Hearing loss, peers and mentors inspire UAB art student to earn full MFA scholarship at Clemson University – News
Caroline Myers, whose partial hearing loss informs her latest work, graduated on May 1 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Department of Art and Art History at UAB and Honors College; this summer she will be studying at the New York Academy of Art.
Caroline Myers, a graduate with honors from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, received a full scholarship with an annual stipend from Clemson University.
Myers received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Department of Art and Art History at UAB College of Arts and Sciences and UAB Honors College. At Clemson, she will pursue her Master of Fine Arts. First, she will be studying at the New York Academy of Art this summer, where she hopes to further explore her passion and refine her technique.
Myers paints the human figure in an effort to better understand the people around him, she says.
“When I was 15, I was diagnosed with a tumor that took up 50% of my hearing and, with it, the literal ability to understand the people around me,” Myers said. “This new urgency to understand my peers and loved ones has resulted in an addiction to constant observation.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, there was an unintended consequence: lip reading, a skill that took him so long to perfect, was no longer possible in a society wearing a mask.
“Inspired by my own reality and my love for disturbed realism – a distortion of traditional realism painting – my latest BFA show, ‘Disrupted Reality’, came to life,” Myers said. The works are part of the DAAH BFA exhibition currently at the Institute of Visual Arts Abroms-Engel of the UAB.
Myers photographed her subjects in varying levels of movement, “some even telling me stories so that I could capture their authentic communication methods in great detail,” she said. She then superimposed these images to create reference photos for these “moving” portraits.
The resulting five paintings demonstrate his reliance on movement in communication, “whether it’s the slight shift in a person’s eyes or the dramatic hand movements that accompany a passionate story.”
“My hope is that this body of work is not only a unique visual experience for the viewer, but that it arouses a sense of curiosity in the way we communicate with each other on a daily basis,” Myers said.
The last four years as a student in the Department of Art and Art History have helped her grow, as a person and as an artist, more than she ever imagined. , she says.
“When you tell people you’re going to UAB and they ask you what your specialty is, they don’t expect you to tell them ‘Art Studio’,” Myers said.
The “relatively small program, at least by UAB standards,” is made up of a diverse group of students and faculty united by a passion for the arts, she said. Professors like Gary Chapman and Doug Baulos have become friends and mentors during the four years she was able to spend with them in the Department of Art and Art History at UAB.
“These mentors and peers pushed and inspired me, grew alongside me and went above and beyond their ‘job descriptions’ to make sure I was successful,” Myers said. Myers’ work is featured on his website, carolinemyersart.com.
The scholarships Myers has received include: