Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama Art Kitchen hosts gallery opening

A career in art can take many turns, and the Alabama Art Kitchen can give artists on the road a home when their career comes through Tuscaloosa. For one of these artists, Michael Bonadio, the Art Kitchen will host a gallery opening, entitled “A Boy and What He’s Got,” consisting of original, mostly iron, sculptures.

Bonadio said the recent movement in his career inspired the title of the gallery.

“I was driving back from [Virginia]. I was thinking my art career in the South had come to a close,” Bonadio said. “[I hope to] sell some stuff so I can get gas money to go make some more art. It is nice to get people to look at what I’ve been doing for the last four years.”

After graduating from the University of West Virginia with a BFA in sculpture, Bonadio’s art career included a four-year stop at Sloss Furnace. Sloss, a former blast furnace from the heyday of the Birmingham steel industry, has become a kind of Mecca for sculpture artists, and featured a resident artist program in which Bonadio took part.

Bonadio said he works primarily with iron but will also sculpt with anything he can get his hands on, including ceramics and scrap metal. Sloss Furnace was an ideal place to be.

“I was production manager as well as casting teacher and resident artist,” he said.

When he moved on from Sloss Furnace’s resident artist program, Bonadio said he was excited to see where his art would take him next.

Now, he will make his first solo gallery appearance in Tuscaloosa.

Claire Siepser, the Art Kitchen director, said that every other month they alternate group galleries with single artist galleries.

“It is a very interesting installation with a high quality craft,” she said about the gallery.

“I am most excited about setting it up and getting it all installed,” he said. “I have been working on other peoples’ work for a while, and now I’m privileged to have a one man show.”

He was first inspired to pour iron at a festival in Green County, Pa., eleven years ago.

“There was a furnace six feet tall with flames shooting out of the top. It was awesome,” he said.

From then on, he was hooked.

Bonadio’s pieces are inspired by his childhood.

“I use secretive ways of showing it. [My sculptures] are a way of storytelling,” he said.

Bonadio is insistent on having fun with his art because everything, he said, is just too serious.

To go along with his childhood inspired pieces, Bonadio will be serving homemade lemonade for 25 cents.

Siepser is most excited for the bartering – she hopes to acquire one of his pieces for herself. “Where else can you get homemade lemonade for 25 cents? There is no place like this in Tuscaloosa or in Alabama for that matter,” Siepser said.

Bonadio’s work will be in the Art Kitchen Gallery the entire month of March, but the artist himself will be there on March 1 from 6 to 8 p.m., along with his homemade lemonade and story-filled sculptures.

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