The UAB community is deeply saddened at the passing of an outstanding and beloved faculty member. Lisa Tamiris Becker, founding director of our Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (AEIVA), passed away last Friday after an illness.

Lisa came to UAB in 2014 from the University of New Mexico Art Museum, where she was director and an associate professor. She was a widely respected scholar and advocate for the arts, and the perfect candidate to lead the newly opened AEIVA. She did so more than ably, making AEVIA a regionally and nationally known cultural destination in only two years.      lisa tamaris becker

All who knew and worked with Lisa—from faculty and students to artists and patrons—admired her remarkable expertise and passion for the arts. Her enthusiasm and collaborative spirit led to important new partnerships with our community and helped drive the success of exhibits such as “Willie Cole: Transformations” and “The Freedom Exhibition: Two Countries One Struggle.”

In a tenure that was all too short, Lisa nurtured the fledging AEIVA from its infancy to national recognition, growing a rich resource of arts and culture for both our campus and our community. The Institute’s continued success will be a lasting tribute to her leadership during those formative years.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Lisa’s family, as we mourn the loss of an extraordinary advocate for the arts and a dear colleague and friend.