Jim Neel

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Jim Neel

Jim Neel (born c. 1949) is a sculptor, photographer and art instructor.

Neel was born in Alabama and earned his bachelor of fine arts in sculpture from Birmingham-Southern College in 1971 and went on to complete a master of fine arts at the University of Alabama in 1973.

From 1984 to 1988 Neel worked as a photojournalist in Central America, free-lancing for publications including the Birmingham News, Birmingham Post-Herald, and Memphis Commercial Appeal. His photographs were used in Dennis Covington's critically-acclaimed Salvation on Sand Mountain.

Neel's sculpture has been exhibited at several museums and galleries including the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Alabama School of Fine Arts gallery, the Durbin Gallery at Birmingham-Southern College and other regional venues. He received fellowships from the Alabama State Council for the Arts in 1990 and 2000.

Neel chaired the art department at the Alabama School of Fine Arts for 29 years. He has also taught at UAB and Jefferson State Junior College. Since 2002 he has been an assistant professor of art and director of the Durbin Gallery at Birmingham-Southern. In 2008 he took a sabbatical to complete a fellowship with the Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

In 2010, Southeastern College Art Conference awarded Neel a $3,000 fellowship for Les Enfants de la Terre, a series of terracotta and iron sculptures that address the disturbing issue of using children as soldiers. The Neel worked with resident artists at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark Metal Arts Program who cast the first figures.

Neel is married (Lynn) and has one son (Colin).


  • Stancill, Mary Ellen (June 2008) "Jim Neel". Birmingham magazine. Vol. 48, No. 6, p. 32
  • Huebner, Michael (November 22, 2010) "Kudos to Jim Neel, Daniel Seigel, young pianists in Birmingham." The Birmingham News

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