Published on August 9, 2017 by Ashley Smith  

Looking for a little inspiration this year? The Samford Art Gallery is sharing works from a broad range of artists and artistic disciplines, including an international cultural exchange, book illustration and set design, for the 2017–18 season. 

According to Larry Thompson, associate dean and professor of art and design, “Our aim each year is to create a calendar that shows a variety of processes in the art and design realm. The gallery allows us to bring in professional artists to extend our classroom teaching, and also provide a venue to our campus and community for seeing a wide array of works throughout the year.” 

The gallery opens Sept. 4 with Between the Shadow and The Light: An Exhibition out of South Africa. Twenty artists from Africa and America—including two Samford faculty members, Larry Thompson and Joe Cory—present their works as a result of their participation in the 2013 R5 Creative Seminar in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. The exhibition will last until Oct. 3 and will be the only opportunity to see this body of work in Alabama. 

An opening reception will take place Sept. 12 at 5:30 p.m. prior to the Samford School of the Arts Faculty Gala. A panel discussion Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. featuring some of the artists will be copresented by anima: the Center for Worship and the Arts in Bolding Studio. This event will be followed by a gallery reception at 7:15 p.m.  

Beginning Oct. 16, Samford alumnus Rob McClurkan’s book illustrations will be on view. The Art of Illustration will display work from his recent publication, Aw, Nuts! There will be an artist’s reception Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. and special gallery hours for homecoming Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Honoring recently retired Eric Olson’s 41 years of service to Samford as a theatre faculty member and designer, From Sketch to Stage: A Retrospective of Theatre Design will take a look at the art of set design. The exhibit will run Jan. 22–Feb. 21 with a designer reception at 4 p.m. Feb. 1.  

Both semesters will be capped off by showcasing students through senior exhibitions and the annual student juried show. Senior shows take place Dec. 11­­­­–16, 2017, and May 7­–12, 2018, sponsored by Samford arts patrons Steve and Debby Heitze. The Annual Student Juried Art and Design Show sponsored by Samford arts patrons Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman is April 3–24. 

The Art Gallery is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., and is located in Swearingen Hall.  Admission is free and open to the public.  

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.