Professor’s sculptures, shadowboxes featured in Fayetteville library exhibit

In celebration of Black History Month, the University of Arkansas — Fayetteville is featuring an exhibit of sculptures and shadowboxes created by UCA professor Bryan Massey.

The exhibit will be in the Mullins Library Lobby on UofA’s campus now through the end of March.

“It’s just a mixture of works I’ve done over the past couple of years,” Massey said, “Some of the works I did when I was in Africa, some African masks and bone studies in alabaster and a couple iron cast along with some stone carvings.”

Originally, UofA asked Massey if he knew of any artists who would be good for the exhibit, but eventually asked Massey if he would be willing to do a show for them.

This isn’t the first time the university has displayed Massey’s work. His Silas Hunt memorial piece resides on the lawn by the “Old Main” building on campus. The piece was the first work of art to be commissioned by the Public Art Oversight Committee at UofA that was dedicated to the life of the first African-American student admitted into the university’s law school.

In the past, Massey has won several awards for his art. In 2006, he was selected for the Governor’s Award for the Individual Artist of the year. Massey is also one of eighty-four nationally selected artists to be included in “Studios and Work Spaces of Black American Artists”, a 2008 book by Dennis Forbes.

In 2009, his cast-iron sculpture, “The Jazz Player”, was chosen to be presented to former President Bill Clinton in celebration of five years of the Clinton Library in Little Rock. Massey’s sculpture now resides in the Vogel-Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Little Rock.

Massey is mainly a stone-carving sculptor, working with materials such as alabaster, soapstone, limestone, marble and granite. Massey occasionally works with iron, which some of the pieces in the Fayetteville exhibit are made of. He also works with aluminum, bronze and steel.

In an interview with the Arkansas Newswire, he credits Henry Moore, Isamu Noguchi, and Constantine Brancusi for their influence on his work.

“After many years perfecting my skill-set, creating three-dimensional work comes to me as naturally as breathing,” he said. Massey’s exhibit will be on display in Mullins Library now through March 31.

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