UAB’s arts faculty break out of the classroom this summer

Faculty and staff from the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Art and Art History, Department of Music and Department of Theatre explore their skills locally and abroad.

From directing and performing to research and touring, arts faculty and staff from the University of Alabama at Birmingham are using their skills and talents to make a difference across the community, country and world.

Featuring artists, directors, performers and musicians from the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Art and Art History, Department of Music, and Department of Theatre, here’s a sampling of their experiences this summer while away from the classroom:

craccoDerek Cracco's "From Here to There," 2013; wallpaper installation.Art and design

Associate Professor of Graphic Design Doug Barrett, MFA, is working with University of Florida Department of Art and Art History Associate Professor Katerie Gladdys in a continuation of their recent collaborative research on long-leaf pine preserves in north Florida and south Georgia. The two artists began their joint project this spring at the Hambidge Creative Residency Program

Assistant Professor Doug Baulos is leading students and alumni in painting a mural this summer at the new home of the UAB Sustainability community garden. The mural features illustrations by UAB Honors College alumnus John Skyler Wooley. Baulos will also complete research for an upcoming solo exhibition at the Wiregrass Museum. The show will feature 11 large installations using materials including porcelain, handmade paper, thread, photographic emulsions and drawing. 

Professor of Painting Gary Chapman will teach a one-week workshop at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts this summer, as well as a two-day workshop at the Huntsville Museum of Art. 

Associate Professor of Printmaking Derek Cracco, MFA, has a large-scale wallpaper installation and a series of intaglio prints featured in the Wiregrass Museum of Art’s exhibition “From Here to There: Printmaking in Alabama,” on view now in Dothan, Alabama. Another version of Cracco’s wallpaper installation is now on view in “Pin Up,” an exhibition at OFFspace in San Francisco.

Jenny Fine, DAAH adjunct professor of interdisciplinary studio and foundations, will complete her project “Flat Granny and Me: A Procession in My Mind,” culminating in a series of photographs, a video and a published book. Fine is also creating a series of video sculptures for the Alabama State Council on the Arts fellowship exhibition at the Georgine Clark Gallery in Montgomery to open in fall 2017.

Assistant Professor of Sculpture Stacey Holloway, MFA, and DAAH Art Studio Lab Supervisor Heather Holmes will participate in the third annual Foundry Invitational and River Exhibition, or F.I.R.E., at the Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. In June, Holloway is a visiting artist in the first Summer Celebration Iron Pour of CREATE Portage County and the Steven Point Sculpture Park in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She will also curate an exhibition, “Menagerie: Animal as Symbol,” at Birmingham’s Ground Floor Contemporary gallery. The show will be on view July 13-30 and will feature DAAH faculty and Birmingham-based artists; it will benefit Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve’s Animal Care Department and Habitat Garden. In July, Holloway will have a solo exhibition at The Front in New Orleans, and in August she will collaborate with recent BFA alumnus Jacob Phillips on a sculptural piece to be installed during the Wiregrass Museum of Art’s annual Yard Party fundraiser. 

out of the frameStacey Holloway's "Out of the Framework," 2016; cast aluminum, wood, mixed mediaProfessor of Art History Heather McPherson, Ph.D., will work on her current project, “The Artist’s Studio and the Image of the Artist in 19th-Century France,” focusing in particular on Corot’s studio pictures.

Assistant Professor of New Media Elisabeth Pellathy is conducting research for a new body of work, “Digital to Analog: Specimen Scanning as Prints & Embroidery,” made possible by a 2017-18 Dean’s Humanities Grant. Pellathy will also lead an animation camp for young artists at Birmingham’s Space One Eleven. UAB BFA student Amanda Morgodo will assist Pellathy during the workshop.

Jared Ragland, DAAH program coordinator, is exhibiting his recent project “Everything Is Going To Be All Right” in a solo show at Candela Gallery + Books in Richmond, Virginia, through July. In July, Ragland will also open an exhibition of recent wet-plate collodion tintype photographs with Cary Norton at Lowe Mill Arts’ North Floor Gallery and will be featured in the inaugural issue of a new photographic journal, Focal Plane. Throughout the summer, Ragland will continue his ongoing collaborative ethnographic project documenting the lives of methamphetamine users on Sand Mountain with UAB Department of Justice Sciences Professor Heith Copes, Ph.D.

Ty Smith, DAAH adjunct professor of drawing and foundations, will give a workshop and artist talk at Mount Gretna School of Art in July. Smith is also at work on an interview with artist Sam King to be published later this summer.  

Cracco, Holloway, Baulos and Ragland were accepted into the 2017 Red Clay Survey, a major recurring regional competition sponsored by the Huntsville Museum of Art

Theater performance

Valerie Accetta, MFA, head of musical theater, will direct a production of “South Pacific” at the Weathervane Playhouse, the oldest summer stock theater in Ohio, which opens at the end of June. Cliff Simon, who teaches scenic design for the Department of Theatre, is the scenic designer for “South Pacific” as well. Additionally, Accetta will present a paper titled “How Sweet the Sound: The Privileging of Spectacle in ‘Amazing Grace’” at the Association of Theatre in Higher Education in Las Vegas in August.

south pacificScenic design by Cliff Simon for “South Pacific” at the Weathervane Playhouse.Resident musical director for the Department of Theatre Carolyn Violi will musically direct a production of “Billy Elliot” for Keystone State Musical Theater in Pennsylvania. In July, Violi will be in New York for a developmental lab of a show she is co-producing, “Chasing Rainbows.” “It’s the story of Judy Garland before ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and was recently produced at Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut. The lab is the next step in a possible Broadway run, and I’m very excited about this,” Violi said. She will also take a class in Estill Voice Training, a system for developing masterful control of the human voice, which she uses with students, and prepare for Theatre UAB’s two musicals next season, “Working” and “Hairspray.”

Musical performance

Assistant Professor of Trumpet James Zingara, DMA, coordinated and performed with the Alabama Trumpet Guild Ensemble at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Hershey Pennsylvania on June 1. He is brass instructor for the Alabama All-Star Marching Band for the International Lions Club Parade in Chicago in June. He will perform with the Red Mountain Theatre Company in productions of “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Newsies,” and provide clinics to local high school marching bands in July and August.

Associate Professor of Trumpet Steven Roberts, DMA, performed with Zingara and the Alabama Trumpet Guild Ensemble at the International Trumpet Guild Conference, and will be on tour in France, Germany and the Netherlands with a jazz trio in August. 

Travel, presentations, festivals, awards and more

Associate Professor of Clarinet Denise Gainey, DMA, will present “The Pedagogy of Kalmen Opperman from A (Articulation) to Z (Zenith!)” at the ICA International ClarinetFest in Orlando, Florida, in late July. While there, she will perform two works, one a world premiere by composer Scott McAllister as part of her Amicitia Duo. Gainey, a Backun artist, will present a clinic in Fort Myers, Florida, for band directors on clarinet pedagogy, a Backun event, Aug. 11. At the end of summer, Gainey will record with Zingara and Chris Steele as the UAB Chamber Trio.

Department of Theatre Professor Marlene Johnson, MFA, along with her colleague Valerie Accetta, will present a paper, “Adventures in Shared Pedagogy in a Musical Theatre Program,” at the 2017 Estill World Voice Symposium in Quebec City, Canada, on “how we are exploring each other’s approach to teaching voice in a BFA program,” Johnson said. Johnson, a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, also just taught a two-week workshop in “Voicing and Embodying the Archetypes of Myth” for actors. 

choir europeThe UAB Concert Choir sang a a noontime concert in Canterbury Cathedral while on tour in England.From June 27-July 12 Professor of Piano and Artist-in-Residence Yakov Kasman will teach extensively at the Kiev International Summer Music Academy in Ukraine; this will be his 10th year there. Kasman also recently traveled to Fort Worth, Texas, as an official guest at the XV Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, which happens only every four years and is considered to be one of the most prestigious music competitions in the world. Kasman was the Silver Medalist in the 1997 Van Cliburn competition.

Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor Brian Kittredge, DMA, with Associate Professor of Voice Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk, DMA, and Department of Music Professor and Chair Patrick Evans, led 45 students from the UAB Concert Choir on a 14-day tour of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany. The choir sang in Canterbury and Cologne cathedrals, and were featured in the London International Sangerstevne Festival and the Canterode International Festival in Kerdrade, Netherlands. 

Associate Professor of Music William Price, DMA, attended the New Music on the Bayou Festival in early June and was named winner of the Black Bayou Composition Award for his electro-acoustic composition, “I/O.” The award is a blind review, adjudicated by judges not associated with the festival, and goes to the piece that most closely exemplifies the connection between music and the natural world. 

Professor of Graphic Design Erin Wright, MFA, will join a panel of international designers from China, Taiwan, Italy, South Korea and Switzerland to jury the “Paper Beauty Orient – International Ceremony Paper Pattern Design Competition” at the seventh Jiangsu Book Fair in Jiangsu, China. Wright and his co-jurors will each have works featured in the competition exhibition, which will travel internationally.