Journey down the Cahaba River in Kentuck's Gallery at Hotel Indigo. Stephens' work will be on display at Hotel Indigo from January 26, 2023 to April 30, 2023.
Scott Stephens is a printmaker and professor emeritus at the University of Montevallo, where he taught art from 1983 to 2020. He earned his BFA degree at Washington University in St. Louis and his MFA at The University of Alabama.
The blue in his artwork is the distinguishing characteristic of a historic photographic process known as cyanotype. This process is one of the oldest photographic printing processes in the history of photography. The distinctive feature of the print is its shade of cyan blue, which results from its exposure to ultraviolet light.
Stephens says these prints are part of his newest interest, which is Alabama waterways.
"Alabama is such a blessed state for the quantity of water that flows through the state."
Stephens has always revered the simple joys of the natural environment. He grew up in Wichita, Kansas in a house on the bank of the state's one big waterway, the Arkansas River.
"We were always in the river as kids, that was part of the experience, not being afraid to be in the river."
When he moved to Alabama in the 1970s, the Cahaba river became his new swimming hole. His work reflects his love of not only this particular spot but also all of Alabama waterways, and the importance of working to preserve them. He juxtaposes an old car bridge that is no longer passable as a point of contrast to the natural environment. He says, "The Cahaba takes charge in this middle section of the state as a river resource and part of my new interest for the subject matter I work with. "
Stephens has completed artist residencies all over the world, and his work has been recognized with a fellowship from the Southern Arts Federation/National Endowment for the Arts and two individual artist fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts in 1992 and 2002.
Stephens was designated the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching CASE Alabama Professor of the Year for 2006. He is included in Alabama Creates: 200 Years of Art and Artists, edited by Elliot Knight, for the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, 2019.
There is a sense of the importance of tradition that pervades Scott's work, through the medium of photography, the process of cyanotypes, and the images themselves. Come and experience the importance of preserving traditional photographic processes as well as Alabama's beautiful waterways in this uniquely blue exhibit.