Nov 6-Dec 4: “Mindful Places” Art Exhibit

Brevard College students walking past bell tower

Alex Webster, ‘17

On Friday, Nov. 6, at 5:30 p.m., Brevard College’s art department features the work of Kelly Adams, David Davenport, and Michael Voors in the opening of “Mindful Places” in the Sims Art Building’s Spiers Art Gallery.

The exhibition will be open and free to the general public Nov. 6 through Dec. 4.

The artists have used their personal connections to places all over the world, from Greenville, North Carolina, to Italy. Jo Pumphrey, professor of drawing and painting at the College, noted that the pieces are all landscape-based but not all are in the landscape style many are accustomed to. Pumphrey described the approach as the artists’ “interaction with and appreciation for the landscape.”

Kelly Adams and Michael Voors reside in Greenville, North Carolina, and David Davenport in Durham, North Carolina. Pumphrey originally met both of them during her time in graduate school at East Carolina University.

“The exhibit will be an opportunity to bring in different energy and perspectives. The students will be exposed to different ways of working. Not only with media, but the approaches the artists use,” Pumphrey said.

Kelly Adams’ residency on the east coast of North Carolina has influenced her concept of place. Adams attributes the wetlands conservation areas as her inspiration, focusing on estuaries, swamps, and lowland waterways. Interaction with the landscape is important to Adams as she creates.

“I have observed the importance of water, how it interacts with the land flowing to the sea, trapped, funneled, and filtered… I continue to look for opportunities of extended exposure to landscapes that contrast my wetland experiences,” Adams said.

Adams describes her connection to her environment as an integral part of her process. She says the idea of “place” shows our true view of the world. As she creates her works, her purposes lie in emphasizing the intimate connection that humans have with the environment.

Adams’ goal related to her work is summed up simply: “I aim to cultivate an understanding of the innate value of these environments by emphasizing the imperative that environmental vitality plays in human existence. Images play an instrumental role in the evolution of self and society.”

Michael Voors is another artist who is heavily inspired by landscapes he has viewed during his travels, especially in Europe. Voors is drawn especially to sites that have ancient or sacred aspects. Specifically, changing qualities of light, surfaces that reveal the passage of time, and variations of architectural passages are all motifs through his pieces.

“Through the act of drawing, trace evidence of human occupation is examined. The work is viewed as a tool for participating in a larger mystery,” Voors said.

David Davenport shares Adams’ and Voors’ inspiration drawn from “A Sense of Place.” Recalling the memories of his childhood rural environment, Davenport still pictures specific scenes that have molded him as a creator. He describes his work as investigations from realism to abstract juxtaposition on the canvas.

“Many of the works suggest contemplative places in undefined locations in the landscape,” Davenport said. “The paintings are orchestrated to draw the viewer into the scene for closer inspection and discovery. This allows the viewer to infuse their own memories and interpretations into the paintings. When viewing these works, hopefully the viewer will be reminded of similar places, ideas, moods, and reflections.”

The personal experience he pours into painting is an ongoing process. Davenport refers to it as a search through his subconscious. He says he has slowly established an inner structure so that he can focus the content and meaning throughout his works. With scenes from his childhood, he began his journey into the study of light, color, rhythm, and movement in his environment.

“Throughout my painting career, I have been probing and searching my subconscious through various mediums and techniques in an attempt to rediscover content and beauty in a new art form,” Davenport said. “This time-honored search has been expressed through drawing and watercolor journals, collages, watercolors and oil paintings. I am attempting to symbolize and intersect the archetypal relationship of humankind through a personal process of self-discovery.”

The artists’ different relationships to the landscape capture the essence of the theme, “A Mindful Place.”