Senior Art Majors Present Life as They See It

  • November 11th, 2019

The UA Department of Art and Art History will feature the art of three UA senior artists–Natalie Cox, Charlie Cruz and Arielle Gray–in “Graduating Senior Exhibition,” Nov. 11-28 in the Sella-Granata Art Gallery.

artwork by graduate student
Charlie Cruz, “I Can’t See Me,” digital print

The public is invited to a reception for the artists Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 4-6 p.m.

Cruz, a senior double major in psychology and studio art, will present digital artworks, photographs and other works that center on questions of identity, specifically assumptions about gender, and which reflect his experiences and responses to being a transgender person: a transman. In creating these works, Cruz explores the questions, “What does it mean to be a man, woman or none of the above?”  Some of his work reflects his own inner struggles with his identity and with society’s standards and expectations. Other works celebrate friends who, as Cruz said, “are comfortable in their presentation and gender. … These people and others like them helped me feel like it is possible to be a masculine person or man despite dressing in ‘feminine’ fashion.”

His work has been exhibited in the “2019 Advanced Scholarship Exhibition” in the Sella-Granata Art Gallery and the “Shelton State Community College Student Exhibition” at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Cruz has been awarded a Bradley Endowed Scholarship in Art, a UA Department of Art and Art History Scholarship for Incoming Students, and a Shelton State Community College Fine Arts Scholarship. Cruz is a freelance digital artist whose clients include Spectrum, UA’s LGBTQA+ student organization, and Reading Allies, The University of Alabama System’s statewide reading initiative. More of Cruz’s art is on his website.

artwork by graduate student
Arielle Gray, “On Looking,” photograph

Gray, a photography major with a minor in art history, will present “Wait Until Dark,” a collection of still and moving images centered around “the feelings and experiences of nights out on the town.” To create an immersive experience for the viewer, Gray will project image stills with analog slide projectors and will screen a video work on a monitor.

“The images are projected onto the wall in a darkened room to emulate the experience of going out at night,” she said. “The places we go to party on the weekends are dimly lit and sometimes illuminated by colorful light designs and setups to entice us. I want to use these colorful lights in my images to mirror that and put my viewer into the moments I’ve captured. The ideas within my work hope to relate to the culture we have created for celebrating the night and the ways in which we experience the world when the sun goes down.”

Gray received the Bradley Endowed Scholarship in Art, the Farley Moody Galbraith Endowed Art Scholarship and the Mee Too Endowed Scholarship. She was a photographer in the Black Belt Artist Project collaborative initiative and exhibited her work in the “2019 Advanced Scholarship Exhibition” in the Sella-Granata Art Gallery. Gray is a freelance commercial and fine art photographer in Tuscaloosa and has published work in Art Concept Magazine and Uncertain Magazine. More of Gray’s art is on her website.

artwork by graduate student
Natalie Cox, “Bleeding Forest,” acrylic paint and ink on paper

Cox, a Fredericksburg, Virginia, native, is a bachelor of fine arts major with concentrations in drawing and painting. Cox describes her paintings as “naturalistic landscape images with uniquely imagined forms.”

“These paintings represent my visual expression of a strangely abstract domain stemming from a combination of places I have been to and those I have dreamt up in my head,” she said. “The nonrepresentational landscape and portal-like compositions create an illusionistic world that allows the viewer to decide what naturalistic forms are familiar to them.”

Cox exhibited her work in the “2018 Annual BFA Juried Exhibition,” Harrison Galleries, Tuscaloosa, and her sculpture is included in the Monster Takeover group on Tuscaloosa River Walk. She was named to the President’s List in spring 2018, and the Dean’s List in Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Fall 2018 and Spring 2019.  She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key International Honor Society, Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Society and National Society of Leadership and Success.

Admission to the Sella-Granata Art Gallery is free. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday.

Information about visitor parking is available on the UA parking services website. Parking is free on campus in a legal space after business hours. For more information, contact the gallery at 205-348-2783.

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.