For the next month, the master of arts thesis work of two UA graduate students will be showcased in the University’s Sella-Granata Art Gallery in a new exhibition called “Face Value.”
The two students, James Davis and Andy Pruett, said the name of the exhibit came from the work within, as well as from the pair of artists.
“We arrived at the title based on our general personalities– what you see is what you get,” Davis, a second year master’s student studying ceramics said.
The show approaches art in a formalist manner, which emphasizes a piece’s overall appearance rather than other aspects, such as content.
“’Face Value’ is a great vehicle to present glimpses of the real world with few clues as to where they exist as geographical locations but evoke the viewer to build up these spaces that maybe they thought they may have witnessed somewhere with their own specific details,” Pruett, a second year graduate student studying photography, said.
Davis’ ceramics and drawings will be featured alongside Pruett’s photography, each on a separate wall of the gallery.
“James and I discussed a collaborative piece,” Pruett said. “It just didn’t fit in a way that would exemplify the very best of our intent.”
Although the work will be displayed separately, Davis and Pruett share a similar approach to art: both concentrate on composition. This will be their first show together but not necessarily their first group effort.
“We do collaborate on some extravagant bar napkin drawings on the regular,” Pruett said. “That’s an entire body of work on its own.”
The self-described Southern gentlemen met in the spring semester of their graduate studies in 2011 and have been good friends since. They share interests in the same topics, especially the South, which Davis said constantly keeps him laughing.
“Something Alabama has offered me is the spectacle of football,” he said. “It seems like a religion, and most people are okay with that comparison. It baffles me.”
While some may think of football as a religion, others consider it an art, a focus Davis and Pruitt said they share.
Prior to his graduate studies, Davis made and fired ceramics in a Japanese-style wooden kiln, a process which takes a minimum of seven days and a crew of people to keep the kiln going.
“It was kind of like a weeklong camping trip that had a fire that was 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit and a log splitter that never stopped.” Davis has since left the Japanese methods behind for an electric kiln but continues to fire functional ceramics.
Pruett is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he received a bachelor’s of fine arts in photography. He said his career began when he received his first camera from his father.
“There is something about a camera and the document that it makes with each release of the shutter that is just magical,” Pruett said. “The power of a photograph is mesmerizing to me.”
For students interested in meeting the artists, there will be an artist-hosted reception from 6 – 8 pm on Thursday, Nov. 15.