Woods Quad Art Night livens up campus culture


CW/ Nicholas Stellon

Leah Goggins, Staff Writer

Artists and art enthusiasts gathered together for Art Night at Woods Quad on Thursday, where several graduate students unveiled their work and discussed their muses.

Amber Quinn, a first-year graduate student studying photography at The University of Alabama, introduced onlookers at Sella-Granata Gallery to her series of six photos titled “Black Beauty.” The photos, black and white portraits of young black women, are from Quinn’s undergraduate portfolio.

“With these being from my undergrad, I know they’re just a start,” Quinn said. “I chose pieces that really reflect what I am focusing on right now.”

Quinn’s work is now displayed in Sella-Granata alongside art from other students like Amy Smoot. Smoot, a third-year graduate student studying ceramics, spoke to the audience about “Compact Memories,” a piece that reinvisions camcorders and VHS tapes, technology relics from Smoot’s childhood.

“I’m starting to get older, starting to see fashion trends from when I was a kid come back into style,” Smoot said. “I’m so interested in that full circle moment.”

Art Night attendees were free to peruse the gallery or cross the quad to visit the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, where the doors were open to viewers. Having both galleries on campus is a beloved luxury for many students.

Julie Cunningham, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, art and biology, came to Art Night to support some of the students displaying their work and stayed to meet new artists and appreciate the new exhibits.

“Events like tonight’s really open your eyes to see different lights of campus,” Cunningham said. It’s amazing to come to Sella-Granata and see what this school is capable of. The diversity of everything is just incredible.”

Jacob Osachy, a senior majoring in philosophy and history, also attended the event. For Osachy, having the art galleries on campus is enlivening.

“This campus is so monolithic [without the galleries],” Osachy said. “Art is great as a general rule, but these spaces on campus remind students that you can be creative.”

Quinn, who recently completed her undergraduate work at the University of Montevallo, appreciates the galleries both as a student and a working artist.

“Before, when I was going to a school with just one gallery, you had to pick and choose what to show,” Quinn said. “Lack of space limits your ability to express your best work. At UA, having so many galleries means so many opportunities for artists to have their best exhibition.”