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  • Painting by Jen Ray: Untitled (Double Women)

    Jen Ray, Untitled (Double Warriors), detail, 2015, watercolor and ink on handmade paper, 51 x 120"

  • Floor Man, Wood, by Bob Trotman

    Bob Trotman's Floorman, from the exhibit Business as Usual. 2011, Carved wood, tempera, wax, 28 x 74 x 40 in. Photo: David Ramsey

  • Liliya Zalevskaya's Dead Man Portraying Uncertain Meaning

    Contemporary artist Liliya Zalevskaya's Dead Man Portraying Uncertain Meaning is on view at the Lenin Lives Exhibition. Porcelain, paper and wood, 2016.

  • Lenin

    Photograph of Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov (Lenin) from The April Theses (2017) by Davide Monteleone. Part of the Lenin Lives Exhibition.

  • Painting by Dread Scott: Lenin, Boy and World

    Painting by artist Dread Scott who makes revolutionary art to propel history forward. Part of the Lenin Lives Exhibition. Acrylic and Xerox transfer on canvas, 2011.


The Art Department is committed to providing the highest quality educational experience for our students through theory and practice, in the classroom and in the studio, all in the context of a liberal arts institution and a thriving intellectual community. Embracing the interdisciplinary nature of art, each year the department produces a season of exhibits, installations, and shows that explore the complexities of the human experience and engages the hearts and minds of a growing audience. Visit the Van Every/Smith Galleries website and Facebook for additional information about upcoming art exhibitions and events.

Past Exhibitions 2017-18

Lenin Lives

One hundred years after the Russian Revolution, Lenin Lives explores the afterlife of one of the most enduring and spectacular personality cults of modern history—the worship of the first Soviet leader, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov-Lenin (1870-1924). This exhibition displays the metaphoric potential of Lenin’s public image today by probing the tension between the Revolution’s promise of a better world and the trauma wreaked in the process of fulfilling this promise.

Revolution on Display: Soviet Propaganda Posters

In conjunction with Lenin Lives in the Van Every Gallery, Revolution on Display: Soviet Propaganda Posters displays a variety of 20th century propaganda posters. Works are primarily on loan from the Wright Museum of Art at Beloit College.

Day Without Art/World AIDS Day

As a memorial to lives lost to AIDS, the Van Every/Smith Galleries and the Health Education Center shrouded sculptures around campus. The works are covered to create a visual sign reminding our campus how much art and creativity has been lost to the world due to the AIDS epidemic. The first national Day Without Art was held Dec. 1, 1989 in conjunction with the World Health Organization's AIDS Awareness Day, as a nationwide day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis.

Bob Trotman: Business As Usual

For the last ten years, Bob Trotman has titled his exhibitions Business as Usual – a catch phrase that reflects the implacable force of profit-making which lies at the heart of corporate culture and much government policy. Whether with enthusiasm or reluctance, Trotman's anonymous figures seem to be operating in a darkly familiar system that favors power, privilege, and greed, above all else.

Jen Ray: Surrounded by Wolves

In Surrounded by Wolves, Jen Ray explores female rebellion and the shifting nature of a woman's identity, including what it means to be a feminist in the South. Large-scale watercolor paintings and sculptural works are juxtaposed by a new large-scale installation examining the life of circus performer Pat Cuneo.

Arthur Jafa: Love is The Message, The Message is Death

Shown for the first time in the Southeast, Arthur Jafa's critical video installation Love is The Message, The Message is Death, creates moving works of power and beauty using charged, found video clips, to reflect on black representation in mainstream media. Although only seven minutes in length, the video installation, set to Kanye West's stirring, gospel-inspired song "Ultralight Beam," presents glimpses into the joys and traumas of black life in the United States, which the artist sees as both beautiful and painful.

Kelly Sears Lecture

Kelly Sears is an experimental animator and filmmaker. She integrates found footage, documentary form and science fiction in her work. Sears views animation as a critical tool and uses it to investigate contemporary political narratives of power that include expansionist doctrines, technology, occupation, and surveillance. Her award-winning films have screened at festivals such as Sundance, South by Southwest, and the American Film Institute, to name a few.

Vivian Beer Lecture and Sculpture Dedication

The newest addition to Davidson College's Campus Sculpture Program is Machined Nature: Anchored Candy no. 9 by Vivian Beer. Beer is a furniture designer/maker. Her sleek, abstracted metal and concrete furniture combines the aesthetic sensibilities of contemporary design, craft, and sculpture to create furniture that alter expectations of and interface with the domestic landscape.

Annual Student Art Exhibition

Sponsors: Susan McAlister '85 and Dan McLawhorn ‘70; Juror: Bethany Collins

Full Moon Sculpture Tour

Shaw Smith, professor of art, and the gallery staff present a Full Moon Sculpture Tour of the college's Campus Sculpture Collection. We'll begin at the Rodin in the Visual Art Center, enjoy refreshments at the Sculpture Garden at Richardson Plaza, and learn about works of art thoughtfully added to the college grounds over the last decade.