RIO GRANDE — The work of Benjy Davies, professor of art and chair of the School of Arts and Letters at the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College, will be on exhibit at the Esther Allen Greer Museum, located on the Rio Grande campus.
Titled “Appalachian Landscapes,” the exhibition features paintings, drawings and prints by Davies. Exhibition dates are Sept. 3-30, with an opening reception set for Sept. 3 from 5-7 p.m. at the museum. Davies will give a lecture during the reception.
“Appalachian Landscapes” is the result of a sabbatical Davies took during the 2015 spring semester. A significant portion of the work included in the show was either created or started at the prestigious MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H., where Davies served as a visiting artist during his residency. He continued to work on the pieces for this exhibition throughout the summer.
“This is a big shift in my work, returning to an interest in landscape art I pursued in the early ’90s,” said Davies, who went on to note that much of the inspiration for this collection came as a result of him training for a triathlon in 2014. The many hours spent outdoors training not only prepared him for the triathlon, but also placed him in an ideal position to observe his outdoor surroundings as he trained.
“At this point in my career, I am making a conscious shift to use more light, color, form, shape, and less didactic subject matter,” Davies said. “In the past, the work had a particular point, and this work is not about that; it’s about the image.”
Davies grew up in southern Ohio among the abandoned coal mines of rural Appalachia. He earned the BFA from The Ohio State University in 1995 and completed the MFA at Ohio University in 2000. His areas of expertise include graphic design, web design, printmaking and drawing.
Davies began teaching part-time at Rio Grande in 1998 and has been teaching there full-time since 2004. He has previously taught at Ohio University in Athens and at Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga.
His work has been included in more than 100 exhibitions nationally and internationally, including the McNeese, Bradley, Parkside, Harper and Northern National Exhibitions. Additionally, his work is represented in several public collections including the Amity Art Foundation, The Ohio State University and the city of Vaasa, Finland.
The Greer Museum serves not only the students studying at Rio Grande, but also the citizens of the surrounding area. Displaying the works of regional and national artists, the museum has become a cultural fixture in the four-county area served by the university, offering important access to a variety of artistic works normally not found outside of large cities. It also offers art students a valuable space to exhibit their work while learning about mounting an exhibition, and brings in students from other areas of campus in collaborative teaching and learning endeavors.
The Greer Museum is open to the public and is free of charge. Museum hours are 1-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, or by appointment at 740-245-7364.
For more information about the Esther Allen Greer Museum at Rio Grande, visit www.rio.edu/fine-arts/greer-museum.cfm.