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The University of Alabama

Photographer to Present Lecture at UA, Display Works at Paul R. Jones Gallery

Editor’s note: For additional information about the gallery, including hours of operation, phone Katie McAllister, gallery director, at 205/345-3038.

"Untitled 2" by Sheila Pree Bright, from her Plastic Bodies series

"Untitled 2" by Sheila Pree Bright, from her "Plastic Bodies" series

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. —The second exhibit in the newly opened University of Alabama Paul R. Jones Gallery of Art in downtown Tuscaloosa will feature the work of Atlanta-based photographer Sheila Pree Bright, who will also visit the UA campus to discuss her work.

Bright’s work will be on display at the gallery Oct. 6 to Nov. 18, and she will present “Visual Narratives: The Photographs of Sheila Pree Bright,” as part of the UA Paul R. Jones Lecture Series Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. in room 205 of Gorgas Library on the UA campus.

The gallery is located at 2308 6th St.

Bright’s work is included in the UA Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art in UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, which established a guest lecture series to complement the collection. This lecture is jointly sponsored by UA’s department of American studies and department of art and art history.

“The works that will be on view in the exhibit have especially striking connections to matters of vernacular religious expression, body image, consumerism, and the cultural construction of race and gender identities,” said Dr. Stacy Morgan, associate professor in the department of American studies.

The Paul. R. Jones Gallery will exhibit 12 of Bright’s works from four of her photography series: “Gold Teeth,” “Girls and Dolls,” “Preaching Soul Series” and “Suburbia.”

"Untitled 10" by Sheila Pree Birght, from her Plastic Bodies series

"Untitled 10" by Sheila Pree Birght, from her Plastic Bodies series

Bright has become known as a new voice in contemporary photography as a result of her recent exhibitions, which combine a wide-ranging knowledge of contemporary culture with challenging perceptions of identity.

One of her recent projects, the Young Americans, has taken her around the country to collect portraits of people in what is known as “Generation-Y,” youth of ages 18-25. Subjects used an American flag to pose themselves in order to make a statement about their own attitudes and beliefs about the country they live in.

Bright has also held exhibitions at the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum in Washington, D.C.; the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Cleveland; Time Inc. in New York; and the Leica Gallery in New York.

She has been featured in numerous publications, has been the recipient of awards from prestigious institutions, such as the Santa Fe Center for photography, and her works have been acquired by several prominent private and public collections.

The gallery honors the late Paul R. Jones who, during his lifetime, amassed one of the largest collections of African-American art and donated 1,700 pieces of his collection, valued at $4.8 million, to UA in 2008.

The College of Arts and Sciences is the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Kelli Wright, communications specialist, College of Arts and Sciences, 205/348-8539,
  • SOURCE: Miriam Norris, Paul Jones Collection of American Art collections manager,