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Laura Mueller Photography

(lft-rt) Vicky Daniels, daughters Sarah and Heather Daniels, and husband Michael Daniels. Davidson College senior Sarah Daniels had been assigned to write about the large Rodin bronze sculpture, Jean d'Aire, which occupies the arts center atrium.

Davidson College Visual Arts Center opening

Posted: Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012

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Laura Mueller

Laura Mueller

Lake Norman resident Laura Mueller has been a photojournalist for more than 25 years, doing work for The Charlotte Observer, The Duke Endowment, Lake Norman Magazine, SouthPark Magazine, The Washington Post, The New York Post and many other publications. Her many awards have included being named NC Press Photographer of the Year. Find her at

The community of Davidson gathered in strong support of the arts on Jan. 18 at the Katherine and Tom Belk Visual Arts Center opening of ‘Recent Gifts & Acquisitions’. The opening was a celebration of the arts, and a tribute to the students, to scholarship and to the inspiration resulting from collaboration.

The evening’s centerpiece was the release of the new 280-page hard cover book ‘Davidson Collects: 100 Writers Respond to Art’. The book contains 100 essays written by one hundred Davidson College students on works from the College’s permanent art collection.

Each of the students, chosen from across the spectrum of the college's liberal arts and science disciplines, spent time with a single work of art that was assigned by lottery. Each student was assigned to experience his or her specific work as an unfiltered and direct personal adventure — as an inquiry of spirit as well as of mind.

College President Dr. Carol Quillen led a short program, speaking to the crowd about the importance of the arts.

Art Department Chair Cort Savage paid tribute to the students and to gallery director Brad Thomas, who recently accepted a position as curator of contemporary art at the Mint Museum in Charlotte.

Professor Van Hillard, director of the college's writing program, had worked with the students on their essays, and spoke of the sense of excitement surrounding the publication.

Davidson College senior Sarah Daniels was assigned to write about the large Rodin bronze sculpture, Jean d'Aire, which occupies the arts center atrium. Daniels read her essay about the sculpture to the crowd, and later gathered with her family for a photograph in front of the statue.

The opening also included an exhibition in the Van Every Gallery of about fifty works acquired by the college in the past three years. The adjacent Smith Gallery featured an exhibition of works on paper by contemporary artist Sean Scully.

Davidson Collects was made possible through generous grants from Wells Fargo, Davidson College Friends of the Arts, and the Herb Jackson and Laura Grosch Gallery Endowment.

The galleries are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and noon to 4 p.m. on weekends. For more information, call 704-894-2519.

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