UAB Barker Sculpture Competition finalists on show

Written by 
barker 1Christopher FennellThe Visual Arts Gallery will present a maquette exhibition for the university’s Samuel B. Barker Outdoor Sculpture Competition, Aug. 30-Sept. 13, 2013. The exhibition will feature maquettes, or small-scale models, of outdoor sculptures made by the competition’s seven finalists. A free opening reception is planned from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, at the gallery, 900 13th St. S.  Summer hours for the gallery are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. New Saturday hours are 12-4 p.m. The gallery is closed on Monday, Sunday and holidays. Admission is always free. Call 205-934-0815 for information.

Competition sculptors were asked to submit proposals for pieces to be placed outdoors on the campus, including a possible site in the Sculpture Garden at the Abroms Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, still under construction. The finalists are “Evening Song” by Deedee Morrison of Birmingham; “The Eternal Birminghams” by Lee Benson of Jackson, Tenn.; “Passing Through” by Robert Winkler of Asheville, N.C.; “Green Energy” by Giuseppe Licari of Sicily, Italy; “Leaf Spring Seedling” by Christopher Fennell of Birmingham; “Crossing II” by Christopher Newman of Chicago, Ill.; and “Plow” by Michael Dillon of Milton, Ga.

barker 2Lee BensonThe winning entrant will receive $50,000 to complete and install the work on campus. Selecting the finalists were Timothy Sullivan, manager of UAB’s campus grounds; local art collector James Sokol; Jeannine O’Grody, head curator of the Birmingham Museum of Art; Interim UAB Gallery Director John Fields; UAB Professor of Art Erin Wright; and John Powers, sculpture artist and professor. A new committee will be formed to select the winner.

This is the second time in the competition’s history that sculptors have been asked to present maquettes. Using this revised format allows a larger portion of the late Barker’s endowment to be directed towards the completion of a single work. Barker and his wife, Justine, were renowned patrons of the arts whose support created the Samuel B. Barker Outdoor Sculpture Competition at UAB.