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RLO To Adorn West Hall With Award-Winning Student Art

Rob Harkey
Rob Harkey '01

January 31, 2001
Contact: Bill Giduz 704/894-2244 or bigiduz@davidson.edu

By Emily Drew '04

"Don't criticize my smears," said senior art major Rob Harkey. "My smears are my art!" Actually, Davidson's Residence Life Office (RLO) liked Harkey's "smears" very much, and purchased his charcoal drawing, Venizia, along with three other student works, to permanently adorn the halls of West Residence Hall.

As part of its efforts to make Davidson dorms into comfortable living spaces, the RLO invited students, staff, and faculty to submit their artwork last semester for a chance to win a $100 stipend.

Nate Rogers
Nate Rogers '02

This year's competition drew more than 20 student entrants. Winners were Harkey, from Shelby, N.C.; Chris Craig, a senior psychology major from Atlanta; Mike Lai, a junior from Hong Kong; and Nate Rogers, a junior art major from Charlottesville, Va. Those four were honored on January 31 at a reception in West Hall's conference room where their works were unveiled.

Harkey said Venezia was inspired by a weekend trip to Venice while he was studying art in Italy. He calls his work, "a stylized memory," because it was based on real architectural detail. Harkey said he entered Venezia in the contest because he wanted something that wouldn't draw too much attention to itself.

Chris Craig
Chris Criag '01

Chris Craig loves his winner, a photo of two scullers on a lake, but he has yet to give it a title. "We might call it Scholars in the Mist," he mused. Craig, who is earning an academic concentration in neuroscience, is a hobby photographer who shot the image during a Davidson crew regatta near Atlanta.

Nate Rogers' winning entry was an etching appropriately titled The Thin Line Between Psychosis and the Absurd. "I wanted to include something ridiculous with something to put people on edge," said Rodgers. "Most people think its just a crazy guy with a duck."

Mike Lai's canvas painting was just the second he has ever done. Entitled No. 2, he explained it as, "an experiment in texture and color.'

"It's an intuitive work rather than an interpretive work," Lai said.

Mike Lai
Mike Lai '02

RLO official Troy Williams said he was pleased with this first group of winners, and that the department hopes to make the competition an annual event.

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,600 students. Since its establishment in 1837, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine. Davidson recently launched "Let Learning Be Cherished," a $250 million campaign in support of student financial assistance, academic resources, and community life.

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