Student art featured in UAB 2024 BFA exhibition at AEIVA from April 2-27

The BFA exhibition represents crossing the threshold into the professional environment for students who are often showing their work for the first time in the setting of a gallery or museum.

BFA streamWork by art students pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will be featured in an exhibition April 2-27.

The 2024 BFA exhibition is presented by the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Art and Art History and the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.

A free closing reception is set for 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 26. AEIVA is open noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Admission is free and open to the public. Visit for more information. 

The Department of Art and Art History’s Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program offers undergraduate art studio students an intensive exploration across a range of disciplines that prepares them to pursue careers as artists and designers, or continue their studies in graduate school. Students gain skills and competencies including team-based learning, technology, communication, aesthetic judgment, interdisciplinary and innovative approaches, critical analysis, and professional development throughout their program of study.

The BFA exhibition represents crossing the threshold into the professional environment for students who are often showing their work for the first time in the setting of a gallery or museum, says Rich Gere, professor and chair of the Department of Art and Art History.

“We are very fortunate and happy to collaborate with AEIVA’s staff and curators, who afford students the same experience in preparing for and mounting the exhibition as the professional artists who come in from around the globe,” Gere said. “Students write about their work and give oral presentations explaining their inspirations, research, processes and concepts. The BFA exhibition is the studio capstone experience and one of the spring’s premier receptions in the area, and we hope to see you there.” 

Students whose work is featured in the 2024 BFA exhibition are Disney Bagwell of Huntsville, Alabama; Alexa Lee of Dothan, Alabama; Derriann Pharr, of Hamilton, Alabama; Thomas Rooney of Birmingham; Maddie Manston of Birmingham; Joshua Roh of Prattville, Alabama; Pelatiah “I$H” Morgan of Sipsey, Alabama; Sam Roberts of Birmingham; Abby Henderson of Gadsden, Alabama; Brother Jean Fish, Order of Saint Benedictine, of Poway, California; Brandon Beasley of Montgomery, Alabama; Cole Swarts of Prattville, Alabama; Rachel Doyle of Vestavia Hills, Alabama; Wes Ladner of Opp, Alabama; and Darien Malone of Birmingham.

Public art installation planned for closing reception

Interdisciplinary art studio students will design and install a public art installation, themed around the idea of community and social engagement, for the 2024 BFA Exhibition closing reception. The installation, outside AEIVA, will feature:

  • “Remember to Not Take Yourself Too Seriously,” a walk-up photo opportunity like those found at carnivals, with cut-out spaces for visitors to insert their face or hand, and pose or hold a variety of handmade objects.

  • "Refrigerator of Reflection" will offer a larger-than-life refrigerator door space, nostalgic art materials like crayons, colored pencils and glitter glue, and the prompt for visitors to draw “what they want to be when they grow up.” Participants can hang their finished drawings on the fridge with magnets. 

  • "Zen Tent: A Sanctuary of Serenity" is designed to provide visitors with a space to unwind, rejuvenate and reconnect with themselves. By immersing them in a multisensory experience inspired by the element of water, the oasis will invite them to slow down, breathe deeply and reconnect with themselves.

  • "A Celebration of Memories at UAB" is a photobooth that will offer photos and instant prints, chalkboard walls to draw on and share memories, and clips for participants to hang their photos. Visitors will be encouraged to share memories of their time at UAB to celebrate the richness of personal memories and experiences.

  • "The Serenity Sensory Petting Zoo" gives an exploration of different tactile sensory experiences combined with the interactivity and nostalgia of a petting zoo. Visitors can engage in sensory play to assist with regulating the nervous system and the mind in a neurodivergent-friendly space. 

  • "Memories in the Cloud" features mementoes hanging from the cloud, and each one tells a story, representing a cherished memory or significant moment in someone’s life. From handwritten letters and old photographs to trinkets and tokens of love, the eclectic mix of items invites viewers to contemplate the passage of time and the interconnectedness of human experiences.