Category: Exhibits

Pat Snow: You Will Never Read My Poetry.

The University of Alabama Gallery announces the opening show of the fall exhibition season: Pat Snow: You Will Never Read My Poetry. The exhibition will be on view from First Friday, August 5 through September 28, 2022, with a reception for the artist on First Friday, September 2, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Pat Snow investigates narrative structures and storytelling in his work. Informed by the DIY and Outsider movements of the 1980s and ‘90s, he pulls from low and high art, and words, ideas, and images from sources such as pop songs, blues lyrics, and Noam Chomsky. Snow writes, “The art and words are combined to try to find a place where our inner monologue rests alongside conversation from outside of oneself.”

The question for the viewer, he notes, is, “can the narrator be trusted? Does the narrator even trust their own words?” 

Snow, a Birmingham, Alabama, native, recently returned after a decade in Austin, Texas, where he held solo and group exhibitions including at the Contemporary Museum Austin and GrayDUCK Gallery, Austin. The Austin Chronicle named Snow in their top art shows in year-end lists for several years.

Snow was a studio assistant for Luis Jiménez, Robert Colescott and Howard Finster, and worked with B. F. Perkins and Mose Tolliver. He received the MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Arizona, where he studied with Colescott and Jiménez. He received the BFA in studio art from UA where he studied with Al Sella and worked with Kentuck Festival and Art Center founder Georgine Clarke. He has been awarded an artist fellowship by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and his work is in the collections of museums including the Birmingham Museum of Art.

Image credits: ABOVE LEFT: Burden, oil on wood, 10 x 8 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

The University of Alabama Gallery is an essential part of the education and development of UA students and our community. Admission to the gallery is free. The gallery is located in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center at 620 Greensboro Avenue in Tuscaloosa. It is open Monday through Friday, 9 am-4 pm and First Fridays 12 noon-7 pm. Have questions or need assistance? Call (205) 345-3038. 

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.

FLOW Tuscaloosa

The UA Department of Art and Art History is proud to present FLOW, two exhibitions in our downtown galleries with receptions for the artists First Friday, June 3, 2022 — from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in The University of Alabama Gallery and from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Paul R. Jones Museum. The exhibitions both run through July 27, 2022.

FLOW at The University of Alabama Gallery features installations by Michi Meko and Boo Gilder. These artists share stories of human connection to place that reveal resilience and, at times, beauty and humor. Both were born in Alabama and have long histories in the state. In their work, waterways are understood as places of recreation, exploration, contemplation and change. The exhibition opens Friday, May 27 at noon.

FLOW at the Paul R. Jones Museum features installations by Kelly Taylor Mitchell and Tony Bingham. These artists share a focus on ritual, labor and the Black experience. Both draw from research to reflect their personal and communal histories that continue to impact and shape our world. In their work, waterways are understood as sources of life, power and healing. The exhibition opens Friday, June 3 at noon.

Flow Tuscaloosa, of which the FLOW exhibit is a part, draws from the successful restoration of Hurricane Creek, a Tuscaloosa natural resource, to inspire protection of the Black Warrior River and its tributaries and to bring attention to the unique history and ecology of our watershed. With the goal of fostering a practice of “placekeeping” and historical reflection through the visual arts, the curators invited five artists to show in three venues in Tuscaloosa: the Paul R. Jones Museum, The University of Alabama Gallery in the Dinah Washington Cultural Center and the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum.

Daniel White, director of the Paul R. Jones Museum and the UA Gallery, said “We are excited to host the FLOW exhibitions in our downtown museum and gallery spaces. Selvage Collective has brought together a group of high-caliber artists who are responding to waterways, history and local lore with unique creations ranging from a neon sign to hand-crafted textiles.” White has been on hand as the artists install their pieces in the exhibit space. “These works respond to locations right in our backyard – such as Hurricane Creek or the old Bryce Hospital – and they remind us that history is always present, right “below the surface,” he smiled. “We are looking forward to celebrating these artists and their work in FLOW.”

Co-organizer Julia Brock said, “The four artists responded to research material provided by students from UA’s Department of History and the Selvage Collective to reimagine hidden or invisible histories of Tuscaloosa’s waterways. The exhibit complements other Flow Tuscaloosa initiatives – Jamey Grimes’ light installation in the lantern parade and Hannah Palmer’s exhibition Swimming Together, now on display at the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum – in offering another way to encounter this place.”

About the Artists

Boo Gilder is an Alabama-based artist and educator with a focus on community-engaged making and creative collaboration. She holds an MFA from Columbia College Chicago in book and paper arts, as well as training in photography and graphic design. Formally curator of education at the Coleman Center for the Arts, a community-based contemporary art center in York, Alabama, she is currently art director at Studio by the Tracks in Birmingham, where she works with artists with autism spectrum disorder.

Multidisciplinary artist Michi Meko draws influence from Southern culture and contemporary urban conditions. He has an uncanny ability to inspire an urbanized aesthetic that is innovative, challenging and thoughtful. His works allude to conditions both physical and psychological. His work is a proclamation of strength, perseverance and remembrance. He is represented by Kavi Gupta in Chicago and lives and works in Atlanta.

neon sign art
Michi Meko and Kirstie Tepper, FLOW Curator/Selvage Collective

Multidisciplinary artist Tony M. Bingham holds degrees in communications, film and community media from Antioch and Goddard colleges and an MFA from Georgia State University. Bingham’s work explores communities and public space – sites of enslaved, extractive or industrialized labor – throughout Alabama. By making reference to unmarked burial sites and vernacular headstones, he calls into question where, how and who we collectively remember. Bingham currently teaches studio art at Miles College in Fairfield.

Atlanta-based artist and educator Kelly Taylor Mitchell is currently artist-in-residence with the studio artist program at Atlanta Contemporary and a working artist project fellow with MOCA GA (Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia). Mitchell is an assistant professor of art and visual culture and the art program director at Spelman College. Mitchell’s multidisciplinary practice centers oral history and ancestral memory woven into the fabric of the Africana Diaspora in order to present speculative histories specifically related to concepts of community autonomy, swamp marronage and inherited identity. Utilizing printmaking, papermaking, sculpture and textiles, Mitchell’s work manifests as immersive installations, performative objects and partnered artists books offering a venue for the sensorial to connect to, convey and reimagine rituals and rites of autonomous kin, collectives and individuals of the Africana Diaspora.

The Curators

These exhibitions were curated by the Selvage Collective, the collaborative team of Julia Brock, Teresa Bramlette Reeves, and Kirstie Tepper, in cooperation and partnership with Jamey Grimes, The University of Alabama’s Paul R. Jones Museum and The University of Alabama Gallery, the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum, Collaborative Arts Research Initiative, College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Geography, Department of Art and Art History, Department of History, the City of Tuscaloosa, the Friends of Hurricane Creek and the Black Warrior Riverkeeper.

FLOW is supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Alabama Humanities Alliance and the Alabama Visual Arts Network.

The Paul R. Jones Museum at 2308 Sixth Street, Tuscaloosa, is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., First Fridays, 12 noon–8 p.m.

The University of Alabama Gallery at 620 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m., First Fridays, 12 noon–7 p.m., inside the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center.

For more information about the programs in the UA Department of Art and Art History, go to this page or contact the department at (205) 348-5967. 

The Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition Ashlee René Thompson – Fragments

The University of Alabama Department of Art and Art History presents the Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition of Ashlee René Thompson, April 1 through May 6, 2022. The exhibition, titled Fragments, will be held at The University of Alabama Gallery in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, with a reception for the artist on First Friday, April 1 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

Ashlee René Thompson is an MFA student concentrating in painting who is also working toward a certificate in museum studies. In her artist statement, Thompsonwrites, “Artistic expression and exploration with materials drives my work and provides a means and context for introspection. Concepts associated with memory and interpersonal relationships, as well as the connection between the mind and body inspire my current practices.” Thompson said that through mark and gesture her paintings present and interpret “an anxious mind.” She said, “an inner dialogue emerges” on the canvas. “Impulsive mark-making paired with chaotic and ordered gestures reflect the irrational and calculated.” Thompson works mainly in acrylic and ink, sewing and gluing additional mixed media elements in her primarily two-dimensional canvases, but also working in three-dimensional forms.

Thompson held her MA thesis exhibition, Synaptic Transmission, in March 2021. Her work was selected for the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art’s new national juried exhibition, Emergence (June 2021), for the online In Art Gallery, and for the show, Open Exhibition, at the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery in July 2021, among other exhibitions. She also served as the project manager for the recent exhibition, Weaving Muscogee Creek Culture: The Artistry of Mary Smith, at the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum in Tuscaloosa in 2021. Thompsonholds an MLA in general studies and a BA in art with a minor in art history from Auburn University Montgomery, where she also serves as an adjunct instructor. Her art website is here.

Image credit: Ashlee René Thompson, X, Y, Z, 2022, Acrylic and collage on canvas, 5.5”H x 12”W x 12”D. Courtesy of the artist.

Read this press release online.

The University of Alabama Gallery is an essential part of the education and development of UA students and our community. Admission to the gallery is free. The gallery is located in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center at 620 Greensboro Avenue in Tuscaloosa. It is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am-4:00 pm and First Fridays 12:00 noon-7:00 pm. Masks are encouraged although not required inside the gallery. Have questions or need assistance? Call (205) 345-3038. 

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.

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The University of Alabama MFA Books Arts Program- MENDING

The University of Alabama MFA Books Arts Program Presents MENDING

A Creative Thesis Exhibit Featuring Gina Fowler, Katharine Buckley, & Luke Kelly

March 4 – 25, 2022 Reception Friday, March 4th 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. The University of Alabama Gallery

620 Greensboro Avenue
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Monday – Friday 9 a.m – 4 p.m.
First Friday, February 4th: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

205-345-3038

Black Belt Artist Project–Photography Students of the Department of Art and Art History December 4th- January 29th, 2021

Black Belt Artist Project Exhibition 

The University of Alabama department of art and art history is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition, Black Belt Artist Project–Photography Students of the Department of Art and Art History, Friday, December 4, 2020, at The University of Alabama Gallery, Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. The public is invited to a “socially-distant” First Friday reception for the exhibition and to celebrate the release of a limited-edition book of the project, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Visitors must wear face coverings inside the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center and maintain a minimum distance of six feet from others. The DWCAC is limited to fifty (50) visitors at a time. The exhibition will be up through January 29, 2021. 

Over the past century, the South’s long history of folk art has been explored by a wide variety of writers, researchers and artists. Now, in an exhibition and new book, a mostly younger generation has rediscovered the Black Belt’s rich traditions in the visual arts. UA photography students in the project spent quality time with each of the artists, listening, photographing, and learning about rural Alabama’s legacy. The Black Belt Artist Project is a collaborative project of UA’s photography students and faculty in partnership with Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center and Canon Solutions America. 

Working with a variety of Canon cameras, Associate Professor Christopher Jordan’s students spent two semesters with these culturally unique artists in several counties of the Black Belt documenting their lives and works through photography and oral history video interviews. Then students spent two semesters designing and producing a book that features the photographs, biographies and excerpts from the interviews. “As an educator, it has been a thrill to work with students to document and celebrate these wonderful artists,” Professor Jordan said. “The artists so generously opened their homes and studios to us, providing extraordinarily rich and valuable learning experiences.” 

The Black Belt artists included in the project are Betty Anderson, Betty Bain, Mary Lee Bendolph, Deborah Carter, Mike Handley, Estelle Johnson Jackson, Stephen R. James, Betty Gaines Kennedy, Jeanie Lambert, Jessie LaVon, Charlie Lucas, Andrew and Etta McCall, Miller’s Pottery (Eric Miller & Allen Ham), Doris Pettway Mosely, Mary Ann Pettway, Virginia and Danny Pettway, Mary M. Pettway, Minnie and Tinnie Pettway, Mike Prime, Laura Spencer, and Sam Williams. 

307 Garland Hall | 700 Capstone Drive | Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0270 | 205-348-5967 | Fax 205-348-0287 | art.ua.edu 

Students whose work and excerpts of interviews appear in the book are Savannah Biggert (BA 2019, psychology, minor in studio art), Kasandra Boor (BA 2019, psychology, minor in studio art), Aleiah 

Briggs (BA 2020, studio art major, minor in art history), Sarah Cheshire (MFA student, creative writing), Arielle Gray (BA 2019, studio art, minor in art history), Jasmine James (BA 2020, double major in studio art and history), Kayla T. Lawson (BFA major studio art), Sam MacDonald (BFA major, photo and graphic design), Maddy O’Connor (BA 2020, studio art major, minor in advertising), Amber Quinn (MFA student, photography), Holly Ray (BA 2019, studio art, minor in advertising), Kassidy Stewart (BA 2020, studio art major, minor in entrepreneurship), Candace VonHoffman (BFA 2019, painting and photography), and retired social work professor Gordon MacNeil. 

Students who helped design the book are Aleiah Briggs, Natalie Clark (junior double major in studio art and advertising), Rebecca DeLong (BA 2020, double major in marketing and studio art), Alex Gaunt (BFA major, digital media), Angel Greene (BFA 2020, major, digital media and painting), Brittany Pitts (junior double major in studio art and advertising), Anna Sella (BFA 2020, major in digital media and drawing), and Holly Welch (BFA 2019, digital media). 

Photograph of person holding MLK, Jr. PhotographFollow us on Instagram, Facebook or Flickr with the hashtag #blackbeltartistsproject. And don’t miss another Black Belt Artist-related exhibition: Charlie Lucas: Talking to the Ancestors, up now through February 26, 2021, at the Paul R. Jones Museum in downtown Tuscaloosa. 

Sara Garden Armstrong- Threads and Layers

The University of Alabama Department of Art and Art History proudly presents Sara Garden Armstrong: Threads and Layers, August 7 – September 25, 2020, in The University of Alabama Gallery and The Arts Council Gallery of the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. While Tuscaloosa and The University of Alabama practice safe distancing, the gallery’s exhibition will be open by appointment, Monday-Friday 9 am – 4 pm. We are open Monday-Friday from 1pm-3pm for walk-in visitors. Please see the link below schedule a time to visit!
https://bit.ly/31doBXV

Sara Garden Armstrong: Threads and Layers surveys works by Alabama native and UA alumna, Sara Garden Armstrong, representing an artistic practice in Alabama and New York spanning six decades. The exhibition displays works varying in media from handmade artist books to painting to sculpture and installation, which interpret life cycles and metamorphosis using movement, color, sound, texture and light. This exhibition includes work from 1978 to 2020, with works never exhibited before and pieces that have never been presented together.

The exhibition is guest-curated by Paul Barrett, who recently curated For the Record: The Art of Al Sella at the UA Gallery and It’s Like That: Selections from the Collection of Rebecca and Jack Drake at the Paul R. Jones Museum. Barrett represented Armstrong’s artist books at the art gallery AGNES in the 1990s, including the limited-edition mini environment she created for Airplayers, a work in the collections of the Pompidou Centre, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and is featured in this exhibition.

Armstrong has exhibited nationally and internationally since the 1970s. She has had solo exhibitions at John Gibson Gallery, Dieu Donné Gallery, Souyun Yi Gallery and the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York, N.Y.; and the Birmingham Museum of Art, Maralyn Wilson Gallery, Space One Eleven, and the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, AL. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including SculptureCenter and A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY; Susan Hensel Gallery, Minneapolis, MN; U.S. Embassy, Czech Republic, Prague; Stiftung für Konkrete Kunst, Reutlingen, Germany; Bellevue Art Museum, WA; Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA.

Her artist books, installations and other artworks are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Time, Inc., New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Bibliothèque Nationale and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL; and others. Her atrium sculptures are included in such corporate collections as United Therapeutic Corporation, Silver Spring, MD. Armstrong now lives and works in Birmingham, where she founded the cooperative art gallery, Ground Floor Contemporary. Her website is http://saragardenarmstrong.com/.

The exhibition precedes a monograph of Armstrong’s work that will be published in the fall of 2020.

gallery installation photo of threads and layers
Photo courtesy of Paul Barrett.

Jude Anogwih- The Wall Is a Given Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition

While UA operates in a limited capacity in order to stem the spread of COVID-19, the UA Gallery will be closed to the public. Please call the UA Gallery at (205) 345-3038 for more information. This MFA thesis exhibition is documented and presented in an online exhibition on Flickr and on Facebook.   

The University of Alabama Department of Art and Art History is proud to announce The Wall is a Given, a final thesis exhibition presented by Jude Anogwih to fulfill the requirements of the MFA degree. The exhibition will run April 3- May 22, 2020, in The University of Alabama Gallery at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center in Tuscaloosa.

Jude Anogwih’s mixed media works, while grounded in the vibrant, gesture of color, have an inescapable three-dimensional component. He makes marks on unstretched, gessoed canvases and on found objects with duct tape, graphite, charcoal, pastel and acrylic. Anogwih explains, “I am concerned with painting as a structure of accumulation…of metaphors, forms, marks, and found objects. This is not dissimilar to memories, embedded on walls of old building or family photo albums, and constructed spectacles such as the favelas in Brazil.”

“With varied media, including duct tape,” Anogwih said, “I spin around an amalgam of dreams, intentions and experiences in sequences that are structurally layered in unpredictable new stories. I strive on a constant basis in my artistic research to conceive ideas that merge lived experiences, my imaginations and the realities of general life to a point of convergence.”

Anogwih’s work has been shown internationally and nationally in many exhibitions including Videonale (Lagos, Nigeria); Biennale Jogja XII (Yogyakarta, Indonesia); “Shifting Africa,”Mediation Biennale (Poznan, Poland); Urban Cadence: Street Scenes from Lagos to Johannesburg, Gund Gallery (Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio); Analogue Eye-Video Art AfricaNational Arts Festival (Grahamstown, South Africa); Jardim Canadá Centro de Arte (Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil); 5th International Festival of Video Art, FIVAC 2013 (Camagüey, Cuba); Imagined Communities, Golden Thread Gallery (Northern Ireland). He was selected as a Goethe-Institut Moving Africa Participant at Salon Urbain de Douala and he won a Goethe-Institut Fellowship to dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany, among other awards. He is a founding member and co-coordinator of Video Art Network Lagos.

The University of Alabama Gallery is located in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, 620 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, Ala., 35401.  For more information about this exhibition and all our programs, call (205) 345-3038.

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page. 

Unframed Images : Photography from the P.H. Polk

Tuskegee Airwomen

The University of Alabama Gallery presents the exhibition, Unframed Images – Photography from the Collection of P.H. Polk, January 24-February 28, 2020. The public is invited to a First Friday Reception, February 7, 5-8 p.m.

Digitally enlarged and reproduced from his original works, the photographs in this exhibit display the qualities for which Prentice Herman “P.H.” Polk (1898-1984) was known, for example, presenting his subjects in sharp detail with strong lighting without idealizing them. Polk’s subjects ranged from famous African Americans such as George Washington Carver, Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes and Martin Luther King, Jr., to working-class and poor Alabamians. One of Polk’s most influential photos featured First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in 1941 with pilot C.A. Anderson, an African American and Tuskegee Institute’s first chief flight instructor, which helped promote the newly established pilot training program that produced the Tuskegee Airmen.

Born and raised in Bessemer, Alabama, P.H. Polk (1898-1984) came to study art at the then-Tuskegee Institute in 1916 and opened his first photography studio there in 1927. The next year, he joined the faculty of Tuskegee’s photography department and taught until 1938, including five years as department head. From 1940, Polk served as the college’s official photographer while continuing to run his own studio.

The P.H. Polk Photography Collection, which contains more than 3,800 photographs, is housed in Tuskegee University’s archives. Tuskegee University archivist Dana Chandler said, “This collection represents some of the finest black and white images ever produced — by arguably the nation’s greatest African American photographer.” The works have been exhibited at leading institutions around the country, including the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Natural History and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, N.Y.

The exhibition is made possible through a partnership with Tuskegee University, Mississippi State University Libraries and the Southern Literary Trail.

The University of Alabama Gallery is located in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, 620 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, Ala., 35401. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 12 noon until 8:00 p.m. on the First Friday of each month. For more information about this exhibition and all our programs, call (205) 345-3038.

Stompin’ Grounds- Photography by Jerry Siegel

We are very proud to present the photographs of acclaimed photographer Jerry Siegel. Please join us November 1st as we celebrate the photographer and the region that has left a distinctive imprint on his life and work, the Black Belt region of Alabama. This show will run November 1st through January 17th 2020.

Born in Selma, AL, Jerry Siegel is a photographer living in Atlanta, GA, and working throughout the Southeast. Siegel focuses his work on traditions of portrait and documentary photography.
His first monograph, Facing South, Portraits of Southern Artists, was published by the University of Alabama Press, and features portraits of 100 Southern artists.

His work is in many public, private and corporate collections including the High Museum of Art, GA Museum of Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, MOCA GA, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Do Good Fund, The Telfair Museum, Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah, GA, The Morris Museum in Augusta, GA, and numerous other museums.

We are closed major holidays and school holidays.

The University Gallery is open weekdays 9am-4pm
620 Greensboro Avenue
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401

Five Decades of Art by Al Sella Featured at The University of Alabama Gallery

The University of Alabama Gallery will present For the Record: The Art of Al Sella, August 2-September 27, 2019. The Alvin C. Sella, "Untitled," 1964, oil on canvas, Collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art; Gift of Alvin C. Sella through the Museum Art Education Council.public is invited to a reception on Friday, September 6 (First Friday in downtown Tuscaloosa), from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Works from the Sella Estate, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art and private collections, will be on display.

Noted Guatemalan artist and arts educator Carlos Mérida wrote, “Sella has fertile imagination, variety, and is a colorist of first quality,” in Mérida’s introduction to the catalog for Sella’s solo exhibition at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City in 1946.

“The rumors are indeed true,” beamed UA Gallery director Daniel White. “We have been working hard behind the scenes for many months for this show, and we are proud to announce that we will have a solo survey of Al Sella’s work at the UA Gallery in August! Paul Barrett, the guest curator for this exhibition, has brought together a great group of collectors and institutions as we celebrate the work of Professor Sella as it stands on its own.”

“The exhibition includes paintings, assemblages and prints from 1960 through the 2000s,” notes Barrett. “After experiencing so much of Al Sella’s work over the course of organizing this show, it’s no surprise Alabama State Council on the Arts Executive Director Elliot Knight included Sella in his recent book, Alabama Creates: 200 Years of Art and Artists, published by University of Alabama Press.”

Al Sella in his studio, probably taken in 1965, Courtesy of the Sella Estate.Alvin C. Sella, who died in 2013, taught at The University of Alabama for 50 years, first as a tenured professor of art, hired in 1960, and later after his retirement in 1996, as professor emeritus, until 2010. Born in West Hoboken, New Jersey, Sella studied art at the Yale School of Fine Arts, Art Students League of New York, Columbia University School of Arts, Syracuse University College of Fine Arts, University of New Mexico department of art and, independently, in Mexico.

Sella spent his early career studying and painting in Mexico, before accepting a position as artist-in-residence at Sullins College in Bristol, Va., where he later served as head of the department of art before coming to Tuscaloosa.

Sella had numerous solo exhibitions throughout his career. His work appeared in the Contemporary Art Gallery in New York City; Collectors of American Art in New York City; the Carroll Knight Gallery in St. Louis, Mo.; and over 20 other galleries. His work also appeared in over 200 group shows. Sella’s paintings are held in numerous private collections as well as the corporate collections of Hinton Properties and Kovach Industries International. Sella was affiliated with the Frank Fedele Gallery in New York City.

He was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Distinguished Artist Award from Magic City Art Connection in Birmingham. In 1999, The University of Alabama Society for the Fine Arts awarded Sella its Distinguished Arts Career Award. In 2009, the Alabama State Council on the Arts awarded him the Governor’s Arts Award.

Image credit (top right): Alvin C. Sella, Untitled, 1964, oil on canvas, Collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art; Gift of Alvin C. Sella through the Museum Art Education Council.

Image credit (above left and featured): Alvin C. Sella in his studio, probably taken in 1965 during a photo shoot for the Crimson White for a story about his painting “The X Game” at the Southeastern Annual Exhibition in Atlanta (see Crimson White, Oct. 28, 1965). Courtesy of the Sella Estate.

The University of Alabama Gallery is located in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, 620 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, Ala., 35401. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 12 noon until 8:00 p.m. on the First Friday of each month. For more information about this exhibition and all our programs, call (205) 345-3038.