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  • Painting by Jen Ray: Untitled (Double Women)

    Jen Ray, Untitled (Double Warriors), detail, 2015, watercolor and ink on handmade paper, 51 x 120"

  • Floor Man, Wood, by Bob Trotman

    Bob Trotman's Floorman, from the exhibit Business as Usual. 2011, Carved wood, tempera, wax, 28 x 74 x 40 in. Photo: David Ramsey

  • Liliya Zalevskaya's Dead Man Portraying Uncertain Meaning

    Contemporary artist Liliya Zalevskaya's Dead Man Portraying Uncertain Meaning is on view at the Lenin Lives Exhibition. Porcelain, paper and wood, 2016.

  • Lenin

    Photograph of Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov (Lenin) from The April Theses (2017) by Davide Monteleone. Part of the Lenin Lives Exhibition.

  • Painting by Dread Scott: Lenin, Boy and World

    Painting by artist Dread Scott who makes revolutionary art to propel history forward. Part of the Lenin Lives Exhibition. Acrylic and Xerox transfer on canvas, 2011.


The Art Department is committed to providing the highest quality educational experience for our students through theory and practice, in the classroom and in the studio, all in the context of a liberal arts institution and a thriving intellectual community. Embracing the interdisciplinary nature of art, each year the department produces a season of exhibits, installations, and shows that explore the complexities of the human experience and engages the hearts and minds of a growing audience. Visit the Van Every/Smith Galleries website and Facebook for additional information about upcoming art exhibitions and events.

Upcoming Exhibitions 2017-18

Painting by Jen Ray: Detail of Double Women

Painting by Jen Ray: Double Women

Jen Ray: Surrounded by Wolves

On View: January 25 - March 3, 2018 • Van Every Gallery
In Surrounded by Wolves, Jen Ray explores female rebellion and the shifting nature of a woman's identity, including what it means to be a feminist in the South. Large-scale watercolor paintings and sculptural works are juxtaposed by a new large-scale installation examining the life of circus performer Pat Cuneo.

Opening Reception & Performance: January 25, 2018 7 p.m.
The opening reception will include a performance orchestrated by Jen Ray at 7:30 p.m.

Related Event
The Galleries will host a second performance at The Mint Museum, 5th Floor, with Jen Ray on February 7 at 7 p.m.

Image Credits: Jen Ray, Untitled (Double Warriors), detail, 2015, watercolor and ink on handmade paper, 51 x 120" Courtesy albertz benda, New York

Arthur Jafa: Video still from Love is The Message, The Message is Death

Arthur Jafa: Love is The Message, The Message is Death

On View: January 25 - March 3, 2018 • Smith Gallery
Shown for the first time in the Southeast, Arthur Jafa's critical video installation Love is The Message, The Message is Death, creates moving works of power and beauty using charged, found video clips, to reflect on black representation in mainstream media. Although only seven minutes in length, the video installation, set to Kanye West's stirring, gospel-inspired song "Ultralight Beam," presents glimpses into the joys and traumas of black life in the United States, which the artist sees as both beautiful and painful.

Image Credit: Arthur Jafa, video still, Love is The Message, The Message is Death, Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York/Rome

Past Exhibitions 2017-18

Lenin Lives

One hundred years after the Russian Revolution, Lenin Lives explores the afterlife of one of the most enduring and spectacular personality cults of modern history—the worship of the first Soviet leader, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov-Lenin (1870-1924). This exhibition displays the metaphoric potential of Lenin’s public image today by probing the tension between the Revolution’s promise of a better world and the trauma wreaked in the process of fulfilling this promise.

Revolution on Display: Soviet Propaganda Posters

In conjunction with Lenin Lives in the Van Every Gallery, Revolution on Display: Soviet Propaganda Posters displays a variety of 20th century propaganda posters. Works are primarily on loan from the Wright Museum of Art at Beloit College.

Day Without Art/World AIDS Day

As a memorial to lives lost to AIDS, the Van Every/Smith Galleries and the Health Education Center shrouded sculptures around campus. The works are covered to create a visual sign reminding our campus how much art and creativity has been lost to the world due to the AIDS epidemic. The first national Day Without Art was held Dec. 1, 1989 in conjunction with the World Health Organization's AIDS Awareness Day, as a nationwide day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis.

Related Events

Prof. Dave Wessner presented HIV/AIDS statistics in the south, and leaders from community organizations spoke to the work they are doing locally to specifically and unapologetically address HIV in the Black community. The brief conversation was followed by a screening of seven new short video works commissioned by Visual AIDS NY.

Co-presented by the Van Every/Smith Galleries, Davidson College Health Education Center, Davidson College Friends of the Arts, and Warner Hall House.

Bob Trotman: Business As Usual

For the last ten years, Bob Trotman has titled his exhibitions Business as Usual – a catch phrase that reflects the implacable force of profit-making which lies at the heart of corporate culture and much government policy. Whether with enthusiasm or reluctance, Trotman's anonymous figures seem to be operating in a darkly familiar system that favors power, privilege, and greed, above all else.

Related Events

Artist Lecture 

Trotman was born in 1947 in Winston-Salem, N.C. His works have been widely exhibited nationally and he has received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, four fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council, and was a finalist for the 1858 Prize from the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, S.C.

Intro to Arduino Workshop for Artists: Explore Interactivity in Your Work

Instructors: Thea Lanzisero and Doris Kapner (SkilStak Coding Arts). Learn more about the workshop.