UAB alum creates cozy portraits, on show at UAB Visual Arts Gallery

See how UAB alum Kristin Skees cozies up her artistic subjects when she presents a show of her knitted works and photos at the UAB Gallery.

Kristin Skees, a UAB Department of Art and Art History alumna, will present a selection of her “cozy portraits” and custom-knitted “cozies” in an exhibition Oct. 6 to Oct. 29, 2011, at the UAB Visual Arts Gallery, 900 13th St. South. The show is free and open to the public. The exhibition will feature a free reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 14 at the gallery. Call 205-934-0815 for more information.

skees_story“Cozied” depicts custom-knitted works that Skees creates, and that are worn by her subjects, as she photographs them in comfortable, domestic settings. Given the juxtaposition of the “cozy” covered person and their often mundane surroundings, her works could best be described as uncanny, discomforting or charged with a certain sense of unease.

Skees, a 2003 UAB bachelor of fine arts graduate and Professor of Art at Christopher Newport College, taught herself to knit during a year off from school.

“After covering a series of small objects, I created a ‘husband’ cozy,” she says. Skees says she sees the cozies as both protective and prohibitive. “We often cozy things that we want to remain undamaged, but when you apply the same approach to a person it limits their abilities in a very weird way.”

The exhibition also will feature a selection of the actual cozies.

“I wanted to be sure to highlight the fact that Kristin’s works exist in a space between photography and sculpture,” says Gallery Director Brett Levine, who curated the show.

Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 1-5 p.m. The gallery is closed on Sundays and holidays.