Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff

Jim Neel (Photo by Mark Gooch)

James Emmette Neel, Associate Professor 
Doris Wainwright Kennedy Art Center & Azar Studios
B.F.A., Birmingham-Southern College
M.F.A., The University of Alabama
[email protected]

Jim Neel's sculpture, drawings and photography have appeared in regional and national exhibitions that include Winston-Salem's Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, the Montgomery Museum of Art, and the Alexandria Museum of Art as well as academic galleries at Memphis State University, Mississippi State University, the University of Montevallo and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Working as a freelance photojournalist covering the wars in Central America and life and death among the Serpent Handling Holiness of Appalacia, his work has appeared nationally and internationally in over thirty newspapers, magazines and hard cover publications that include the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Birmingham News and Post Herald, Oxford American magazine, Esquire magazine and Dennis Covington's Salvation on Sand Mountain, L'Eglise aux Serpents, and Redneck Riviera.

Steve ColeSteve Cole, Professor 
Doris Wainwright Kennedy Art Center & Azar Studios
B. S. and M.A., Ball State University
M.F.A., Florida State University
[email protected]

A work of art completes itself when the viewer is an active participant. My hope is that the audience of my work will interact on several levels. My intention is to connect ideally with our primal need for play.

Kevin ShookKevin Shook, Associate Professor 
Printmaking and Digital Imagery
Doris Wainwright Kennedy Art Center & Azar Studios
B.F.A., Mary Schiller Myers School of Art University of Akron
M.F.A., The University of Delaware
[email protected]

Kevin Shook is the printmaking area coordinator for Birmingham-Southern College. He teaches foundation art courses and all levels of printmaking. He graduated with a B.F.A. in Printmaking and Drawing from The University of Akron in 2002. He then attended the University of Delaware where he received his Masters of Fine Arts in Printmaking in 2004. He was the Chair of the Art and Art History Department from 2012-2016 and served as the Director of the Durbin Gallery from 2011-2014. He recently served as Art Program Director for the Big Read Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts responsible for curating and installing the Lesley Dill exhibition Lesley Dill and Emily Dickenson: Poetry and Art.

Shook’s artwork investigates the perception of a reality that is filtered through media. Images are assembled through a range of print media and installations inviting the audience to investigate the connections of the subjects. The viewer’s participation in this visual dialog completes the work.

Shook’s work has been exhibited in regional and national exhibitions that include the Space One Eleven Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama; Delaware Art Museum and Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, Delaware; Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, Arizona; Orange County Center of Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, California; Nor Jea Galleries and Millworks Gallery, Akron, Ohio; Spaces Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio; Eagle Art Gallery at Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky; Landmark Gallery at Texas Tech School of Art, Lubbock, Texas; Berea College; Berea, Kentucky; Crane Arts and Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Wellsville Creative Arts Center, Wellsville, New York; Morgan Conservatory; Cleveland, Ohio; and participated in the Monumental Ideas Miniature Books, Invitational; Traveling Exhibition of miniature Artist’s Books to 17 states, Argentina, Spain, Japan, South Korea and China.

Timothy   SmithTimothy Smith, Associate Provost and Professor 
Art History
Munger Hall 211
B.A., M.A., The University of South Carolina
Ph.D., Florida State University
[email protected]

Timothy B. Smith teaches courses in ancient, medieval, and early modern European art history; classes in ancient Mesoamerican art; and Exploration term study abroad projects in London, Paris, and Rome. His research has focused on Italian Renaissance art and architecture and Roman art and archaeology. He has spoken and published widely on the architecture and decoration of Sienese reliquary shrines, particularly the chapels of Saint John the Baptist in Siena Cathedral and Saint Catherine of Siena in San Domenico, and he is a contributing co-editor of the anthology Art as Politics in Late Medieval and Renaissance Siena (Ashgate, 2012). His current book project explores the visual environments created for three major sacred treasures in Renaissance Siena, and underscores both continuities and innovations in images employed in the Sienese cult of relics.

Recent and Forthcoming Publications:

"Queer Fragments: Sodoma, the Belvedere Torso, and Saint Catherine's Head," forthcoming in Receptions of Antiquity, Receptions of Gender (Brill, 2014).

"Politics and Antiquity in the Baptist's Chapel Facade," in Art as Politics in Late Medieval and Renaissance Siena (Ashgate, 2012).

"Siena, the Holy Land, and the Chapel of Saint John the Baptist," in L'ultimo secolo della Repubblica di Siena (Academia Senese degli Intronati, 2008).

Kathleen Spies, Assistant Professor of Art History

Kathleen Spies, Associate Professor 
Art History
Art Annex Building
B.A., St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota
M.A. and Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington
[email protected]

Kathleen Spies is a specialist in American art from 1850-1950, and teaches upper-level courses in 19th and 20th century European and American art, as well as the art surveys. She is particularly interested in issues of gender,race, class, and nationality, and how "high" art interacts with popular culture. She has published on Thomas Eakins's portraits and nervous illness in the 19th century, and on the burlesque paintings and prints of urban realist Reginald Marsh. Prior to teaching at Birmingham-Southern, Dr. Spies was a fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Her current research involves images of female performers and popular entertainment during the 1920s and 1930s.

Pamela Venz, Assistant ProfessorPamela Venz, Professor 
Doris Wainwright Kennedy Art Center & Azar Studios
B.A., The University of Alabama at Birmingham
M.F.A., Ohio State University
[email protected]

Born and raised in Birmingham Alabama, I received my BA degree in sculpture and photography from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1983 and a MFA degree from the Ohio State University in 1985.

I joined the faculty at Birmingham-Southern College in 1988 and created the department’s concentration in photography in 1998. I received tenure in 2001, served as Department Chair from 2006-2010 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2009.

My work has been exhibited locally in galleries around Birmingham, regionally across the southeast, southwest, and mid-atlantic in both galleries and museums, and in the Czech Republic.  In 2004 I was awarded an Alabama State Council on the Arts Artist Fellowship.

As a photographer I am attracted to light: either the absence of it or the delicacy of it within a particular scenario.  The light captured in the photographic images is the light found in the environment within which I am photographing.  I do not alter the scenes, but rather intentionally seek out unintentional still-lives, or tableaus, as they exist within these spaces.  There is a formal compositional structure that is captured with the camera.  But within the structural formality something is askew.  Most commonly they are items of day-to-day activity that break against the formality of the composition and hide within the shadows or in small spaces waiting to emerge from the image after a second or third viewing.  They are the details of life that we tend to overlook, those details that make life “human”.

Despite the perception of a photograph’s reality or “truth”, the mechanical act of photographing a scene changes it.  It is that change and its cloak of believability that I find fascinating about photography and that brings me back time and again to the mundane activities of home.  There is a hidden richness there; quiet and unassuming revealed through light and shadow.

jurgen_tarrasch.jpgJürgen Tarrasch, Instructor  
Doris Wainwright Kennedy Art Center & Azar Studios

M.F.A Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, Poland
[email protected]

Ms. Judy E. Pandelis
Manager of the College Theatre Box Office/Academic Programs Secretary/Art & Art History, Music, and Theatre Departments
Doris Wainwright Kennedy Art Center & Azar Studios
[email protected]