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Fictious Fish and Roadside Signs Inspire Art Professors
In New Display of Their Work

Story by Tim Cook '04
Photos by Emily Drew '04, Jimmy Swansbrough '03, Eron Earley-Thiele '04

Kimberly Richards' work Russ Warren's work

New work by Davidson's four studio art professors are on display this month in the galleries of the Katherine and Tom Belk Visual Arts Center.

Herb Jackson, Kimberly Richards, Cort Savage, and Russ Warren unveiled their pieces at an opening on August 30. Richards, a visiting assistant professor who is in her first year at the college, presented a humorous slide lecture about her work, which concerns a mock company she created called "GeneCorp." Richards said her work is "driven by concerns in the enviornment and genetic engineering."

Kimberly Richards
Visiting Assistant Professor
Kimberly Richards

Richards presents gallery visitors with GeneCorp's newest genetic creation: the Vampire Bass. This inhabitant of pitch-dark waters is presented in a series of paintings, wood-sculptures, and a three-dimensional model of a Vampire Bass' lair.

Richards says this exhibit is a natural progression from her past work, which includes "The Great Blue Tiger Muskellunge," a cross between a Northern Pike and a Tiger Muskellunge, as well as other creatures like the two-headed winged salamander.

Vampire Bass
Three-dimensional Vampire Bass

Visitors at the opening were impressed with Richards' work. "It was amazingly clever," said senior Andy Lanhoha. "The story was done extremely well. I was taken in a little, because I had to ask if there really was a Vampire Bass."

A graduate of Colorado-Boulder University, Richards' interest in environmental themes stems from her hunting and fishing background. She used to go on wildlife trips tell her non-game friends amazing "fish-tales" about made-up creatures. From there, Richards began incorporating fictitious animals into with her stories, and eventually made up GeneCorp so she could present them in scientific context.

Richards is in her first year of teaching at Davidson, and says she is enjoying it. "I couldn't ask for better professors to work with," she commented.

Herb Jackson
Professor Herb Jackson

Also on display in the BVAC gallery are oil-crayon works by Williamson Professor Herb Jackson. Jackson is a renowned artist who has been painting with oil-crayons for more than 25 years.

He says he enjoys working with these tools because it is an active way to create, combining painting and drawing. Jackson, who has been at Davidson for 32 years, said his works represent "an archeology of the subconscience."

Herb Jackson's work
An oil-crayon creation by
Professor Herb Jackson

"Elvis Ain't A Cubist" is the title of the collection on display from Professor Russ Warren, who has been teaching at Davidson for 23 years. His exhibit includes two types of work. One group of paintings are colorfully cubist in nature, which he developed in a painting class where he also asked students to create cubist paintings.

Another group are "funky" road signs based on slogans and real road signs that Warren observed while driving back roads through South Carolina. They include "Pocket Faith" and "Trust in God, But Tie Your Horse"" which is a Persian proverb.

Russ Warren Cort Savage
Professor Russ Warren

Associate Professor Cort Savage

Sharing the main gallery with Jackson and Warren are several unrelated sculptures by Associate Professor Cort Savage.

The largest is "Recurrence," a large ring of steel onto which he has attached a chain hand-whittled from wood. "Recurrence" is electric, and rotates slowly when viewers step on a pad across the room. "I wanted something simple," Savage explained. "The mechanical element is usually related to a gesture - about something happening over and over again."

Observers were definitely awe-struck by the exhibit. Sophomore Lewis Faulk said, "The electronics of Savage's art demand attention."

Jessie Vogt '01 from Gillette, N.J.
views Savage's work.

Richards' work will be on display until October 1, and the other exhibits will be on display until October 6. Admission is free. Gallery hours are 10-6 on weekdays, and noon-4 on weekends (closed on college holidays). Call 894-2519 for more information.

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