From Self-Taught to Art Faculty, Exhibits Showcase Creativity

  • September 17th, 2019

Art lovers can enjoy the works of self-taught artist Purvis Young and the studio works of UA’s art and art history faculty.

‘Purvis Young: Born in Liberty City’

photo of a man seated
Purvis Young, taken by David Raccuglia, Wikimedia Commons wiki/File:Purvis_Young.jpg

The Paul R. Jones Museum presents “Purvis Young: Born in Liberty City,” through Oct. 25. The exhibition of 27 pieces by the self-taught artist has been selected entirely from the Seiler Zaden Rimes Collection, with the assistance of UA alumnus Richard Zaden.

Purvis Young (1943-2010) was born in Liberty City, Florida, and spent most of his artistic life in Overtown, both historically black neighborhoods now in the Miami metro area. Through intensely personal iconography and a relentless output, Young conveyed life in Overtown with a perceptive eye, exposing the struggling aspects of living in an impoverished, forgotten town within a bustling city. With glass skyscrapers of Miami in the background, he painted his version of justice-themed issues, often expressing his thoughts and feelings about current events happening around him onto discarded wood and objects.

Independent curator Paul Barrett, who previously curated “A Harder Task Than Making Bricks Without Straw: Self-Taught Alabama Artists” from the Collection of Doug McCraw at The University of Alabama Gallery and “Beverly Buchanan: Habitat for Humanity” at the Paul R. Jones Museum, chose work for this exhibit that exemplifies the breadth and depth of Young’s ability. Works painted on a variety of found objects were executed on plywood, paper, and even a tabletop and shelf, and feature motifs Young used throughout his life: large angelic oval heads, horses, buildings, boats and animated figures.

The Paul R. Jones Museum is located at 2308 Sixth St. and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the first Friday of each month from noon to 8 p.m.

Art and Art History Department Faculty Biennial

eerie photo of dog outside a house in the forest
Christopher Jordan, “Bad Dog,” photography, 20 H x 30 W

The “2019 Faculty Biennial Exhibition” will run through Oct. 11 in the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art.

Gallery director William Dooley, said, “This exhibition is a unique opportunity for the University and West Alabama communities to explore the department’s varied research endeavors firsthand in the studio disciplines of ceramics, digital media, drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.”

This year’s Biennial welcomes the addition of new faculty members Jonathan Cumberland, Holland Hopson and Wade MacDonald. They join William Dooley, Allison Grant, Jason Guynes, Chris Jordan, Sarah Marshall, Giang Pham, Pete Schulte, Sky Shineman, Bryce Speed and Craig Wedderspoon in presenting their current pursuits in studio art.

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.