Exhibition Information

Artist: Jan Talmadge Davids
Exhibition: TO HOLD A LETTER TO THE LIGHT
Media: Ceramics, Mixed Media, Porcelin
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino

About Jan Talmadge Davids

Jan Talmadge Davids is a senior at California State University Long Beach studying as an Undergraduate student. Jan’s plans for the future consists of graduating with a BFA in the School of Art’s Ceramics Program hoping to continue her passion. When asked about her inspiration for this kind of exhibit, Jan stated that as a child, her family would hide secrets from her, thus leading her to this exhibit where her thoughts are exposed with no secrets to hide.

Formal Analysis

The exhibit that Jan arranged was a very unique one. Once you walked into the exhibition room, you would notice that there are many different letters hanging from the ceiling of the room. Although most of the letters looked the same, once you look at each piece one by one, you would notice that each letter is different. Each letter has it own thoughts, feelings, and personal reflections. What I found really interesting about this exhibit was the fact that each thoughts and each letter was a reflection from the author herself. Each letter was her own compromised throughout the years.

Content Analysis

Based on my interpretation of the exhibit, the idea behind the letter and its transparency was an illusion of society. Although each letter hanging from the ceiling looked as if they were the same, once you took a close look past its physical similarities, you notice that the content inside is different. Much like the people in society. We are more that what our physical attributes portray us as; and the content inside is what really defines us.

Another factor about the letters was its content inside. After reading a majority of the letters, I noticed that each letter had its own thoughts, feelings and emotions. They were emotions that many people in society go through. The fact that they were enclosed in the form of a letter made it seem as if they were words that were meant to be heard by a specific person. I thought the concept of the letters hanging on the ceiling was very unique because though each content within the letters were personal, the fact that each message was exposed made it seem as if the artist had nothing to hide and nothing to fear.

My Experience

My overall experience with this exhibit was a great one. I thought the exhibit was interesting and unique. I really liked the concept and idea of how Jan displayed her artwork because it was very eye catching. The moment that I saw this exhibit, I knew that it was something I was interested in. As I walked through the display and look at the letters hanging from the ceiling, I thought to myself that the scenarios were very much like what could happen to people in today’s society. The letters reminded me of a diary because it was as if I was reading someone else’s thoughts and personal life experiences. I really enjoyed how the artist made the display out of paper clay, however it was transparent enough for me to read the words inside of it. I thought it was very secretive and made the display to have a personal aura.

Overall, I had a good learning moment with this exhibit because it gave me a new perspective on art and how it can be interpreted. Art does not necessarily have to be a portrait or a painting, but it could be an interactive display where the viewers could hands on learn more about the artwork other than just looking at the surface of it.

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