UAB Magazine Online Features
UAB Alumni Thrive in Creative Careers
By Glenny Brock
UAB alumnus David Sandlin, who has built a successful career as an artist in New York (his painting "Begin" is shown above), is returning to Birmingham for the UAB Alumni Open Exhibition at the Gallery at UAB.
The UAB Alumni Open Exhibition, which opened earlier this month and runs through November 6, is part class reunion, part show-and-tell. The event has filled the newly renamed Gallery at UAB (formerly the Visual Arts Gallery) with paintings, drawings, photographs, mixed-media assemblages, and sculpture from about two dozen graduates of the bachelor of arts and bachelor of fine arts degree programs at UAB. But this inaugural gathering is as much a showcase of working artists as works of art.
Some of the alumni showing their work only make art as an avocation now, while others have forged careers as full-time artists. Yet all have learned that being an artist can mean making work and making it work—in part by applying lessons learned in the classroom in the real world.
The Power of Creative Thinking
“I always knew that if I personally wanted to make it as a ‘professional artist,’ I would need a supplementary income,” says Daisy Winfrey, a 2007 UAB graduate. “Ideally, this would be a job that existed in the realm of the art world, but I also knew it was possible it would be a job that I hated.”
As it turns out, Winfrey found a job that she loves. After completing her B.A., Winfrey became art director of Studio By The Tracks, a nonprofit organization in Irondale that provides free art classes to children and adults with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, or mental illness.
“I coordinate all the curricula and supplies for the adults and children who attend our art classes,” Winfrey explains. “It helps to be creative and it helps to be a problem-solver. I’d say that having an art degree facilitates this kind of flexibility and quick thinking.”
Click the arrow buttons below to see a slideshow of Winfrey's work. (Having trouble seeing the slideshow? Click here)
Story continues below slideshow.
The Fall 2010 edition of UAB Magazine is out now in print and online. The cover story explores the wide range of opportunities available to UAB undergraduates and includes profiles of student adventures from autism research to Antarctic voyages through Study Away.
In this issue, you also can discover:
New insights on autism from UAB researchers;
Why the University Boulevard Office Building is a world center of computer crime;
How UAB students are bringing old murder cases back from the dead;
Why the time of day has a lot to do with your risk of heart attack (and diet success);
What innovative idea is taking root on top of the Chemistry Building; and more.
Ovie Soko’s Journey to Basketball—and Birmingham
By Grant Martin
As a young basketball player growing up in a country obsessed with soccer, Ovie Soko knew he would need to go away if he ever wanted to get noticed playing basketball. Plenty of people are noticing him now.
Soko, a sophomore forward on the UAB men’s basketball team, left his hometown of London, England, three years ago to finish high school in the United States. This past summer, Soko returned to Europe to represent Great Britain in the 2010 Under 20 Men’s Basketball European Championship. He led his team in scoring with more than 19 points per game and put in a dominating 31-point, seven-rebound effort in the final game. Soko’s scoring average was the fourth highest among all players in the tournament.
The performance was an encouraging sign for UAB, which expects to depend heavily on Soko in the coming season—but Soko says it’s also a sign of the rising level of basketball talent in his home country.
UAB Preserves the Voices of Birmingham’s Past
By Charles Buchanan
Downtown Birmingham seen from Red Mountain Park. Click here for more images. Photo: Eric McFerrin/Red Mountain Park
The mines of Birmingham’s Red Mountain fell silent nearly 50 years ago, but Ike Matson never did. He tells stories about becoming an industrial laborer at the age of 18, his experiences working the slope track that ferried miners to the ore, and the amount of the first paycheck he earned—$72.
He has plenty more stories where those came from, and soon he will share them with thousands of listeners thanks to an oral history project from UAB and Red Mountain Park, a new, 1,108-acre preserve covering much of the former mining lands. Launched in 2009, the ongoing initiative is collecting the accounts of people who lived and worked on the mountain when it was Birmingham’s industrial epicenter.