Three University of Alabama at Birmingham faculty members were awarded $5,000 fellowship grants by the Alabama State Council on the Artsfor 2012-13 based on merit of their work, career achievement and potential and service to the state. Recipients may use the money to create art, improve skills or enhance their artistic careers.
Assistant Professor Doug Barrett, M.F.A., who teaches graphic design in the Department of Art and Art History, was awarded a fellowship for design. His research interests include commuting, space and place and typography. Signage, billboards, graffiti and ephemera point to the visual culture embedded in our surroundings, Barrett says in his artist’s statement. By examining the details of roadside culture he explores how meaning is constructed and conveyed through visual and cultural relationships. His solo show, “Tireless Shifter: Imagery from the Commuter Space,” is on exhibition through July 27, 2012, at Samford University Gallery.
Assistant Professor Christopher Lowther, M.F.A., who teaches time-based media, video, animation, interactive design and 3-D modeling/animation in the Department of Art and Art History, was awarded a fellowship for media arts. Lowther is an artist and engineer “making a bold and interesting contribution in a new art form,” according to the ASCA announcement. Lowther has received a prestigious College Art Association Professional Development Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, in recognition of his innovative use of space and video projection to reference stereotypes of masculinity in Hollywood film. His areas of research interest include video installation, physical computing and sensors, animation and cinema and modes of spectatorship.
Adam Vines, M.F.A., assistant professor in the UAB Department of English, was awarded a fellowship for literature. He specializes in modern and contemporary poetry and creative writing. “Vines writes with authority and specificity, yet is also able to display a quality of vulnerability. His poems are accessible, solid, grounded in nature, quiet and considered,” the ASCA announcement says. Vines is being lauded for his first book of poetry, “A Coal Life,” which was recently published to great reviews and named a 2012 finalist for the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize. In the book, he explores life in Alabama’s coal mining camps during the first half of the 20th century. His critically acclaimed poem “River Politics” about a fireside night of fishing, was featured in the May issue of Poetry magazine. His work also has been published in Barrow Street and North American Review as well as many other publications. This summer, Vines has been invited to read his works in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., and also will be on staff at the Sewanee’s Writer’s Conference.