exterior of garland hall

Lunar Magic and Cosmic Landscapes: Art Around Campus

Here’s a look at the first of several new exhibitions coming to University of Alabama galleries for the public to enjoy this fall.

Recently Opened Exhibits

Rebecca Rutstein: Out of Thin Air: Microscopic Journeys Through Cosmic Landscapes

Sarah Moody Gallery of Art with the Collaborative Arts and Research Initiative, Sept. 8-Oct. 14 

This exhibition was created through Rutstein’s collaboration with planetary geologist Dr. Julia Cartwright, assistant professor of geological sciences and Collaborative Arts and Research Initiative Fellow. In her research, Cartwright uses multiple techniques to characterize extra-terrestrial materials. She images sections of meteorites to different scales using high-resolution microscopy and petrography techniques. 

Rutstein’s paintings for this exhibition are inspired by these images of the interior of ancient interplanetary rocks.

“Some of the slices we were looking at together under the microscope were being seen for the first time,” the artist said. “We were the first to see and study them.” 

This award-winning, multidisciplinary artist will hold a lecture Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m. in the Yellowhammer Room of the Gorgas Library, with a gallery reception 5-7 p.m.

abstract art
Rebecca Rutstein, “Weaving Histories,” 2022, acrylic, flashe and spray paint on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist.

Kathy Rodriguez: Ruminations

Sella-Granata Art Gallery, Sept. 8-22

Artist, educator, curator and writer Kathy Rodriguez writes that her newest work reflects “ideas of potential and healing through the process of creating voids and geometric shapes in meditative fields. I began this series after teaching in Rome with the University of New Orleans’ International Studies program in July 2018. The deceptive simplicity of circles and squares in this work refer to the classical geometry that permeates the artwork in the city. Near the end of the trip, there was a blood moon, a lunar eclipse that lasted the longest of any in the twenty-first century. Eclipses mark beginnings, times for starting anew. A new beginning, however, will always be tied to what came before it, and it is this shifting relationship that the work engages by evoking the potential of change.

“The work in painting replaces the void with a more literal moon, still evoking cycles and change with the addition of lunar magic.” 

A gallery talk and closing reception are scheduled for 5 p.m., Sept. 22.

painting of the moon in the sky
Kathy Rodriguez, “Bean Moon,” 2021, oil on muslin, 48 x 36 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Pat Snow: You Will Never Read my Poetry

University of Alabama GalleryNow through Sept. 28

UA alumnus 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?” 

oil painting of a person bending over
Pat Snow, “Burden,” oil on wood, 10 x 8 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Recent Acquisitions: Additions to the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama 2015 – 2022

Paul R. Jones MuseumNow through Sept. 23 

Curator Emily Bibb has selected a variety of works acquired during the past seven years, including works by artists such as Beverly Buchanan, Ukuu Tafari (Antjuan Oden), Clementine Hunter and Radcliffe Bailey.

Bibb noted in the introduction to the catalog that “these additions to the collection allow us to show work by influential artists like Willie Cole, Thornton Dial and Purvis Young, and to add more art by female artists, younger artists at the beginning of their careers, and artists working outside the mainstream.

“From its inception, Paul R. Jones’ collection has been known for its strong focus on art by Black artists. These additions continue Jones’ mission to support artists who have been historically excluded from museum collections across the board. Collecting these artworks ensures their long-term preservation. It also enshrines the work of these artists as worthy of preservation, continuing attention and scholarly investigation.” 

Recent Acquisitions has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

abstract oil painting
Radcliffe Bailey, “Between Two Worlds,” 2003, mixed media, Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama, purchase with museum funds in honor of Lin and Robert Olin, PJ2019.0002 ©Radcliffe Bailey. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.