The University of Mobile welcomes not just the work of an artist from upstate but the artist himself at the Marilyn Foley Art Gallery for “Through the Trees: an exhibit by Bryce Speed,” which will run through Feb. 27.

“Often within my compositions on paper, images of outside and inside merge, creating an ambiguity of architectural and atmospheric space,” Speed said in a statement. “Line and color represent the forces of nature, like water, fire, and wind that invade and sometimes destroy these living spaces.”

The artist based the work on drawing and likened the structural forms as a reference for both the stability and fluidity of identity.

“Images of destruction paired with the temporary and/or resilient nature of architecture serves as a metaphor for the evolving self,” Speed said.

Speed earned a bachelor of fine arts in painting and drawing at the University of Mississippi and a master of fine arts in painting from the same institution in 2005. He is currently an assistant professor of art at his alma mater, where he teaches painting.

In 2006 and 2011 Speed pieces were selected for publication in New American Paintings Southeastern and Western editions. He also boasted solo exhibits at the Nebraska Governor’s Mansion and has shown in several states.

Marilyn Foley Gallery Director and University of Mobile Professor of Art Phillip Counselman called Speed’s works a “collage of architectural structures combined with natural elements.”

“I think the viewer will find these works appeal in a very familiar way, such as color harmonies and luminous natural textures,” Counselman said. “The compositions will challenge and provoke, creating a very interesting dialogue about our everyday surroundings.”

The gallery is located in the Ben May Building and is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Speed will be on hand for a talk on Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. A reception will follow.

For more information about the exhibit, call the University of Mobile College of Arts and Sciences at 251-442-2280 or go to umobile.edu.