Dr. Amanda Alders, a 2005 University of the Ozarks graduate, will present her art exhibit, Natural Asymmetry, in the Stephens Art Gallery in November as part of the university's Artist of the Month Series.
The exhibit will be on display from Oct. 30 to Nov. 20 in the gallery, which is located in the Walton Fine Arts Center. There will be a reception to meet the artist from 6-7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, in the gallery. The exhibit is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and there is no charge for admission.
Alders, a native of Memphis who studied both art and psychology at Ozarks, is currently serving as president of the Florida Art Therapy Association and works as a registered art therapist in Miami-Dade public schools. She recently completed her Ph.D. in art therapy from Florida State University.
Dr. Amanda Alders ’05 will present artwork such as the acrylic on canvas Apples and Oranges as part of her “Natural Asymmetry” exhibit, scheduled for Oct. 30-Nov. 20 in the Stephens Art Gallery.
Alders said her exhibit, Natural Asymmetry, is a personal reflection on balance and symmetry. In her artist statement, Alders says symmetry is considered "the pinnacle of beauty and perfection."
"When viewing a face, the human eye naturally screens for symmetry," she said, "Our bodies, houses, cars, and even our computers all follow this ideal of symmetry. Yet, in nature and even on our faces, the goal of symmetry is rarely, if ever, met. When the surface is scratched and the human body is inspected more closely, internal symmetry is nonexistent. The heart, for instance, is far from symmetrical. On a less superficial and materialistic level, emotions, relationships, and life choices do not come close to resembling the perfection of symmetry. Rather, relationships, emotions, and life- if done right, are balanced and balance does not require perfection."
After graduating from Ozarks, Alders moved to Mexico, became fluent in Spanish and created a body of paintings in preparation for a show at the Cultural Arts Center of Cuernavaca. Fluent in Spanish and English, she studied art therapy in Mexico City in the certificate program, CITA. Upon moving back to the states, she traveled to New York with only her car, clothes, and paintings to her name, but in high hopes of continuing her education. A single collector’s purchase of all of her paintings along with on-going portrait commissions and some last-minute scholarships funded her master’s degree in creative arts therapy.
Through her master’s research, Alders was provided with the opportunity to be a summer guest lecturer in Finland, teaching how the arts affect brain functioning. Since leaving U of O, Alders has published, presented, and taught internationally on themes related to the creative arts therapies. She is interested in how art can help the underprivileged overcome life’s challenges, and her goal is to provide mental healthcare for a range of individuals from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Alders uses art as a strategy for overcoming language and cultural barriers in treatment, enabling others to see new potential in their lives.
The Artist of the Month Series is sponsored by the Walton Arts & Ideas Series.