Photographer Wayne Sides to Lecture at UA

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama photographer Wayne Sides will present the lecture “Life and Works in Progress” Tuesday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 203 Garland Hall on The University of Alabama campus. The lecture will be followed by a reception in UA’s Sarah Moody Gallery of Art.

Sides is a 1975 alumnus of the New College program in UA’s College of Arts and Sciences and is the first lecturer in the New College Distinguished Alumnus Lecture series. Sides, an associate professor of photography at the University of North Alabama in Florence, will share reflections of his current and past work in photography and the performing arts. The event is free and open to the public.

Sides gained regional recognition in the late 1970s for his powerful photographs of the Ku Klux Klan, some of which were recently exhibited at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. He is also recognized for his collaborative work with musicians, poets, and other performing artists and for his wide range of subject matter in his photography.

“Wayne is a multi-talented Alabama treasure. He is known at the University of North Alabama as a superb and inspiring teacher. His presentation here will focus on his photography work including his photos of the Klan as well as some of his photos of trailers, side shows, Las Vegas and western landscapes,” said Dr. Hank Lazer, assistant vice president for undergraduate programs and services at UA. Lazer, also a UA professor of English and poet, has collaborated with Sides and poet/musician Jake Berry in the performance group “Alabama Poetry Ensemble.”

Sides has also collaborated with Alabama poet Jeanie Thompson in the exhibition “Litany for a Vanishing Landscape” and in her collection of poems, “White For Harvest.” He is also a co-author with Berry in the book “Silence and the Hammer,” and has appeared in multidisciplinary performances, including one with UA’s Bankhead Visiting Writers Series.

The recipient of nearly a dozen awards and fellowships, including a Best Mixed Media Award from the Philadelphia Arts Museum, Sides has held more than 15 one-man shows and exhibited in more than 20 group shows throughout the nation. His photographs can be seen in more than 10 national books, publications and reviews, including “The Ballad of Little River” by Paul Hemphill.

Sides and Berry also formed the bluegrass band known as “Bare Knuckles.”

“Wayne always had a very adventurous spirit. He has done a lot of different kinds of things. His work has covered a wide range of things, and it has always been exceptional,” said Gay Burke, professor of art and a former teacher of Sides.

A native of Calhoun County, Sides received a bachelor’s degree in visual and performing arts from UA and earned a master’s degree in photography from Pratt Institute in New York in 1983. He has worked as a lecturer and artist-in-residence with Southwest State University of Marshall, Minn.; the New York Federation for the Arts; the Whitney Museum of American Arts; and the Alabama State Council of the Arts. He has also worked as a freelance photographer, including with Columbia Pictures in Mobile on the production of the movie “Close Encounters of a Third Kind.”

The College of Art and Sciences is the largest liberal arts college in Alabama and is The University of Alabama’s largest division with 340 faculty and 6,000 students in more than 26 departments and programs.


Rebecca Paul Florence or Ashli Chaffin, 205/348-8663