Art Events

Blue Nature

A colloquium presented by UM Art Department

This two-day, interdisciplinary colloquium organized by the Department of Art brings together scholars, experts, and students from the UM community and beyond to explore blue ideas, materials, and spaces, from medieval literature to early modern painting to local waterways to Caribbean islands. The colloquium features faculty research and creative endeavor, students’ art installations and research projects, and guest lectures to put into context our community’s blue experiences and to provoke creative thinking about the nature of blue.

Location: Merchants & Planters Bank Auditorium, Humanities Hall

This event is free and open to the public. 

Individuals needing disability-related accommodations during this event should contact the host department or Disability Support Services (205.665.6250, as early as possible. Efforts will be made to accommodate all access requests regardless of timing, but the University cannot guarantee that requests made with less than one week’s notice can be met.

Participants are members of the University of Montevallo faculty unless otherwise noted.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, March 5, 2020

2:00 pm Coffee, Merchants & Planters Bank Auditorium
Humanities Hall
2:20 pm Welcome
2:30-4:00 pm

Session I: The Nature of Blue

The Philosophy of Color,” Stefan Forrester, Associate Professor of Philosophy and English, Department of English and Foreign Languages

The Google Earth Blue Marble Blues,” Amy Feger, Artist and Instructor, Department of Art

Black and Blue: The Bruises and Blessings of Coal along Alabama’s Waterways,” James S. Day, Michael J. Grainger Professor in Modern History, Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences

5:00 pm Reception and Artists’ Talk, AZUL/BLUE
Bloch Hall Gallery Introduction by Karen Graffeo, Professor, Department of Art
Talk by Susan Sechler Luss and Tatico Cuban


Friday, March 6

9:30 am Coffee, Merchants & Planters Bank Auditorium, Humanities Hall
10:00-11:00 am

Session II: The Blue in Between

Rivers as Liminal Spaces in Late Medieval Public Poetry,” Valerie B. Johnson, Assistant Professor of English, Department of English and Foreign Languages

Blue Earth in/between Sea and Sky in Early Modern Italian Paintings,” Catherine Walsh, Assistant Professor of Art History, Department of Art

11:00-11:30 am Gallery Walk & Talk, Cahaba River Watershed Project
Bloch Hall, ground floor Scott Stephens, Professor, Department of Art
Lee Somers, Associate Professor, Department of Art
Elisabeth Pellathy, Assistant Professor of New Media, Department of Art and Art History, University of Alabama at Birmingham
11:30-1:00 pm Lunch (on your own)
1:00-2:00 pm

Session III: Blue Fiction

Sea as Blue as the Bluest Cornflower: Land, Sea, and the Agency of the Uncanny Body in Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid”,” Samantha Webb, Professor of English, Department of English and Foreign Languages

Finding Hydra,” Lee Rozelle, Professor of English, Department of English and Foreign Languages

2:00-3:30 pm

Session IV: Teaching & Learning Blue

AZZA: Cross-disciplinary explorations between art and zoology,” Kelly Wacker, Professor of Art History, Department of Art, and Katharine Murray, BS’20, Art

Blue in Environmental Studies: art, adventure, and advocacy,” Susan Caplow, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, with Sierra Bobo, BS ’21, Environmental Studies, and Hunter Watson, BS ’20, Environmental Studies

Folk History Surrounding Alabama Waters,” Sara Walley, BA ‘20, History

3:30-5:00 pm

Roundtable: Past, Present, and Future of Local Water Resources

David Butler, Riverkeeper and Staff Attorney, Cahaba Riverkeeper
Direcus Cooper, Storm Water Program Manager, City of Birmingham
Luzena Donell, BFA ‘20, Art
Mike Hardig, Professor of Biology, Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics
La’Tanya Scott, Environmental Educator, Cahaba River Society

5:30-7:00 pm

Keynote Lecture

Confounding Mastery in Early Modern Wetlands,” Hillary Eklund, Provost Distinguished Professor, Loyola University New Orleans