Visiting artist Kevin Vanek offers “Too Cool for Tools” lecture, exhibition at UAB

Vanek’s lecture March 19 and exhibition are presented by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Art and Art History.

VanelJoomlaSculptor Kevin Vanek will lecture, lead a workshop for students and offer a glimpse into his creative process at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Vanek’s visit and exhibition, “Too Cool for Tools: A Look at a Sculptor’s Obsession with Tools,” are presented by the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Art and Art History.

“In my life as an artist, I find tools to be vital lifeblood of my creative process,” Vanek said. “I gain as much joy from the final product of my art as I do exploring the tools and materials of the creation. ‘Too Cool for Tools’ highlights this fixation by displaying a collection of non-functional art objects based on my love for tools, the processes they encompass and the conceptual philosophy of functionality.”

Vanek will give a visiting artist lecture at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, in the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, Hess Lecture Hall, 1221 10th Ave. South.

An opening reception for “Too Cool for Tools” is from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at Project Space, on the first floor of the Humanities Building, 900 13th St. South.

The exhibition will be on view from noon-2 p.m. daily March 25-29, or by appointment. NOTE: The exhibition has been extended to coincide with the biannual National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices. Project Space will be open 1-4 p.m. Thursday, April 4 and 1-4 p.m. Friday, April 5, as well as by appointment.

Email to make a viewing appointment. The lecture, reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.  

Alongside the exhibition, Vanek will lead a workshop in Assistant Professor Stacey Holloway’s Molds and Multiples sculpture class and teach students how to produce match plates for fabricating cast iron multiples. The workshop will be given at the 2019 National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. 

Vanek, born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, was immersed in a blue-collar world and brought up in a working-class family. Vanek found his way to sculpture as an outlet for his creativity. He received his BFA degree from Bowling Green State University in 2010 and his MFA degree from East Carolina University in 2013. Vanek is a studio technician and adjunct faculty in sculpture at the University of Southern Mississippi, and has been an active participant in the iron community since 2006.