May 29, 2015

UAB’s AEIVA presents works from private Birmingham collection in new “FOCUS” series

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focus 2Titus Kaphar, “Man in Tar” from the Jerome Project Oil, tar on wood, 2013, 26 x 44 inchesA new series of exhibitions spotlighting local and regional art collections is the latest offering from the University of Alabama at BirminghamCollege of Arts and SciencesAbroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.

AEIVA will present the first exhibition in the new “FOCUS” series from June 5-July 25.

The Southeastern United States represents a rich diversity of fine arts collectors, with each collector providing unique cultural viewpoints and aesthetic sophistication. 

“FOCUS I: IDENTIFIED” will feature a selection of contemporary artists from the collection of Jim Sokol and Lydia Cheney, major cutting-edge contemporary collectors in Birmingham. The exhibition will open to the public with a free reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday, June 5, at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, 1221 10th Ave. South.

Touching a variety of politically and socially charged topics, from capital punishment to spirituality, “FOCUS I” explores cultural, political and personal identity and the commodification of these identities in a post-9/11 America. The exhibition is curated by John Fields, AEIVA curator.

Along with “FOCUS I: IDENTIFIED,” the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts will present two more featured exhibitions as part of Celebrating the Human Spirit: 50 Years After the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

focus 3Ligorano/Reese,“DEMOCRACY” Lightbox, 2007, 13 x 25 x3.5 inchesThe first is “Willie Cole: Transformations,” which will showcase 15 works created by the noted American artist between 1996 and 2015. Featuring items as varied as shoes, irons, bicycles and water bottles, Cole’s work alludes to social, cultural, political and spiritual meanings while referencing the artist’s own African-American culture, heritage and history. It is curated by AEIVA Director Lisa Tamiris Becker.

The second is “The Freedom Exhibition: Two Countries One Struggle,” presented by the City of Birmingham in collaboration with AEIVA. The exhibition focuses on the comparative civil rights photography of Spider Martin and Peter Magubane, and explores their respective images of American segregation and South African apartheid. Fifty photographs from each photographer are included in the exhibition. “The Freedom Exhibition” is sponsored by Mayor William A. Bell Sr. and the City of Birmingham and is curated by Renee Kemp-Rotan, Mayor’s Office of Special Projects.

“The Freedom Exhibition” and “Willie Cole: Transformations” will be on view from June 5-Aug. 8.

Admission to AEIVA is always free. 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. Call 205-975-6436 or visit AEIVA online.

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