline of metal casting.
For more information about the conference, visit www.nccciap.com or contact Holloway at email@example.com.