The Art Department held a reception Tuesday for the new artwork on display titled “…and a few words” from new assistant professor Drek Davis.Most of the mixed media pieces are from Davis’ thesis project at the University of Georgia. They were created between 2004 up to 2007, the last piece being finished just a few weeks ago.
In an introduction posted at the entrance to the Dunbar Hall Gallery, Davis writes, “My work represents my life, the lives of individuals I respect and love, and those who may be unaware that they even have a point-of-view worth exploring.”
A trio of individual pieces grabbed the attention of many students in attendance. Good Hope 1 depicts Martin Luther King and Malcolm X on an enlarged traditional church fan while Good Hope 2 is also a church fan but with a picture of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. The middle piece, Blk. Mas. Hero, shows all four men with the word Hero in front. Davis feels the trio is one of the high points of the show.
“Outside of instant personal gratification, I hope that people will see something that will spark dialogue,” Davis said of his art.
One of the artist’s favorite pieces is Postmodern Discourse, his most recent work. He explains that it represents a synthesis of most of the ideas he wanted to express through his art, including socio-economic variation and the differences in having access to information among classes.
“It symbolizes a lot I’d been trying to get at,” Davis said.
Davis said he wants his art to stir people who may never have said anything to each other. To be able to speak about his art, whether they agree with it or not, especially people outside of the arts spectrum.
“It may be grandiose and egotistical, but that’s my interest,” Davis said.
“We’re just really happy to have him,” Donna McGee, head of the Art Department, said. “He has an open attitude about his work and about Grambling. He brings a new aspect to the department.”
Davis, a native of Georgia, had most of his experience in paint and drawing before these mixed media pieces. His main area of teaching is digital art.
“I feel it’s marvelous, it has deep meaning,” said Jack Thompson, senior art major. “I think he can do wonderful things for the Art Department.