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New art facility opens Thursday
January 16 marks the official opening of the Abroms-Engel Institute of Visual Arts.
“[We have] a fantastic show featuring the best works from the local private collections, as well as sample work from the UAB art faculty and students,” associate design professor Doug Barrett said.
The AEIVA joins the growing artist community in Birmingham allowing for a greater selection of work to be displayed on campus in the climate controlled gallery space.
“We do not view ourselves as competitive, rather joining the community of those governing platforms as a partner in artistic exhibition,” Dean of the College Arts and Sciences Robert Palazzo said.
The brick, zinc and glass building adds over 25,000 square feet to the art department not only for galleries, but also for classrooms and offices that will now be in operation.
“[We are] very excited to use the new space. It is really different. It was created to be a design teaching space so it is open and has everything we need for design and new media,” Barrett said.
Art and technology intersect often on the west side of campus where the AEIVA unites the Alys Stephens and Hulsey Centers as the ‘university arts district.’ Vistors can now enjoy a custom light installation throught the AEIVA.
“[It is] a place to learn, create art, and visit exhibitions of world-class art, and a platform for the exchange of ideas and artistic experience,” Palazzo said.
The central AEIVA skylight is the icon of the new Department of Art & Art History logo created by Bloom studio senior design students Betsy Cates, Charles Carraway, Leannya Long and Razaq Kadri.
“The branding of the DAAH coincides with the opening of the AEIVA but also my arrival as the new chair. [That was] one of my goals in my first year as chair for recruitment and outreach [purposes],” said Art and Art History chair Lauren Lake said.
The facility was passed by the University of Alabama Board of Trustees in February 2011. The ground breaking ceremony was held the following November.