TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama Gallery will showcase the work of nationally recognized artist Kevin Cole beginning Thursday, Feb. 1, in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center in downtown Tuscaloosa.
The exhibition, titled “Blanket Series: Beyond the Surface,” features 21 wall sculptures made of paper, copper, aluminum and tar paper. According to Cole, the exhibition explores the ways various cultures use and display blankets.
In his artist statement, Cole said this body of work was inspired by a tapestry exhibition at the Denver Museum of Art and by the memories of his mother’s work as a housekeeper. As with his previous works, the blanket series continues to explore the interplay between color and music, particularly jazz, blues, rap and gospel.
Cole is an Advanced Placement art consultant at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He has created more than 35 public art projects, including the 8,200 square foot Coca-Cola Centennial Olympic Mural for the 1996 Olympic Games and the ESPN Zone for the 2000 Super Bowl.
He is also working on a wall sculptural installation for the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Cole works 10 to 12 hours per day in his three studios creating; however, he is also deeply committed to teaching. Since 1986, he has been awarded and nominated for multiple teaching awards, including the National Secondary Art Educator of the Year.
“I am sure if there are two things God blessed me with, it is the ability to teach and make art,” Cole said.
The exhibit will be on display at the gallery until Feb. 26, and an opening reception will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.
The UA Gallery offers a year-round schedule of exhibitions of artistic works, artifacts, textiles and more from permanent collections held by UA, as well as works by faculty, students, and guest artists and designers.
It is located at 620 Greensboro Ave. in downtown Tuscaloosa and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the first Fridays of the month from noon until 8 p.m. For more information, phone the gallery at 205-345-3038 or phone 205-342-2060.
In addition to the exhibition and reception, Cole will give three presentations from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2. The first, a keynote lecture titled “Beneath the Surface,” will be held in the Gorgas Library, room 205, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31. In the lecture, Cole will discuss highlights from his own artistic work. On Thursday, Feb. 1, Cole will present “The Business of Art,” offering practical advice to aspiring artists about negotiating the business aspects of the art world and navigating a fledgling artist career.
Although targeted specifically to aspiring visual artists, this presentation also may be of interest to those working in the arts or creative entrepreneurialism more broadly. This presentation will be held in Smith Hall, room 205, beginning at 4 p.m.
On Friday, Feb. 2, Cole will present “Working as an Arts Educator,” which will offer practical advice to aspiring artists about the challenges and opportunities involved in balancing work as an arts educator while maintaining one’s own active artistic practice. The presentation will be held in Smith Hall, room 205, beginning at 2 p.m.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.