My friend Allene and her daughter Jessica showed me the art treasures of Davidson College in North Carolina on a beautiful Saturday in April. Allene’s husband Jim graduated from Davidson in 1969; Jessica, in 2005. Jessica majored in art history and has since served as Assistant Curator at Davidson’s Visual Arts Center. She earned a Masters in Art History at Temple University in Philadelphia and is now deciding where she will pursue her doctorate.
I first became aware of Jaume Plensa when I saw his “Alchemist” in 2010 on the campus of MIT in Cambridge. Last fall, Steve and I enjoyed visiting his “Mirror” at RIce. The sculptures at MIT and Rice are white-painted metal. MIT’s is made of math symbols; Rice’s, of characters from eight different languages. Davidson’s “Waves III” is stainless steel and includes musical symbols, among others. It will be dedicated on April 17, 2013 by Davidson President Carol Quillen, formerly a dean at Rice.
The Plensa sculpture is just one of many outstanding works Davidson has assembled to ensure that students have daily exposure to art. You can see more of these works on this Picasa web album link. On the dreary, rainy Thursday that preceded the gorgeous Saturday in Davidson, I had read a collection of 100 essays by Davidson students, each chronicling multiple encounters with specific art works and demonstrating how they had developed their powers of observation. A very talented senior art major whom we met proved the worth of such a concept. Rosie Kosinski employs natural materials in her copperplate etchings. I bought two prints she had made using pine needles. I noticed that North Carolina pines have four needles in each bunch, while the pines we saw the next day in South Carolina have three. Our pines here in Florida have only two, the ones Violet calls “V sticks.” Rosie’s work goes beyond numbers to explore shape, color and line. She has inspired me to look more closely.