Here’s what to expect from the 2021-2022 UAB arts season



The performing and visual arts institutions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are gearing up for a new season, marked by jazz greats Wynton and Delfeayo Marsalis, as well as a nationally recognized art exhibition that takes a critical look at mass incarceration and social justice.

After more than a year of virtual programming, the visual and performing arts venues at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are slowly welcoming audiences to their venues for in-person events. UAB arts, which encompasses the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (AEIVA), Alys Stephens Center, ArtPlay and UAB Institute for Arts in Medicine, recently offered a preview of its 2021-2022 season at a Zoom webinar.

A recurring theme of the preview remarks was resilience as UAB’s artistic program and venue directors thanked patrons and members for being with them during a tumultuous time marked by the COVID pandemic. 19.

Now, as the UAB Arts prepares to embark on a new season of in-person performances, lectures and art exhibitions, the organization has guidelines for guests planning to attend events on the university campus. The university requires people to wear face masks inside campus regardless of their immunization status, which means all attendees at UAB arts events must wear a mask or face covering when they attend events in person.


Tickets or reservations will also be required for in-person events hosted by the AEIVA, the Alys Stephens Center, ArtPlay and the UAB Institute for Arts in Medicine.

Here’s what to expect from the upcoming UAB Arts Season.

The Abroms-Engel Institute of Visual Arts (AEIVA)

Tameca Cole, “Locked in a Dark Calm”, 2016. Collage and graphite on paper. 8 1/2 x 11 inches. (Courtesy the artist / AEVIA)

AEIVA will mark the opening of its fall season with “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, “ a major exhibition exploring the works of artists in prisons in the United States. Hosted by award-winning author, professor and cultural critic Dr Nicole Fleetwood, “Marking Time” draws on Dr Fleetwood’s years of research to present a visual exploration of the impact of mass incarceration on American life.

“It’s a way of disproving what I call the criminal index: ID photos, prison ID cards, all the ways in which photographic images of imprisoned people are used to turn them into bad ones. criminals. He claims a much more complex humanity, ”Fleetwood told Artnet in 2020.

The exhibition features the work of over 30 incarcerated and non-incarcerated artists, all organized for a project that addresses themes of state repression, erasure and imprisonment. Among those artists is Birmingham-based Tameca Cole, who is serving life parole after nearly 26 years in the Alabama Corrections Department. The opening of “Marking Time” at AEVIA will be Cole’s first exhibition in a museum in his hometown of Birmingham.

AEVIA is one of the few institutions to host “Marking Time”, including the Museum of Modern Art. This iteration of the exhibit will also feature “a considerable number of community partners,” AEIVA Senior Director John Fields said at the premiere, including Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Jefferson County Memorial Project and the Alabama Prison Arts & Education Project.

On Friday September 17, AEVIA will organize a “Marking Time” opening roundtable with Fleetwood and artists Tameca Cole, George Anthony Morton, Maria Gaspar and Dean Gillispie from 6 to 8 pm. Registration is required in order to attend the event virtually.

The AEIVA will officially reopen to the public on September 21 with timed tickets allowing customers to view all exhibits. AEVIA will require one ticket per visitor and customers can register online.

AEVIA staff are in the process of designing a number of hybrid and virtual events for the coming season. Event creation “is fluid,” Fields said, and in-person events and conferences will be announced “on a case-by-case basis.”

“Marking Time” will open to the public on September 21st. So far, AEVIA will host a number of programs, including a conversation about the state of Alabama prisons and an evening of spoken word.

“Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration”, will be playing from September 17th to December 31st. 11.

At the preview, Fields briefly gave details of next year’s exhibits, including the Alabama Triennial at AEIVA, which will feature works by contemporary Alabama artist Erin Leann Mitchell, conductor and painter Roscoe Hall and filmmaker Lily Ahree Siegel.

In fall 2022, AEVIA will host a retrospective showcasing the work of Thornton Dial, the late Alabama artist renowned for his sculpture, painting and metalwork.

The Alys Stephens Center for the Performing Arts

Wynton marsalis

Wynton Marsalis (Photo by Andrew Toth / Getty Images)Getty Images

UAB’s Alys Stephens Center for Performing Arts will celebrate its 25th anniversary this fall. “Last year we learned how resilient we can be, how much we need each other and how vital the arts are in our daily lives,” said Lili D. Anderson, Executive Director of the UAB Visual and Performing Art, in a press release. “This informed our intentional planning for the coming year, hosting a balance of paid and free events to welcome the entire community to the Alys Stephens Center.”

On Alys Stephens’ program this year: performances by brothers and jazz masters Delfeayo and Wynton Marsalis.

Delfeayo Marsalis and Uptown Jazz Orchestra will take the Alys Stephens stage on October 14th. Two months later, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will adorn the center, conducted by Wynton Marsalis.

“To celebrate some of the greatest moments on our stages over the past 25 years, we have invited several artists who have already come to the center,” said Alys Stephens, director of programming Eric Essix, in the same statement.

These acts include aerial artists Bandaloop, illusionist Kevin Spencer, and Cuban jazz duo Alfredo Rodriguez and Pedrito Martinez.


ArtPlay, UAB’s public arts education program, will resume in-person classes in the fall and registration is now open for sculpture, quilting and drama classes.


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