Striking an Innovative Spark

  • February 15th, 2023
  • in News

Maxwell Hall, where UA’s first students studied astronomy, now houses the Collaborative Arts and Research Initiative, or CARI, where UA faculty from all disciplines meet to share, learn about and imagine arts-related research projects.  

Rebecca Salzer, associate professor of dance, has been CARI’s director since its inception in 2018. She described the initiative as encouraging and supporting innovative, interdisciplinary research that involves or is about the arts.  

“CARI gives faculty the opportunity to uncover new aspects of their research by collaborating across disciplines. A historian, anthropologist, engineer and choreographer all have different methods to discover and create, and bringing those methods together can have wonderful and surprising results.” 

Recent CARI-supported research projects have combined visual art and cosmic geology, music and history, dance and anthropology, and costume design and engineering.  

To spark these collaborations, CARI offers funding and networking opportunities, including their CoffeeLab series, a come-and-go event open to any faculty member, whether seeking a collaborator or just curious about the initiative. The next CoffeeLab will be Friday, Feb. 17, from 10 a.m. to noon in Maxwell Hall. 

“We’ve had interesting projects come out of these casual networking events, as people share with each other and ideas are sparked,” Salzer said.  

CARI offers various avenues for involvement and support, including the Arts Faculty Research Fund, periodic calls for the Joint Pilot for Arts Research program, and the chance to become a CARI Fellow.  

“CARI has given me the opportunity to learn from faculty across campus and broaden the scope and reach of my research. I am working on projects that I never would have conceived of by myself, thanks to discussion and collaboration with faculty in the arts. These projects, and CARI in general, have allowed me to see how the arts and engineering can work hand in hand to be creative and scholarly while being grounded in application and serving the community.”

— Dr. Amanda Koh, assistant professor, chemical and biological engineering, and former CARI Fellow.  

Each February, a CARI Fellows cohort is chosen through an application process. This year’s fellowship applications are due Feb. 28, and the selected cohort will begin two-year fellowships in August. CARI Fellows receive $2,000 in funding per semester, priority access to Maxwell Hall’s space and equipment, and the benefit of being part of a close-knit interdisciplinary research community. 

“You can apply with a project you’re already working on, an idea for an arts-related research project, or even just with a desire to collaborate,” Salzer said. “Fellows’ meetings, which occur every other week, create connections and activate new collaborations so much so that even CARI Fellows who start with one specific project in mind often find that new ideas surface and they’re connected with multiple projects by the end of their fellowship term.” 

The number of Fellows in a cohort varies, Salzer said. Fellows are expected to attend meetings, work on at least one interdisciplinary project that includes a member of the creative team with a primary area of research or practice in the arts, design or creative writing, and submit at least one application for external funding.  

“Meetings vary based on the needs of the cohort,” Salzer said. “They sometimes feature guest speakers, but often serve as dedicated time for faculty to work together or share work in progress.”  

View original article here.

CARI fellow Dr. Julia Cartwright and Visual Artist Rebecca Rutstein present SMGA exhibition

  • September 8th, 2022
  • in News

Dr. Julia Cartwright, a NASA-funded planetary scientist in the Department of Geological Sciences at UA and a CARI fellow, has been collaborating with visual artist Rebecca Rutstein, to create an art exhibition inspired by Dr. Cartwright’s work to better understand the Solar System through the study of meteorites. An expert in cosmochemistry, Dr. Cartwright uses chemical analyses and petrological techniques achieved through high-resolution microscopy to investigate meteorites from localities including Mars, the Moon and the Asteroid Belt, at different scales. Her studies of tiny fragments of materials reveal many facets about Solar System history, and the images produced through the microscope objective highlight important features about planet formation.

“Every time I look down the microscope at these amazing samples, I find new clues about their formation history, and I am always trying to understand them from a new perspective”.

The collaboration with Ms. Rutstein takes this research to a new cosmic level.

Ms. Rutstein is an award-winning artist whose work spans the intersection of art, science and technology. She creates paintings, sculpture, immersive installations, and public art, often incorporating bright colors, bold shapes and geometric patterns, with an aim to create visual experiences that enhance and educate the viewer about natural systems. While her previous work has involved studies of the natural world, climate, ocean environments, including deep-sea excursions within the Alvin submersible, this is the first time that she has collaborated with a geologist to create work inspired by planets beyond our own.

“I’m fascinated by Julia’s work, and found inspiration in the striking shapes and patterns that we discovered together while looking at sections of meteorites – some for the very first time. Julia has helped me think about the universe in new ways”.

The result is a body of work, consisting of 16 paintings that take the viewer on a journey through the cosmos, to localities previously unseen or discovered.

Dr. Cartwright and Ms. Rutstein have been collaborating on this project for the last two years (throughout the pandemic), and are thrilled to see it come to fruition with the solo exhibition: “Rebecca Rutstein: Microscopic Journeys Through Cosmic Landscapes”, on view at the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art (UA) from September 8th thru  October 14th, 2022.

“This research and collaboration was made possible by generous support by CARI. I have never previously had the opportunity to work with an artist such as Rebecca, and I am so thankful for the experience, and for the guidance that CARI provided to me” – Dr. Cartwright.

The exhibition is the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art’s 2022-2023 Farley Moody Galbraith Endowed Exhibition. Ms. Rutstein will present a public lecture on Thursday, September 8, at 3:30pm in the Yellowhammer Room on the second floor of Gorgas Library. After the lecture, there will be a reception for the artist in the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, 103 Garland Hall, 5-7pm.

Rutstein and Dr. Cartwright will also present a panel/seminar on Friday, Sept 9, at 3:30pm for in the AIME building, lecture hall 110.

After October 14th, the exhibit will travel to the Space Gallery in Denver, Colorado, for an exhibition through Jan, 2023.

CARI announces 2022-2024 Faculty Fellows

  • August 21st, 2022
  • in News

The University of Alabama’s Collaborative Arts Research Initiative has announced its newest cohort of faculty fellows. The 2022–2024 faculty fellows, chosen from a large and competitive applicant pool, are:

  • Brandon Colvin, Journalism and Creative Media
  • Jennifer Feltman, Art and Art History
  • Misha Hadar, Theatre and Dance
  • Yolanda M. Manor, English
  • Jared Margulies, Geography
  • Sarah Marshall, Art and Art History
  • Kathryn Elizabeth O’Harra, Honors College
  • Sree Kalyan Patiballa, Mechanical Engineering
  • Alvon Reed, Theatre and Dance
  • Jaye Johnson Thiel, Human Development and Family Studies 

These fellows will participate in a collaborative arts research community for the next two years. The CARI Faculty Fellowship aims to help fellows diversify the impact of their work and to develop new interdisciplinary research. The creative lab and collaborative meeting space in Maxwell Hall serves as a place for these faculty to workshop ideas, hold meetings, and informally interact with other faculty.

Open Call for CARI Faculty Fellows

  • February 2nd, 2022
  • in News

Become a CARI Faculty Fellow

February 1-28, 2022, the Collaborative Arts Research Initiative will accept applications for a new cohort of Faculty Fellows to begin in August, 2022.

Any full-time faculty member at the University of Alabama, tenure-track or renewable contract is eligible to apply. A CARI Faculty Fellowship is a 2-year commitment to being an active member of a collaborative arts research community.

In addition to the opportunity to strengthen your research design and impact, the benefits of a CARI Faculty Fellowship include:

● Up to $4000/year in general research support
● Priority access to Maxwell Hall’s facilities and equipment
● The opportunity to guide CARI’s acquisition of additional equipment and software
● Opportunities to bring guest artists and collaborators in your areas of interest
● Assistance in identifying external funding sources

CARI is committed to anti-racist practices and to fostering an inclusive and diverse research community that nurtures and promotes the curiosity and growth of all of its members.

Click here for more information on how to apply.

2021 JPAR Awardees Announcement

  • December 3rd, 2021
  • in News

Congratulations to the second funded Joint Pilot for Arts Research projects, co-sponsored by CARI, the College of Education, and the Office for Research and Economic Development.

The funded projects include:

The Science of Writing Through Arts-Integrated Applications Using PAGES: A Professional Development Program for Elementary Teachers

Julie Bannerman, Assistant Professor of Music Education, Julieanne Coleman, Professor of Elementary & Literacy Education, Curriculum & Instruction, Carol Donovan, Professor of Literacy Education, Special Education, and Multiple Abilities, Tracey Hodges, Assistant Professor of Elementary & Literacy Education, Curriculum & Instruction, Kathryn O’Harra, Assistant Professor, Honors College, Jewoong Moon, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership, Policy, and Technology Studies, Kelley Schoger, Associate Professor of Theatre, Acting/Movement

Fluid Mechanics for Elementary School Students Via High-Speed Flow Imaging Using Smartphones and Tablets

Hyun Jin Kim, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mina Kim, Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Art History, Celestia Morgan, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Art and Art History, Jee Kyung Suh, Assistant Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Flow Tuscaloosa Awarded National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Our Town Grant

  • August 30th, 2021
  • in News

Congratulations to Jamey Grimes, CARI Fellow and Assistant Professor of Art, and Dr. Julia Brock, CARI Fellow and Assistant Professor of History on being awarded a National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant for their project, Flow Tuscaloosa.

Flow Tuscaloosa recognizes the successful restoration of Hurricane Creek, a Tuscaloosa natural resource, as inspiration to ignite action to protect the resources of the Black Warrior River watershed and bring attention to environmental justice efforts in West Alabama. Drawing from expressive and visual art as a stimulus for dialogue, engagement, and play, the project nurtures local commitment to environmental stewardship through arts-based workshops that culminate with a community lantern parade and a curated exhibition.

Dr. Andrew Raffo Dewar Awarded a Fulbright Specialist Award and Named the Fulbright Canada Research Chair

  • August 5th, 2021
  • in News

Congratulations to CARI Faculty Fellow Dr. Andrew Raffo Dewar on being awarded a Fulbright Specialist Award and being named the Fulbright Canada Research Chair at York University in Toronto.

Through the Fulbright Specialist Program, Dr. Dewar received support to visit the Antonio Nariño University in Bogotá, Colombia in June. He gave two public seminars on experimental music and intermedia arts, discussing both the history of those art forms and his own creative research in those fields.

“To receive this kind of support at this moment in my career simultaneously feels like an acknowledgement of the decades of work I have already completed, and an invitation to stretch my research into new directions with my future work,” said Dr. Dewar.

Click here to learn more.

Requiem for the Innocent – Film Festival Finalist

  • May 21st, 2021
  • in News

Congratulations to Robin Behn, CARI Faculty Fellow and UA Professor of English, for advancing as a finalist in the Berlin Shorts Film Festival, the Vancouver Independent Film Festival, and the Paris International Short Film Festival.

Her submission, Requiem for the Innocent: El Paso and Beyond, is a research project that addresses the tragedy of the mass shooting at the Walmart in El Paso on August 3, 2019 in which twenty-three people were killed.

Rebecca Salzer Receives National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

  • March 31st, 2021
  • in News

CARI Director And UA Professor, Rebecca Salzer, received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in February of 2021. Her funded project aims to create an online resource to increase accessibility to recordings of works by Black choreographers. This is Salzer’s second NEH grant for her project. Read more about this award and Salzer’s research here.

Dr. Catherine Roach Receives UA’s SEC Achievement Award and Research Fellowships

  • March 30th, 2021
  • in News

Congratulations to CARI Fellow, Dr. Catherine Roach, for being UA’s SEC Achievement Award Winner. The program recognizes one individual from each SEC university for their teaching accomplishments, scholarly contributions and discoveries. Dr. Roach is recognized for her excellence in pursuing new research frontiers, experimenting with different writing mediums and finding new audiences. To read more about Dr. Roach’s research and career as a professor of Gender and Cultural Studies at UA, click here.

In addition to her award, Catherine has also received the Muriel Gold Senior Visiting Professorship at the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at McGill University and the Visiting Research Fellowship of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. To read more about this honor, click here.