Enjoy Upcoming Art Exhibits at Davidson College

Davidson College invites the public to an art opening and reception on Thursday evening, August 26. Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Nathaniel Rogers will give a gallery talk at a reception for the college’s annual Faculty Art Exhibition. That exhibition will be in the Van Every Gallery, and will include works by Rogers, sculptor Cort Savage, and printmaker Rebekah Tolley. There is no charge to attend the reception, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Belk Visual Arts Center. Nathaniel Rogers’ talk will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Also on exhibit in the adjoining Smith Gallery will be “Ewan Gibbs: America.” Gibbs will be at Davidson to discuss his work on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Semans Lecture Hall in the Belk Visual Arts Center.

Both exhibits will be on display from August 27 through October 6. The galleries are open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4 p.m. There is no charge to view the exhibits. For information call 704-894-2519.

Professor Cort Savage will debut a major kinetic installation entitled “CANONS.” It consists of three large steel towers, suggestive of gallows, that fill the main space of the Van Every Gallery. Held by thick metal cables, each tower suspends from its core a large, black rubberband ball––a reference to Savage’s “Inevitable Form” series and “Scattered Man” installation.

Buried within the center of each ball is a bronze cast of a human skull. Clamped within the jaws of each skull is one of three major religious texts—the Holy Bible, the Tanakh, and the Qu’ran. Faint white outlines of each skull (and respective canon) appear in backlit X-rays displayed on adjacent walls.

As each ball is slowly lifted and dropped, a dull rumble (like thunder or distant cannon fire) permeates the gallery. The foreboding sound and formidable structures encourage the viewer to contemplate the inevitability of mortality and the eternal life promised through adherence to holy doctrines.

Associate Professor Rebekah Tolley specializes in printmaking. Her installation titled “Carapace” is her first project at Davidson since her exhibitions in Beijing and in Zibo, Shandong, China earlier this summer. Tolley’s multi-media installations incorporate dual interests in animation and printmaking. The resulting artworks are as organic and fluid as the aquatic life forms that inform them.

Visiting Assistant Professor Nathaniel Rogers is a 2002 Davidson graduate who begins teaching at his alma mater this semester. Rogers’ narrative, small-scale oil paintings, often staged in theatrical settings, are meticulously rendered and filled with playful detail. Inspired by Grimm’s “Fairy Tales,” Rogers seeks to reveal the more unsavory aspects of human nature.

By masking his characters’ sadistic acts within childish role-playing scenarios, Rogers mitigates the truths that belie their degenerative behavior.

British artist Ewan Gibbs will present in the Smith Gallery a collection of drawings that feature iconic skyline views of American cities. Gibbs deconstructs the “psychology of place” through a series of self-made, formalist systems that exploit the nature of visual perception and comprehension. His process underscores the order and logic of the built environment.

A fully illustrated catalogue of Gibbs exhibition will be available that includes an introduction by exhibition organizer Brad Thomas and an essay by Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The book will also feature a months-long correspondence between the artist and noted art historian Richard Shiff, Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art and director of the Center for the Study of Modernism at the University of Texas at Austin.

These exhibitions and the publication for Ewan Gibbs: America are generously sponsored by The Herb Jackson and Laura Grosch Gallery Endowment and Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman. The public lecture is supported by a grant from the Public Lectures Committee at Davidson College. Special thanks to the exhibiting artists and staffs of Richard Gray Gallery and The Flag Art Foundation.

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,800 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.

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