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For Immediate Release

For Immediate Release      
The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa
Contact:  Kevin Ledgewood
205-758-5195, x6


(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center will feature two exhibits dedicated to the work of UA photography professor Gay Burke and her students during the month of October. A semi-retrospective exhibit of Burke’s works will be displayed in The Arts Council Gallery Oct. 5-26, 2018. A corresponding exhibit composed of work by her students will be displayed in The University of Alabama Gallery at the same time. The displays will be featured during First Friday on Oct. 5 from 5-8 p.m. with a reception.

In 1973, Gay Burke was hired to teach photography in the UA art department when it was still suspect as a fine art medium. Burke, who had come from the University of Florida where she had studied under renowned photographer and photomontage innovator Jerry Uelsmann, became the first female tenured in UA’s male-dominated art department. Her black and white imagery revealed unexpected, often fantastical juxtapositions. An early artist statement suggests some of what she passed on to her students: “While I enjoy the sheer beauty of the photographic print and the darkroom techniques that bring this into being, it is the process of discovery that excites me most. I believe that photography is not only a process of self-exploration and self-expression; it is magic–pure and simple.” (courtesy www.art.ua.edu)

Gay Burke passed away on May 1, 2017, but for over four decades she developed a distinguished art photography program in The University of Alabama’s Department of Art and Art History, while creating her own artwork. A semi-retrospective exhibition, “Gay Burke: The Mother of Alabama Art Photography,” will be on display in The Arts Council Gallery.

The Alabama State Council on the Arts is assisting with the curation and exhibition of Burke’s former students’ works, “Butterfly Effect: Honoring the Legacy of Gay Burke,” that will be held in The University of Alabama Gallery.The display will feature 36 artists who studied under Professor Gay Burke over the course of Burke’s 42-year career at UA.

Former students Elliot Knight and Andy Meadows identified twelve former students of Gay Burke’s spanning the years from 1973 until her retirement in 2015. Each artist was asked to invite two additional photographers to participate. The exhibition will feature work that the artists created during their college years as well as work they created more recently. The exhibitors include Barbara Lee Black, Wanrudee Buranakorn, Jeffrey Byrd, Jenny Fine, Elliot Knight, Andy Meadows, Sarah Cusimano Miles, Greg Randall and Wayne Sides.

The Arts Council Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-noon and 1 - 4 p.m. on weekdays and noon-8 p.m. on First Fridays. The University of Alabama Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and noon-8 p.m. on First Fridays. Galleries are closed on weekends. Admission is free.

For additional information about Tuscaloosa exhibit openings on First Friday including hours and locations, visit www.firstfridaytuscaloosa.com.

The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is located at 620 Greensboro Avenue in Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about the CAC, The Arts Council or Bama Theatre, patrons should LIKE the Facebook page “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” and follow tuscarts on Twitter. Call 205-758-5195 or visit tuscarts.org for further information.



For press inquiries and other public relations matters please contact:

Kevin Ledgewood