The University of Alabama supports the creative passions of many students on campus. Spotlights of three Alabama student artists, who pursue art both in and outside the classroom, are provided below.
Hannah Willis works on a pottery assignment for class.
Hannah Willis, a third-year candidate for a Bachelor of Fine Arts, is majoring in studio art with concentrations in ceramics and sculpture. As a 3D artist, Willis experiments with various materials, including clay, wood and metal. She is inspired by sexuality, gender stereotypes and the typical female experience. Her content, which can be occasionally graphic, includes many sculptures of menstruation and female anatomy. The content is purposefully made to cause discomfort among viewers and challenge people’s internal prejudices.
“I base my work off my personal experiences and background with the hope that other women and people of the LGBTQ+ community will be able to relate to the hardships we share while bringing light to those injustices,” Willis said.
A watercolor interpretation of Denny Chimes created by Katherine Pearson.
Katherine Pearson, a junior from Dallas, Texas, focuses on illustration and watercolor. Pearson is majoring in accounting and management information systems with a minor in studio art. Inspiration for her art includes Greek mythology and spirituality, such as the zodiac, tarot cards and other mythology. In addition, Pearson uses social media, including Instagram and Youtube, to share her art products. Her portfolio also includes digital illustrations of animals and inspirational quotes, many of which are for sale on her Etsy page (Signed Meraki).
“For my watercolor, I like to delve into deeper themes. I almost exclusively do things inspired by mythology or spirituality, but I have focused on the seven deadly sins, the cycle of relapse and recovery, self-hatred, exposing a different side of ourselves on social media, feeling the weight of the world on our shoulders and the dangers of changing ourselves too much to look like something else,” said Pearson.
A painting of Bryant-Denny Stadium by Elizabeth Gainey.
Elizabeth Gainey, a senior mechanical engineering student, pursues her art passion via her studio art minor. With a rigorous course schedule as a member of the STEM community, art is her creative outlet. She experiments with mediums like oil paint, Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
“I used to take life too seriously, and my first year at Alabama, I was in an ‘engineering box’ where I only took STEM classes. So, I was working with equations all day and losing my perspective on things outside of STEM. I took a 3D design art class on a whim the fall semester of my sophomore year and loved it, so I’ve been taking art classes since. What inspires me to keep growing in my art is my love to learn new things – I am a sponge when it comes to learning new art techniques, so I take classes that I think I will love yet also challenge me,” said Gainey.