Alumni News

We love to hear from our alumni and alumnae! Download a form here to tell us what you are doing now. Email it to, or mail it to R. Dobson, Department of Art and Art History, Box 870270, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 or email us.

I still remember so many exhibits at the art gallery on the ground floor… Some of them were really outrageous, with loud music and an automatic slide machine throwing all kinds of images onto the paintings and sculpture.  This was in the 70′s, so psychedelic ruled. — Charlotte Rivenbark, BHEC 1972, MHEC 1977


Don’t miss our special section in the Summer 2013 issue of The Loupe that features alumnus and renowned abstract expressionist painter THORNTON WILLIS (MA 1966).

In the fall, OLIVIA WEST (BA 2013) will be attending graduate school at the Savannah College of Art and Design in the Themed Entertainment Design MFA program. Among her many accomplishments, West was the department’s first Art Ambassador and helped organize the group: undergraduate studio and history majors who help recruit new students and represent Art and Art History at UA and community functions.[Sum13]

KATHERINE LADD (BA 2012) has been working as an intern at the Birmingham Museum of Art and as director of the Red Dot Gallery in Homewood, Alabama. She recently graduated with an art history major and an African American Studies minor.[Sum13]

IRA HILL (BFA 1998, photography and sculpture) writes that he has been practicing sculpture ever since graduation. “Today I am preparing to depart for a Artist Fellowship at Salem Art Works, Salem NY.” He recently completed campus commissions for Valdosta State University and North Florida Community College in Madison, FL. In 2012 he was awarded Artist in Residence at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis. “My favorite UA art school memory was getting to meet Mel Chin. He is an amazing influence on my ideas. Still love Bama.” Hill’s work can be seen at[Sum13]

EMEE BARROW (BFA 2013) graduated in the spring in painting and printmaking. She lives in Birmingham and is applying to graduate school for art history and hopes to begin in the fall of 2014.[Sum13]

MEGAN K. (Mitchell) YOUNG (BFA 1998, MA 2006) was appointed Director of the Dishman Art Museum and Assistant Professor of Art History at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, in October, 2012. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kansas. Her dissertation, “After the Deluge: Contemporary Artists Engage Katrina,” examines instances of contemporary art that investigate the ramifications of this catastrophic event in various ways. Young is particularly interested in the way visual interpretations of trauma can create or recreate collective or cultural identity in the wake of catastrophe. Before her museum appointment, she served as the Mellon Foundation/Loo Family curatorial intern in European and American painting, sculpture and decorative arts at the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas.[Sum13]


CLAYTON COLVIN’s exhibition in March and April, sewing up the sea, at beta pictoris gallery in Birmingham, was interestingly reviewed by Walt Lewellyn in Weld. Colvin’s work, Lewellyn writes, is “part of a rekindling culture-wide appreciation of abstract art.”

In the 1970s, alumni JANICE HATHAWAY (BFA 1973; MFA 1975) and FLETCHER PAUL HAYES (BFA 1973; MA 1974) along with other UA students were involved in the Raudelunas art collective. Read about their reunion and exposition here.

JIM BURNETT, BA 1975 (graphic design major and painting minor) had a solo exhibition of recent work, Stranger, at the Vulcan Materials Gallery, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham, in October 2012. An interview with Burnett is on the website here.[Sg13]

2012 Windgate awardee and alumnus ADAM HILL, BFA 2012, recently started working for ceramicist Michael Sherrill, president of the board of The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design and owner of a clay tools business in Bat Cave, NC. Sherrill won a United States Artists Windgate Fellowship in 2010. Hill works making ceramics tools for Sherrill and has studio space for his own creations. He will also be assisting Sherrill in making works in bronze, porcelain, glass, and other media. Hill explains, “mainly forging, firing kilns, doing chasing work on bronze, whatever it may be…” Hill writes that he feels “insanely fortunate” about his current situation. Hill writes, “I think the [Windgate] Fellowship gave me more than a financial opportunity. It opened so many doors to so many rooms. I’ve met some great people as a result of it who genuinely care about seeing Windgate Fellows succeed with their grant opportunity. I was able to assist in a 2-week ceramic workshop over the summer because of it, as well as enter my work into a cast iron invitational last month in which I sold a piece at the opening. These are opportunities I didn’t think I would ever get without the fellowship.”[Sg13]

The long-awaited Raudelunas Revival was a huge hit. The “legendary radical 1970s Tuscaloosa intermedia arts collective” made a huge come-back with a retrospective exhibition in the Ferguson Student Center Gallery and a performance in the Ferg Theatre featuring now internationally acclaimed violist LADONNA SMITH (former art student and apprentice to UA ceramics professor FRANK ENGLE), internationally acclaimed guitarist and UA alumnus DAVEY WILLIAMS and harpist/composer and UA art alumnus ANNE LEBARON. Former art student and religious studies major CRAIG NUTT; JANICE HATHAWAY, BFA 1973, MFA 1975; FLETCHER PAUL HAYES (BFA 1973, MA 1974); and LEAH ALFORD (art history minor 1971), along with several other UA alumni, were founding members and helped put together the exhibition organized by radio announcer and music historian Lee Shook, Jr.[Sg13]

Jenny Fine, "Untitled," archival pigment print, 42”x42”, 2012, project made in collaboration with The Wellington School in Columbus, OH.

Jenny Fine, “Untitled,” archival pigment print, 42”x42”, 2012, project made in collaboration with The Wellington School in Columbus, OH.

Since earning an MFA at The Ohio State University in 2010, JENNY FINE, BFA 2006, has been working as a studio assistant for artist Ann Hamilton. During 2009 and 2011 at OSU, Fine taught Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Darkroom Photography. In 2012, she was artist-in-residence at The Wellington School in Columbus, OH, where she worked collaboratively with pre-K through 12th grade students who contributed to the project through storytelling, designing costumes, constructing props and enacting their stories for the camera on a series of local fieldtrips. Fine’s work was exhibited in a group show at The Columbus Museum of Art and she spent three months in Dresden, Germany, on an artist residency, which culminated in a performative installation entitled The everyday things at Geh8, formerly an East German train station. In this installation, for the first time, Fine became a performer alongside “Flat Granny”, a life-sized photographic cut-out of her grandmother worn as a costume.[Sg13]

RHONDA ROEBUCK, MFA 1978, writes: “I am now retired from teaching. I live in Greenwood, VA, just outside of Charlottesville.  I taught art for 24 years in Albemarle County Schools. The last 15 years were spent teaching darkroom and digital photography at Western Albemarle High School. I have been an exhibiting artist for most of those years and a member of McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville, VA. More recently, I have been involved in some local history research and still use photography for documenting history.”[Sg13]

SARAH CUSIMANO MILES, MFA 2010, was named in the top 50 of Critical Mass, an international portfolio review sponsored by Photolucida in Portland, OR. She also received a Juror’s Commendation in the Silver Eye Fellowship 13, sponsored by the Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh, PA. Miles received an Alabama State Council on the Arts Fellowship for the 2012-2013 year and was featured in the Alabama Artists Gallery in Montgomery. She writes, “It has been a good year!”[Sg13]

LEIGH HOLDEN, MFA 2007 (photography) and MFA 2003 Book Arts, is a working artist and an instructor teaching in the University College Arts and Culture master’s degree program at the University of Denver. Holden recently returned to the Denver area where he is sorting out his studio practice and teaching bookbinding and papermaking workshops. His art practice also includes traditional and alternative photography, printmaking, drawing and installation.[Sg13]

JOHNNY GOODWIN, MA 1999 and BA 1997 (history and studio art), earned his MFA and Ph.D. in 2005 in studio art and photography from the University of Memphis. Goodwin is adjunct faculty at Birmingham-Southern College.[Sg13]

LAURA SHILL earned a BA in Journalism while taking many courses in photography with Gay Burke at UA. She earned an MFA in Studio Arts from The University of Colorado, Boulder. She worked as director of photography at University Relations. She is currently an artist-in-residence at Redline in Denver, CO, and Integrated Media Arts Program Lab Coordinator for the Department of Art and Art History at CU, Boulder.[Sg13]

Jamey Grimes, "Urchin I," rapid prototype, 2012.

Jamey Grimes, “Urchin I,” rapid prototype, 2012.

In March there were Emerging Alabama Artists at The Gallery in Bloch Hall at the University of Montevallo: AMY FEGER, ANNE HERBERT,and AYNSLEE MOON! Feger and Moon, UA art alumni, and Herbert, current graduate student, were juried into the show curated by Joe Bennett, assistant professor of art at Montevallo.[Sg13]

Prints by the late WILLIAM WALMSLEY (1923-2003; BFA 1951, MA 1953) appeared in Grand Hallucinations: Psychedelic Prints by William Walmsley and Friedensreich Hundertwasser with works by the renowned Austrian artist in February and March at William and Mary College.[Sg13]

Grad students CLAIRE LEWIS EVANS and MEREDITH RANDALL, instructor and alumnus JAMEY GRIMES, and alumnae JILLIAN CROCHET and APRIL LIVINGSTON were part of the Alabama Sculptors Exhibit at the University of Mobile in March.[Sg13]


Alumni News Archives   Khara Koffel, in case of the eventual (detail)
Alumni Websites

CLAYTON COLVIN (MFA 2005) was included in the 2nd annual “pulp” group show: pulp, works on paper / works with paper at Beta Pictoris Gallery in Birmingham this summer.[F12]

In September, KHARA KOFFEL (MFA 2003, sculpture and photography), associate professor of art at MacMurray College in Kentucky, had a solo exhibition of her sculpture, every after has a before, in the Marsh Gallery of the William and Florence Schmidt Art Center housed on the campus of Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville. She also recently exhibited two of her sculptures in Kentucky.7, a biennial exhibition of contemporary art, sponsored by the Lexington Art League. Koffel’s two works, the inescapable inevitable and when all else fails, were selected by juror Chuck Swanson, owner of Swanson Contemporary Gallery in Louisville, KY. Swanson said that when all else fails, which depicts Koffel’s to-do lists reformatted as pills, is an “excellent metaphor for our society.”[F12]

AMBER NICHOLE (JONES) TRIGGS (BFA 2011) writes from Memphis, “I will be teaching 7th grade English Language Arts in Teach For America for at least the next two years! Right now I’m helping teach 6th grade orientation. I’m also the Faculty Adviser for Art Club (which we’ll probably call Art Students League; I haven’t finalized my plans for that yet) here at the Soulsville Charter School. The school is on the campus of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, so there’s a heavy focus on the arts.”[F12]

MEGAN KOZA YOUNG (MA 2006) accepted a tenure track position at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. She will serve as Assistant Professor of Art History and Director of the Dishman Museum of Art.[F12] Thornton Willis, Triple Play

THORNTON WILLIS (MA 1966) exhibited recent works in the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art through the month of October. While here, he spoke to undergraduates, gave a gallery talk during a reception, and visited graduate student studios.[F12]

In September, LINDA BELL (MA 1993, art history) exhibited her textile work at the Bama Theatre’s Greensboro Room Gallery in Tuscaloosa. Bell is a former slide curator and was also the department’s first graduate of the joint program in the master of arts in art history. She wrote her thesis on Dutch Baroque genre painting. Her textile works on display in the Greensboro Gallery are based on the Charles Perrault version of the fairytale, “Cinderella.”[F12] Martha Markline Hopkins, "Nine," 24 x 24 x 4

MARTHA MARKLINE HOPKINS (BFA 2004) has had a busy past several months. Her shaped acrylic painting entitled Nine was chosen for Contemporary Women Artists XVI: Longevity, an international biennial exhibit this fall at the St. Louis University Museum of Art. In October and November, Hopkins was in Shape and Color: Martha Hopkins & Sandra Rice Shaped Acrylic Paintings & Handbuilt Clay Sculpture in the Kentuck Main Gallery, Northport. Her shaped canvas painting, Corinthian White, will be in a juried exhibition, Bound, at the Phoenix Gallery, NYC from January 30 to February 23, 2013. The juror for Bound is associate curator at the Museum of Modern Art, Cora Rosevear. The exhibition is sponsored by the Women’s Caucus for Art.[F12]

MARIA EVANS spent several years in the early 1990s taking graduate courses in sculpture, photography and book arts at UA. Maria Evans While here, Evans apprenticed with sculptor and UA religious studies alumnus CRAIG NUTT, when he had a studio at Kentuck in Northport. She moved to Princeton in 1993 where her husband Mick LeTourneaux (UA SLIS MFA in book arts) works as a book conservator at Princeton University. Since 1998, Evans has worked her way up through the ranks at the Arts Council of Princeton (NJ). She began by teaching children’s ceramics classes, then served as ACP’s Gallery Manager for four years before becoming the Community Arts Manager. She now serves as the council’s Artistic Director.  She is still making art.

KHARA KOFFEL (MFA 2003, sculpture and photo), now associate professor of art at MacMurray College (Jacksonville, IL), has had her work “we all have our something” Khara Koffel, 2010, “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve," 54”x16”x12”, cranberry extract pills and stainless steel wire. selected for the Ann Metzger Memorial National All Media Exhibition, an annual show sponsored by the St. Louis (MO) Artists’ Guild. Koffel was also accepted into a sculpture exhibition, The Third Dimension, at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, Missouri. She was recently awarded an Honorable Mention in the biennial Art from the Heartland show in Indianapolis, IN. It was one of eight honors awarded by curator Paula Katz of the Herron School of Art in Design in Indianapolis. Fifty-five artists were selected out of more than 300 submissions.*

Read this Loupe reprint online about RON YRABEDRA’s memories of Lee Krasner’s visit to UA campus in 1967.

JACK MOORE (BFA 1957, MA 1962) from Tullahoma, TN, started at UA as a freshman in 1953. Moore sent us his notes on the faculty and his courses from that era. He remembers that department chair Dr. RICHARD FREEMAN brought in visiting artists such as Lawrence Calcagno, a noted Bay area abstract expressionist who had an exhibition here in 1956. Moore remembers professor (and alumnus) HOWARD GOODSON, from Vernon, AL, who studied art in New York; printmaking professor RICHARD ZOELLNER, who was to young Moore “the ‘Old Salt’ of the group,” and art history professors JACK GALLOWAY and JOE BOLT. Moore remembers that Bolt painted in his studio every morning and taught studio courses as well as art history. He recalls graphic design professor RICHARD BROUGH, a watercolorist who taught commercial art and lettering. Moore wrote: “ANGELO GRANATA was the other art faculty [besides Goodson] who talked modern art speech. To us art students, it was like a foreign language.” We are grateful to Jack Moore for sending us his many rich memories of the department in the 1950s. We hope to excerpt more in future issues.[S/S12]

LESLIE BURNS (MFA 1978, printmaking and photography), sent several wonderful photos, some shot by KEYSER WILSON (MFA 1978) and LARRY NEWBERRY (MFA 1977, BFA 1975). “It seems we had an art grad student group photo taken once a year at least.” Burns, who said she “wanted to be an artist since I picked up my first crayon,” grew up to be a filmmaker. She is retired from the University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures at San Antonio, where she researched and produced cultural documentaries, “from Kickapoo Indians to Polish Texans, from Nellie Connally to El Dia de los Muertos, from African-American cowboys to German architecture.” Now, among other things, she creates collages, using old family photos and images from vintage postcards, including some from 1920s postcards of UA buildings.[S/S12]

MURRAY CAHILL (BFA 1978, painting and printmaking) remembers: “[JACK AGRICOLA] and I flew to New York together in January of ’77…we saw Louise Nevelson at her show at Pace, along with Clement Greenberg (who was busy taking notes for his critical review).”[S/S12]

LARRY NEWBERRY writes: “I spend most of my time facilitating my daughter’s artistic efforts and simply trying to survive this new economy. But I still work [in art] a little and since we created the Little River Arts Association we are having shows and events that keep the brain stimulated.” In response to a question about stories of old times in Woods Quad: “As far my experiences go, I was having far too good a time to remember any of it.”[S/S12]

FLETCHER P. HAYES (MA 1975, BFA 1973), known to old friends as Paul, is alive and well and living in the Windy City. He was surprised recently to see art work from Tuscaloosa blown his way. Sculpture by KELLY SHANNON, current UA grad student, was juried into the 25th Annual Women’s Works Exhibition, presented by the Northwest Area Arts Council. More: Hayes recently participated in Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare: As They Like It at the Beverly Arts Center in Chicago.[S/S12]

JULIE HALL FRIEDMAN (BA ARH 1981) writes that her art world involvement consists of being immediate past chair of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Alabama Writers’ Forum, and a member of the Advisory Board for the Paul Jones Gallery. She also serves on the Board of the National Museum for Women in the Arts (Alabama Committee), as well as on the boards of several Mobile, AL, civic and arts organizations.[S/S12]

IRA HILL (BFA 1998, photography, printmaking and sculpture) is Foundry Artist in Residence at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis.[S/S12]

CLAYTON COLVIN (MFA 2005) had a solo show of new paintings, Space Mountain, at Beta Pictoris in Birmingham in December. The gallery text reads: “[Colvin] uses a hybrid of figurative and abstract approaches to create delicate, fantastic, and concrete spaces. The immediate and intimate nature of drawing infuses his linen panels with an hypnotic mix of familiarity and mystery. The resulting images are skillfully constructed poems, or Burroughs cut-ups, in which the viewer gets pleasantly lost in language.”[S/S12]

A work by PATRICIA DAVIS (BFA 2011) from her McNair Scholar’s show, INVASION, was featured on the June 2011 cover of the Journal of Science Health at UA (JOSHUA).[S/S12]

JENNIFER DODD (BA 2005, photography) is an area membership manager for Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast. She writes, “I came on full time with Girl Scouts this summer. Before, I was working at an elementary school in Monterey, CA, as an art director for the extended day program as well as working part time for the Girl Scouts.” She has two online Etsy stores ([S/S12]

PAUL OUTLAW (BFA 2004) made the ART 21 Blog in, “Praxis Makes Perfect | Hustling with Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw,” in November 2011, by Jacquelyn Gleisner. Gleisner writes, “Jen and Paul have long abandoned the romantic stereotype of the solitary studio artist, in favor of emphasizing and developing the social and practical aspects of their careers in the arts. They’re hustlers.”[S/S12]

BRYCE SPEED (MFA 2005) writes that his painting, Pool View (above), was selected for the exhibition, In the Stillness, at the Museum of Nebraska Art. Pool View was also chosen for New American Paintings, Western Edition, Vol. 96, “a juried exhibition-in-print.” Speed teaches art at Central Community College in Columbus, Nebraska.[S/S12]

Because of the April 27, 2011 tornado, SARIE SWEARINGEN had to wait to graduate until August 2011 with her BA in art history and double minor in Italian and general business. She was accepted to an internship at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville as an Education Outreach Intern. She created lessons and ideas to take out to the community as a way of sharing art. Swearingen writes, “Most of the tasks I did related to sharing [our] exhibitions with people who do not usually have the opportunity to visit a museum. I gave tours, worked at art festivals, helped with office organization, and had a wonderful adventure. I really enjoyed all the people I met, and [the experience] was very humbling.”  Since then, Swearingen has been appointed as the Frist’s Teaching Assistant in the Youth and Family Programs. She now designs activities for children’s programs that relate to upcoming exhibitions, teaches studio classes to school groups and manages the interactive gallery, Martin ArtQuest.[S/S12]

We love to hear from our alumni and alumnae! Download a form here to tell us what you are doing now. Email it to, or mail it to R. Dobson, Department of Art and Art History, Box 870270, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 or email us.

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