Wk 4 – Artist Conversation –Jan Talmadge Davids

Artist: Jan Talmadge Davids

Exhibition: BFA SHOW

Media: Ceramics, Underglaze, Instillation

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East

Website: Not Available during this time

Instagram: Not Available during this time

About the Artist:

Jan Talmadge Davids is an undergraduate fourth year student at Cal State University, Long Beach. Davids is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Arts in the Ceramics program. One unique thing about the artist is she is in her middle forty’s creating brilliant ceramic pieces. She currently has two kids that are both in college. Davids has been working with various medias of art for about six to seven years. She currently resides in Huntington Beach. She began her education at Saddleback College with other majors and decided to transfer to CSULB to pursue her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Ceramics. The work she produces reflects her private and personal thoughts. Growing up there were many secrets within her family that she later discovered. Instead of keeping secrets from her current children, she decided to express her autobiographical moments through the work of ceramics.

Formal Analysis:

The multiple ceramic pieces Davids created were from using clay, underglaze, and an underglaze applicator to write. She began this collection of work with just simple day-to-day thoughts, which later became more profound moments about her life. In addition, the artist illustrates drawings of her thoughts from letter to letter. Some thoughts are hidden in an envelope and can only be seen by holding a light to the letter. There are different textures of her ceramic writings; some ceramics letters are crumpled up to signify incomplete thoughts. Admiring the piece, the different letters that are all hanging on a string suspended from the ceiling. Some of her expressed thoughts are offensive; however, she warns the viewers with a description of her piece prior to reading. This piece was something the artist has been working on for many years and decided to suspend them from a ceiling with string to share her collection to viewers.

Content Analysis:
Davids titled this piece “To Hold A Letter To The Light” to symbolize that the suspended pieces of ceramics are letters and writings of her thoughts. The artist definitely attracts the respective viewers by drawing them in because she suspends more than just a few letters but a whole entire room full of envelopes and letters. The artist wanted to express her thoughts on current political issues, her private thoughts, and reflections on her past. There was one piece expressing about a “woman card” which was her thoughts on Donald Trump bashing on Hilary Clinton about using her “woman card” to get votes. She then sheds her thoughts on how she should use her woman card in her life to get what she wants and following the back of the letter she draws a stick figure woman with large breasts. Davids finds a way to share her thoughts to her children in a very creative way. She wanted to document her past life events and express them through ceramics so her children can view them. And most importantly, she did not want to keep any thoughts hidden. All of these thoughts reflect the artist’s most profound moments of her adult life.

Synthesis/My Experience:
I was so captivated by this art experience overall. I think this art instillation was such a creative way to share her thoughts to people. Every letter had some sort of significance within her life and she expressed things very passionately. I really like the concept of sharing ones thought openly and not keeping secrets or hiding thing from family. In addition, I really enjoyed how she put her private thoughts in an envelope and had viewers hold a light to the envelope to read what was on her mind. I believe because she is an older undergraduate student she has a lot of stories and experiences she can share to younger colleaguesIMG_5767.JPGimg_5768


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