UAB’s The Edge of Chaos curates art show exhibiting artistic periods of Sally Patricia Smith

Light, abstract and figurative art on display at UAB’s The Edge of Chaos through Feb. 25.
sally patricia smith2This painting was used as the cover of the book "New Lights in the Valley, The Emergence of UAB," by Tennant S. McWilliams in 2006.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s The Edge of Chaos will host an art show Thursday, Feb. 25, from 4:30-7 p.m. featuring Sally Patricia Smith, a Birmingham native and former UAB instructor.

Smith created the painting featured on the cover of “New Lights in the Valley: The Emergence of UAB” by Tennant S. McWilliams, Ph.D., UAB professor emeritus, which will be on display and available for purchase at the art show.

Additional pieces highlighting different artistic periods of Smith’s life will be displayed and available for purchase.

The Arc of Light series began in the mid-1990s when Smith lived in Wilmington, North Carolina. These detailed paintings were created primarily in acrylic on canvas, interweaving lighter and intense tones filled with waves and circular movement, often with disguised figures, symbols and gold hieroglyphic-like writing.

Smith transitioned from acrylic to oil in the abstract period, when she was experimenting with mixed media, especially in the cube paintings. This is believed to be the period when she learned the properties of working with oil incorporated in the look of her later encaustic pieces.

In October 2003, Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery and chemotherapy at UAB. During this time, she painted a self-portrait with her hair curly, after having lost it during chemotherapy. Smith transitioned into her figurative period, when she painted portraits of family, close friends, and her struggling with illness and the subsequent changes in her life.

Smith began working with encaustics in 2008 as part of her figurative period, painting small portraits for each family member and characters from Shakespeare.

David Hooks, director of innovation for UAB’s The Edge of Chaos, curated the art show. He discovered Smith’s art at an estate sale for the Smith family home in Homewood, Alabama.

  • February 25