Riley Peru, Staff Writer
The Fine Arts Department displays student work in their galleries, and they routinely change and pick the person who gets their own work displayed on the walls. Clayton Davis, a senior in the art department had his collection, “Vestiges” on display from October seventeenth to November eleventh. On November ninth, the school held a reception for Davis, and the conclusion of his work being displayed. To begin the celebration, the director of the gallery, Sarah Simpson, introduced Clayton Davis to speak about his art. Instead of doing that, Davis went on to discuss Mental Health and how there are resources available to students and anyone who needs them. Davis’s work has themes of mental illness, and he decided to spend some time shining light on the issue amidst the events that have occurred on campus.
A summary of Clayton Davis. He is a part of the track and field team here at Oneonta, and he majors in Graphic Design. He is also the designer of the new banners that hang outside of the fine arts department. I was grateful enough to snag Davis away from the crowd for a quick interview about his work and the process he took to get his art to where it is today.
Q&A with Clayton Davis
Q: What was your inspiration for these pieces? How did you come about making it?
A: I mean the focus when it came down to was like texture within the pieces. But for more of the mental side, it’s a lot about childhood emotions and dealing with different sorts of problems that humans have. So, I kind of started off with different charcoals that would make different types of texture and kind of create something that can be interpreted in any way. But then with the painting side, a lot of that kind of stuff has to do with emotional things that I’ve gone through and things from my childhood. And so that’s where that kind of inspiration comes from.
Q: How long did these pieces take to create for the collection?
A: In all of it last semester. So, for the spring semester of 2023. For the charcoal work, that was all done in Madeline Silber’s class and that’s where I did all the charcoal stuff. For the painting stuff, that was all in Ashley Coopers class. which I did throughout the semester, so it only took about a semester to get it all together
Q: Do you have a favorite?
A: I think my favorite personally is, at least for the paintings is the one of my father which is on the far left. It’s the green and blue one, entitled “Father”. It’s the first painting I did for the collection.
Q: One final question, is there a reason the pieces are separated the way they are in the gallery?
A: My major is graphic design, so a lot of what went into it was also has to do with the design. So, you know the artwork is separate from what you’re trying to put something up on the space, how to fill it properly. And so, with that, the reason behind is that the charcoal was in the middle, paintings are on the side. And the big ones in the middle. So, it all comes down to what’s visually pleasing.
For more of Clayton Davis’s work, you can find his portfolio online on his website.