See works by artists Jacqueline Surdell and Michael Dixon at UAB’s AEIVA from Aug. 25-Dec. 9

Surdell’s “Adoration Garden” and Dixon’s “The Undeniable Blackness Between Us” will open at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25 (with a cash bar), kicking off the UAB Arts Block Party arts and music event.

Two new exhibitions of works will be featured this fall at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.

The exhibitions, “Jacqueline Surdell: Adoration Garden” and “Michael Dixon: The Undeniable Blackness Between Us,” will open to the public Friday, Aug. 25, at 5 p.m. A cash bar will be available.

The exhibition opening at AEIVA will kick off the UAB Arts Block Party, a free arts and music event happening at AEIVA and UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center from 5-9 p.m. Aug. 25. The Arts Block Party will culminate with a free concert by Brooklyn brass band Red Baraat.

Jacqueline Surdell Web ArtPhotography: Ian Ace PhotographyJacqueline Surdell and “Adoration Garden”

Scrappy and interpretive, Surdell hand-manipulates dock cord, weaving and knotting the line into naturalistic, sculptural installations that are antagonistically positioned between the human body and sculpture. The industrial material and physically demanding process playfully orbit techniques, colors and forms associated with domesticity. The works trace the artist’s family history and private life while fostering discussion around labor, gender and sexuality.

“Adoration Garden” will explore memory and time as material — transforming AEIVA’s Gallery One into a space of play, contemplation, power, drive and creation.

Surdell is from Chicago, Illinois, and the city’s history of industry, labor and Midwest grit plays a significant role in her work. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, and her Master of Fine Arts degree from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her recent solo and group exhibitions include Devening Projects, Chicago; Library Street Collective, Detroit, Michigan; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Bedford Gallery, San Francisco, California; and international shows in Japan, Belgium and the Netherlands. 

dixonMichael Dixon, "Peggy's Black Baby (Topsy Turvy)," 2023. Oil on canvas, 48 inches by 48 inches and 24 inches by 24 inches.Michael Dixon and “The Undeniable Blackness Between Us”

Dixon is an oil painter born in San Diego, California. His paintings and performances explore the personal, societal and aesthetic struggles of belonging to both white and Black racial and cultural identities, yet simultaneously belonging fully to neither. For “The Undeniable Blackness Between Us,” Dixon explores his cultural duality through the lens of his childhood, familial relationships and his search for a father he has never known.

Dixon received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in painting and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University in painting and drawing. Dixon is a professor of art at Albion College. He is the recipient of awards and grants including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Joan Mitchell Foundation Emergency Grant, Puffin Foundation Grant, Blanchard Fellowship and Phi Beta Kappa Scholar of the Year Award. Dixon’s artist residencies include the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Joan Mitchell Center. His works can be found in the personal collections of artists Nick Cave and Beverly McIver, and in the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African Art. Dixon has been shown both nationally and internationally at museums, universities, art centers, alternative spaces and galleries.