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UWA opens exhibit of Frank Engle's work

By Staff
special to The Star
Sept. 21, 2003
To the average person, Bethany Windham Engle's home looks like an art gallery and it is.
But to Engle, Windy Hill Farm, her residence in Romulus, Tuscaloosa County, Ala., is much more. It's a haven, a studio and, most of all, a tribute to the partnership that created the splendor of the house, her marriage to the late artist Frank Engle, whose work will be shown on the University of West Alabama's campus this fall.
Beginning with a reception in Webb Hall Parlor on Sept. 28, from 2 p.m.-4 p.m., the collection will be featured in Webb Hall Art Gallery through Dec. 13.
The exhibition will feature two-dimensional works Engle completed during the last three years of his life. These include watercolors, pastel drawings, and mixed media.
After his retirement in 1980 from the University of Alabama, Engle invented a method of creating large but lightweight sculptures using a sawdust and carpenter's glue. An extensive collection of his sketches for these planned sculptures will be included in the exhibit. Of special interest is a collection of vintage photographs of his sculptures from the early 1940s.
When Engle came to the University of Alabama, he planned to stay only one year, but he quickly changed his mind when he realized the dynamic quality of art faculty. Already teaching in the department were Richard Zoellner, Howard Goodson, and Richard Brough.
That year, 1949, the department added Angelo Granada and Joseph Bolt, as well as Engle. During the early 1950s, Bethany Windham was Engle's student. They married in 1955.
During his tenure at Alabama, Engle taught ceramics and drawing. He began a glass forming program and helped establish the art program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He was a pioneer in Alabama Public Television. In 1980, he retired as professor emeritus, and in 1994, he was awarded the Distinguished Career Award by the Society of Fine Arts.
Bethany Engle remembers that Frank was impelled by an insatiable curiosity and desire for understanding.
Featured in more than 30 group and one-man shows, Engle's work has won numerous regional, national and international prizes and awards, including the prestigious Mary Milliken Scholarship Award.
His art is in many public and private collections ranging from those in universities, churches and corporations. These include works located at Louisiana State University, Mississippi University for Women, Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Tuscaloosa, St. Robert's Catholic Church in Reform, Ala., Blount Collection of American Art, Warner Collection, Evansville University Collection, Blount International Headquarters, and the Collection of the Butler Institute of American Art.
What: Frank Engle Art Exhibition
Where: Webb Hall Art Gallery, University of West Alabama in Livingston, Ala.
When: Opening reception Sept. 28, from 2 p.m.-4 p.m., in Webb Hall Parlor. Exhibit continues through Dec. 13.
Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Free
Contact: Dr. Neil Snider, (205) 652-3614