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The University of Alabama

UA’s Paul Jones Lecture Series Opens with Brantley Visit

James Sherman BrantleyTUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Internationally recognized artist James Sherman Brantley, who has been a part of the American art scene for more than 40 years, will visit The University of Alabama Oct. 24 as part of the Paul R. Jones Lecture Series.

He will give a lecture titled “James Brantley: View from an Artist” at 7 p.m. in room 205 of the Gorgas Library on the UA campus.

The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture series was established to honor the late Paul R. Jones, who donated more than 1,700 works from his art collection to UA’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2008.

Brantley’s work is included in the collection, and this series is jointly sponsored by UA’s department of American studies and department of art and art history.

In conjunction with his lecture, Brantley will have two of his works, “Here Comes the Storm/Balcony View” and “Early Gray Skies,” on display as part of the Paul R. Jones Gallery exhibit, “Vanishing Point: Landscapes from the Paul R. Jones Collection,” which will be on display Oct.15 – Nov.16.

While on campus, Brantley will meet with students in the art and art history department, and there will be a reception held in his honor Oct. 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Paul R. Jones Gallery. The gallery is located in downtown Tuscaloosa at 2308 Sixth Street and is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Thursdays 12-8 p.m.

Born in 1945 in Philadelphia, Brantley’s artist path was shaped by many circumstances. He was the youngest of three children, and his mother died when he was 3-weeks-old. According to a biography of Brantley written by Lewis Tanner Moore, “The drama of his personal life and the essence of who he is have, by some unknown process, been merged to fuel an enduring commitment to the creative process and to the imagery that he creates.”

By the time he attended Simon Gratz High School in the late 1960s, Brantley had found his passion for art. He later enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and served two years in the Army before completing his studies in 1971.

His first major statement to the art world came in 1968 with his self-portrait titled, “Brother James,” which was later acquired for the permanent collection of his alma mater, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Brantley has gone on to display works all over the world and at the National Academy of Design and the Whitney Museum of American Art, both in New York City.

Heralded as a story-teller with his portraiture and paintings, Brantley is known for experimental compositional arrangements. In a 2007 artist’s statement, Brantley said, “My paintings represent efforts to make marks that make sense and take you on an incredible adventure.”

The Paul R. Jones Lecture Series is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, 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.