“Marking Time” is the powerful exhibit at AEIVA highlighting art in the age of mass incarceration


Local artist Tameca Cole is featured in the exhibit. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

UAB’s Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (AEIVA) is proud to bring an incredibly meaningful exhibit to our community. “Marking Time” features art from artists in prisons and non-incarcerated people passionate about prison reform. Get your tickets to view the free show through Saturday, Dec. 11.

“Marking Time” at AEIVA

John Fields, director of AEIVA, explaining a piece in the exhibit. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Just across the street from the Alys Stephens Center, you’ll find AEIVA. They host numerous free exhibits throughout the year for the community and today, we’re diving into “Marking Time”.

The showcase is incredibly profound. Specifically, it provokes reflection on the impact of life under mass surveillance, criminalization and imprisonment for targeted populations.

I was especially drawn to the pieces created by incarcerated artists. It’s impossible to ignore their passion, creativity and resourcefulness, despite lack of access to traditional materials.

Curated by award-winning talent

Many works incorporate current themes, like COVID-19. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

“Marking Time” is a traveling exhibit that we are lucky to host in Birmingham through Dec. 11. Before making the trip down South, the show premiered at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art PS1 (MoMa PS1).

Esteemed curator Nicole Fleetwood, PhD, carefully selected each piece. In fact, Fleetwood was honored with the MacArthur “Genius” Grant for her work on this exhibition and corresponding book.

One of Fleetwood’s featured artists is Birmingham native Tameca Cole.

Get to know Tameca Cole

Birmingham native Tameca Cole is featured in the AEIVA exhibit. And, during our tour, she told us about her journey as an artist.

Tameca discovered her passion for art through Auburn University’s Alabama Prison Arts and Education Project. Soon, she realized how cathartic creating art could be.

“[Creating these pieces] was the beginning of learning what art could do for me, and how to deal with different types of emotions. It showed me how to grow and avoid staying stuck in the same mindset. I learned how therapeutic art can be.”

—Tameca Cole, featured artist

What’s next at AEIVA

John Fields, director of AEIVA, explaining one of the largest pieces in the exhibit. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Get tickets to visit the exhibit at AEIVA through Saturday, Dec. 11. You’re also cordially invited to the (virtual) closing ceremony:

Tuesday, Dec. 7 | 6:00PM

  • Inside the Arts: “Marking Time” virtual closing event, featuring several artists and curator Nicole Fleetwood.
  • Register

AEIVA has some exciting shows on the horizon, too. Visit their website for full details on future exhibits.

Sponsored by:

Madison Croxson
Madison Croxson
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