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

Graduate student exhibit features paintings and sculptures

The Sella-Granata Art Gallery will be exhibiting the works of two UA graduate students. The exhibit, titled AMALGAM, features artists Darius Hill and Anne Herbert, both MFA students.

Hill, a non-traditional student, said he returned to school to complete his master’s degree.

“My work has changed a lot during the last 10 years or so, and I feel like a student again,” Hill said. “Everything’s new, and everything’s fresh. It’s kind of like a new beginning.”

Hill’s sculptures and paintings featured in AMALGAM were influenced by his African-American heritage and by his childhood in the 1970s. Much of his art also draws from hairstyles in African-American culture, especially the Afro comb.

“I’ve had like every hairstyle a black guy could have,” Hill said. “What I’ve noticed working with the comb motif is if I position it in certain ways, it would turn into a person if I had the comb upright. If I had the comb on it’s side it looked more like a weapon.”

One of Hill’s pieces is an 8-foot sculpture of an Afro comb, titled “Funkadelic Relic.” Hill said in a press release this piece reminded him of a “gothic sculpture from the past.”

Hill not only uses African-American imagery, but he also borrows from Black History traditions and ideas of African-American artists like Kara Walker.

“Specifically, I am drawn to manipulate images and symbols that I associate with the Civil Rights era of the 1950s and 1960s and the Black Power movement of the 1970s and 1980s,” Hill said in his artist statement. “I am very interested in claiming something old to make something new –in the style of rap artists who sample from different musical genres to create a new sound.”

Herbert’s paintings focus more on the experience and process of creating art. She said the process is very “spontaneous and engaging,” much like moments in life.

“I chose to go to graduate school in order to spend more time thinking about art and making paintings,” Herbert said. “I knew it was something I wanted to know more about and graduate school is a way to take that time and it increases professionalism as well.”

Herbert said she and Hill came up with the title AMALGAM because it symbolizes a mixing of two different things, much like their work. While Hill works mostly in sculpture, Herbert concentrates on painting.

“It’s like an alchemy of sorts,” Herbert said, in reference to the title.

Herbert’s paintings are presented on stretched muslin and mylar, the shiny silver material used in heated blankets.

“The visual result of the paintings which depict spaces seem to be in transition and speak to the moments in life spent looking or engaging with our environment.”

Graduate students in the art department must present an exhibition of their work as part of their graduation requirements.

AMALGAM will show Feb. 22 through March 15 in the Sella-Granata Art Gallery. There will be an open reception on March 7 from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery.

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