New exhibition shows works by graduating BFA students at UAB’s AEIVA

Mixed-media, design and sculptural works by Department of Art and Art History students Rob Clifton, Alejandra Garbutt and Nathan Truitt will be on display Dec. 1-13.

art bfa robclifton sizedRob Clifton: "Idealized Serpentine Forms," 2014; paper, newspaper, canvas, acrylic, wheat paste, cardboard, masonite, string, space & light; site-specific installation, dimensions variableWorks by three graduating students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Art and Art History will be on exhibition Dec. 1-13, in the College of Arts and SciencesAbroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.

The UAB Bachelor of Fine Arts exhibition represents the culmination of a diverse and intensive program of undergraduate study and will feature works by UAB DAAH students Rob Clifton of Hoover, Alejandra Garbutt of Madison and Nathan Truitt of Birmingham. The exhibition is free and open to the public. A free closing reception is planned for 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, at AEIVA, 1221 10th Ave. South. Call 205-975-6436 or visit AEIVA online at

Throughout the curriculum in the Department of Art and Art History, students are challenged to be critical and creative thinkers and effective communicators, and to engage with the community, says DAAH Chair Lauren Lake, MFA.

art bfa alejandraGarbutt bebrave sizedAlejandra Garbutt: "be brave," 2014; digital print; 40" x 28"

“The BFA exhibition is a highlight of the BFA undergraduate career as it demonstrates and celebrates our students’ accomplishments,” Lake said.

Each of the artists focuses on diverse explorations of human consciousness, presenting work that references both internal and external realities while invoking the mythic as well as the archetypal, says AEIVA Curator John Thomas Fields, MFA.

Clifton’s expansive mixed-media installations explore the meditative qualities of human cognition through works that evoke the power and beauty of the natural world. His installations incorporate suspended branchlike forms, collaged newspaper and projected light to create enigmatic environments.

Garbutt’s graphic-design works encourage positive social change by utilizing affirmative texts and images to inspire and motivate. Incorporated in her designs are female figures adorned with textilelike patterns that conjure ideas of the feminine divine.

Truitt’s narrative ceramic sculptures examine intimacy and the challenges of human relationships. His provocative figurative works pair male and female characters placed atop urban settings, while his palette of contrasting slips and glazes draws on a neo-expressionist tradition.

art bfa nathantruitt sizedNathan Truitt: "Long Distance," 2014; ceramic; dimensions variable

The Department of Art and Art History’s Bachelor of Fine Arts degree offers students an intensive exploration across
a breadth of media and depth of discipline. Students gain skills and competencies including team-based learning, technology, communication, problem solving, aesthetic judgment, interdisciplinary approaches, innovative thinking, critical analysis and professional development throughout their program of study. For more information, visit the department at

AEIVA is open to the public 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 12-6 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sundays and holidays.

Anchoring UAB’s Cultural Corridor on 10th Avenue South, the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts is a new, cutting-edge facility designed by world-renowned late architect Randall Stout, a protégé of Frank Gehry. The 26,000-square-foot building was named for lead donors Judy and Hal Abroms, and Ruth and the late Marvin Engel. AEIVA features a series of three professional state-of-the-art galleries for exhibitions, as well as a 95-seat lecture hall, sculpture garden and a series of climate-controlled storage spaces that house AEIVA’s growing permanent collection.

The building’s academic classrooms, laboratories and faculty offices are home to the Department of Art and Art History, facilitating a dynamic partnership in AEIVA’s mission of enhancing social, cultural and historical understanding through the visual arts across UAB and the broader community. Lisa Tamiris Becker, MFA, directs AEIVA.