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‘State of Emergency’ includes Ai Weiwei, other artists

An image from the “State of Emergency” exhibition at Davidson College, by artist Robert Polidori, is titled “5417 Marginy Street, New Orleans, LA.” The 2005 image depicts the interior of a home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

An image from the “State of Emergency” exhibition at Davidson College, by artist Robert Polidori, is titled “5417 Marginy Street, New Orleans, LA.” The 2005 image depicts the interior of a home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Davidson College

ArtNewsbugArt by Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei will highlight an exhibition at Davidson College that concerns the theme of disaster. Curated by Director and Curator of the Van Every/Smith Galleries Lia Newman, “State of Emergency” will include works by 18 artists.

Also below, information about new shows at Cornelius Arts Center and Mooresville Artist Guild.

The exhibit will run from Thursday, Jan. 16 through Thursday, Feb. 28 in the galleries and atrium of the college’s Belk Visual Arts Center. The opening reception will be from 6:30-8:30pm on Thursday, Jan. 23. In addition, the exhibition will include three special events:

  • THURSDAY, FEB. 13, 6:30-8:30pm in Semans Auditorium of the Belk Visual Arts Center—A screening of the film “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” with a post-film discussion led by Davidson faculty members Fuji Lozada and Maggie McCarthy.
  • TUESDAY, FEB. 18, 11 am-noon in the Van Every Gallery—A discussion of the exhibition led by Davidson Professor Suzanne Churchill and Anelise Shrout.
  • THURSDAY, FEB. 20, 7-8:30pm in Semans Auditorium of the Belk Visual Arts Center– A screening of short films related to “Disaster” curated by Professor Darren Douglas Floyd, Rosemary Gardner, and Lia Newman.

Newman said, “The goal of the exhibition is not simply to present images of horror or ‘disaster pornography’ but rather to open a dialogue about the role artists can play in bringing attention to disasters while working toward recovery.”

She took inspiration for the exhibit from British artist J.M.W. Turner’s painting “The Shipwreck” (c. 1805), which depicts a theme common in Romantic painting—disaster at sea.

“‘State of Emergency’ builds on Romanticism’s fascination with terror, awe and calamity, exploring the ways in which contemporary artists visualize crises,” Newman said. “The exhibition presents diverse forms of artwork, including painting, photography, animation, installation and printmaking, to explore cataclysmic events such as war, gang violence, illness, tsunamis, earthquakes and hurricanes—and the repercussions of such events.”

Among the works will be Ai Weiwei’s “Namelist” and “Remembrance,” which are commemorations of schoolchildren lost in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. “Namelist” will cover the gallery walls with the names of 5,196 schoolchildren who perished in the earthquake because of shoddily constructed schools. The names of the deceased will be read aloud in the audio work, “Remembrance.”

In addition to Ai Weiwei, exhibition artists include Miguel Aragón, Mel Chin, Joelle Dietrick, Eben Goff, Naoya Hatakeyama, Matt Kenyon, Miki Kato-Starr, Tatana Kellner, Kate Kretz, Mario Marzan, Richard Misrach, Jason Mitcham, Matthew Picton, Robert Polidori, elin o’Hara slavick, Katherine Taylor and Paul Villinski.

The exhibition, catalogue and programming are made possible through support from the Herb Jackson and Laura Grosch Gallery Endowment, the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, Davidson College Friends of the Arts and Davidson College Multicultural Affairs.

Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10am– 5pm; Saturday and Sunday, noon–4pm. For more information call 704-894-2344.


The Mooresville Artist Guild’s Winter Juried show runs from this week through Feb. 28, with an opening reception this Friday, Jan. 17, 6-8pm, at the Depot Fine Art Gallery, 103 W. Center Ave., Mooresville.  Exhibiting artists, friends and family are encouraged to attend. The event is open to the public  and there is no charge.

The Winter Juried Show is at 103 W. Center Ave., Mooresville. Hours are Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am to 4pm. More information is at or by calling 704-663-6661.

– David Boraks


An exhibit titled “Red Earth,” featuring ceramic forms and pottery by local artist Amy Sanders is on display through Feb. 28 at Cornelius Arts Center.

Her pieces use textures, layers, color and form to engage the viewer with a nostalgic sense of comfort. Sanders designs functional and sculptural pieces that conjure childhood memories and portray a strong sense of femininity. Natural patterns, groupings and an emphasis on her creative process of working with clay allow her work to speak volumes on nature and community.

For more information, visit the arts center website.

– David Boraks


CHARLOTTE – Latin American Contemporary Art Projects (LaCa Projects) last week opened a new exhibit titled “Mujeres,” featuring 14 works by famous Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991). The exhibition runs through Feb. 7.

“Mujeres” includes color lithographs signed by the artist, which explore Tamayo’s portrayal of women in the most carnal and sacred sense. Mythical and primordial in nature, the lithographs demonstrate his frequent use of women as his subject matter and a vibrant palate, reflecting his strong philosophies around the use of color and a work’s meaning. The women in these lithographs, though contemporary and even whimsical in form, are especially symbolic of Tamayo’s native land of Oaxaca and its ancient civilizations.

Tamayo is considered one of Mexico’s foremost Modernists, and is well-known for his development of a new medium in graphic prints called Mixografia, a technique that allows for the production of prints with three-dimensional texture.

His artistic career spanned more than 70 years, and he remained productive in his work close to the end of his life. Tamayo’s works have been displayed in museums throughout the world, most notably the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and The Museu Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid. The Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum was opened in 1981 as a repository for the collections that Tamayo and his wife acquired during their lifetimes, which were ultimately donated back to Mexico.

LaCa Projects is at 1429 Bryant St., Charlotte. Gallery hours are 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Visit or call 704-837-1688/e-mail for more information and to schedule an appointment.


This post was written by:

- who has written 946 posts on Guide.

David Boraks is the founder and editor of Davidson News LLC, which started in 2006 as a neighborhood blog and evolved into a regional community news network. He is a print, magazine, web and radio journalist, with experience in every nook and cranny of the news world, covering everything from local news to Fortune 100 companies to technology to Asia. He lives on South Street in Davidson, in a house that was at the center of a 1914 murder case. Ask him and he'll tell you that story.

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