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

For exhibit, professor had students create dialogue

The exhibit “Call and Response,” on display from April 17 to May 10, features student work responding to various art pieces in the Paul R. Jones collection.

“In music, call and response refers to a compositional tactic where one line of music, perhaps a bit of melody, is played in direct response to another,” Christopher Jordan, assistant professor of art, photography and digital media, said. “This implies a dialog, a conversation.”

Jordan, who teaches ART 328, an advanced digital photography course, has led his students to delve into this interactive concept using photographs rather than music.

“This is the second time I’ve had my digital photography class work with the Paul R. Jones collection,” Jordan said.The students were asked to choose a particular piece and begin to form a creative dialog with it. The real juice of this project is the creative looking, pondering, imagining. Some of this involved researching what is known about the piece and the artist, for context and to inform their understanding. The second part involved creative work, making art in some way inspired by, or in response to, their adopted piece.”

Natalie Culberson, a senior majoring in fine arts with concentrations in photography and digital media, is one of Jordan’s students. Culberson said she certainly felt a call to the photograph with which she chose to work.

“I chose my piece based on an immediate reaction,” Culberson said. “I was intrigued by the moment of reflection that the subject was caught in and wanted an opportunity to explore that moment.”

The students were responsible for creating two to three responses to the photograph they were working with, each of which had to be photographs.

“I created responses that were complimentary to the original piece by mimicking elements that were found in the original piece in my responses,” Culberson said.

While there was no overlying theme encouraged among the responses, Jordan pointed out there was still a unifying quality within the works.

“If there is a central theme, it would have to do with how the creative, art-making process is truly about conversation – calling and responding repeatedly with ourselves and our surroundings,” he said.

Jordan said he hopes both his students and exhibit viewers take away something from examining the works in the exhibit.

I really think there is value, for [everyone], to look closely at an artwork that inspires, and ask questions,” Jordan said. “What is it exactly that is grabbing my attention here? Is it the subject matter? Or maybe it’s the aesthetic beauty of an artwork?”

The Call and Response exhibit will be on display at the Sella-Granata Art Gallery from April 17 through May 10. The Sella-Granata Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. An open reception will be held in the gallery on Thursday, April 18, from 5 to 7 p.m., where the students will be available to speak about their work.


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