• (l-r) Selena Kimball uses printed documentary evidence and works into constructed surfaces. Liz Nielsen's photographs are printed in an analog color darkroom.

  • William Cordova's works are bound up in his transcultural biography with subjects drawn from a continuum of radical movements and struggles for self-determination.

  • Providing an irreverent look at America's electoral insanity, Free Speech featured brand new political satire straight from sold out shows in Chicago and Toronto .

  • Celebrating its 45th anniversary, Ballet Hispanico's mission is to make the beauty of the arts and Latino culture accessible to all communities.

  • The Harlem Gospel Choir performs worldwide, logging in two million travel miles. Trivia fact: They paid tribute to Prince, performing "Purple Rain" on Good Morning America.

The Arts

The arts—performing, visual and literary—are a part of the daily educational experience at Davidson. Students, alumni and the greater Davidson family are invited to enjoy and participate in various art forms on campus throughout the year. Sculpture. Readings. Plays. Exhibitions. Chorale. It is all happening here.

As Davidson grows its focus on broad collaboration across the arts and sciences, opportunities for involvement in the arts and a transdisciplinary approach to learning will continue to develop on and off campus.

Events are free-except those having a link to tickets-and open to the public.

Key: 900 Room = C. Shaw Smith 900 Room, Alvarez College Union; BT = Barber Theatre, Cunningham Fine Arts Center; CI = Carolina Inn; DCPC = Davidson College Presbyterian Church, DFPH = Duke Family Performance Hall, Knobloch Campus Center; Hance = Hance Auditorium, Chambers; Lilly = Lilly Family Gallery, Chambers; TTH = Tyler-Tallman Hall, Sloan Music Center


artwork by Teresita Fernandez, Hank Willis Thomas and Shimon Attie


Vann Every Gallery
On View: October 20-December 9
Reception: Thursday, Oct. 20, 6-8 p.m. Gallery Talk: 6-6:30 p.m.

A strict binary has long existed between the contrasting effects of words and images. Words have been thought to be foundational, while images have been considered subordinate. Words have been valued as rhetorically primary, while images have been thought of as illustrative. But such bifurcation seems to artists and writers alike both constraining and unrealistic. How might the communicative and aesthetic status of words and images be profitably studied together? How do images and texts cooperate in single works of art as modalities in tension or unison? Seeing|Saying: Images and Words assembles important contemporary works from 18 artists (Shimon Attie, John Baldessari, Mark Bradford, Cris Bruch, Andrea Eis, Teresita Fernández, Howard Finster, Christian Marclay, Shirin Neshat, Dennis Oppenheim, Susan Harbage Page, José Parlá, Dan Perjovschi, Raymond Pettibon, Santiago Sierra, Hank Willis Thomas, and David Wojnarowicz) that play upon and experiment with words and images, inviting us to question the image-word divide, and reminding us of our current saturation - digitally and materially - in images with words.

Co-curated by Van Hillard, professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, Elizabeth Harry, assistant curator, and Lia Newman, director/curator.

The exhibition and related programming are made possible through the support of the Bacca Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture Fund, Herb Jackson and Laura Grosch Gallery Endowment, Malú Alvarez '02, and Davidson College Friends of the Arts.
Pictured to the left: (top) "Night Writing (Hero and Leander)" Teresita Fernández; (second) "Le Blanc Imite Le Noir " Hank Willis Thomas, courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; (third) "FINDERS, KEEPERS," Shimon Attie, courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

two pieces of artwork by Bethany Collins "Southern Review" (detail) and "Colorblind Dictionary"

Bethany Collins: In Evidence

Smith Gallery
On View: October 20-Decenber 9
Reception: Thursday, Oct. 20, 6-8 p.m. Gallery Talk: 6-6:30 p.m.

Using educational materials such as erasers, graphite, old dictionaries, and found text from government documents, literary journals and historical records, Collins' exhibition presents evocative works on paper, altered books, and installation that explore the relationship between race and language.

Co-curated by Van Hillard, Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, Elizabeth Harry, Assistant Curator, and Lia Newman, Director/Curator

This exhibition and related programming are made possible through the support of the Bacca Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture Fund, Herb Jackson and Laura Grosch Gallery Endowment, Malú Alvarez '02, and Davidson College Friends of the Arts.

Related Events

Lecture by W. J. T. Mitchell

Thursday, Nov. 3 • 7 p.m. • Lilly Family Gallery, Chambers Building

Lecture and Artwork by Nick Sousanis

Thursday, Nov. 10 • 7 p.m. • Semans Lecture Hall, VAC

Visit an accompanying exhibition of Nick's artworks from October 20-December 9 in Spencer Lobby of Chambers Building.
Pictured to the left: (top) "Southern Review" (detail), charcoal on paper, and (bottom) "Colorblind Dictionary," found object. Both courtesy of the artist and Richard Gray Gallery.

color head shot of Lorrie Moore


2017 Conarroe Lecture

Monday, Feb. 6  •  7 p.m.  •  DFPH  •  Tickets TBA

Lorrie Moore is the author of seven works of fiction. Recipient of The Irish Times Prize for International Literature, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the PEN/Malamud Award, the O. Henry Award, and a Lannan fellowship, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received her B.A. from St. Lawrence, and her M.F.A. from Cornell University; she is Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor at Vanderbilt University.

Tickets are free but required. You may obtain tickets by emailing the Union Ticket Office at uniontix@davidson.edu, or by calling 704-894-2135. Sponsored by the Public Lectures Committee.



Visiting McGee Professor of Writing

Tom Gilroy has written and directed three award-winning films, including the critically acclaimed feature film Spring Forward, starring Liev Schreiber, Ned Beatty, Ian Hart, and Campbell Scott. A two-time fellow of the Sundance Labs, he was commissioned by R.E.M. to create "It Happened Today," a video-work inspired by the band's final album. Gilroy frequently teaches film at Columbia University, and is the author of three books of haiku and various political columns in The Huffington Post.


Chicago's legendary sketch and improv comedy theater returned to Davidson with this irreverent look at America's electoral insanity. This topical new show featured political satire made famous by Second City stars like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Keegan Michael Key, as well as brand new scenes, songs and improv straight from their sold out shows in Chicago and Toronto.


As a part of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the DCSO presented a festive concert of Latin American music, featuring the works of Piazzolla, Ginastera, Moncayo, Lecuona, and more. (photo of Ernesto Lecuona)


Over There! was a musical revue honoring the 100th Centennial of World War I and served as a tribute to the Americans who served so bravely on the battlefields. Musical selections featured two iconic American composers and showmen, George M. Cohan and Irving Berlin. Over There! featured the artistry of soprano Jacquelyn Culpepper, baritone Dan Boye, accompanist DeWitt Tipton and writer/director/narrator Francis Cullinan. Musical highlights includd Alexander's "Ragtime Band," "Give my Regards to Broadway," "Over There," "You're a Grand Old Flag," and "God Bless America" Narration included excerpts from touching letters from the battlefront, as well as comments from military personnel. From start to finish, Over There! revived the spirit of patriotism in audiences of all ages.


Reggie Love, author of Power Forward: My Presidential Education, spoke about his time as personal assistant to President Barack Obama. A graduate of Providence Day School in Charlotte, Love played basketball for Duke University before going to work for then senator Obama later transitioning to the White House. After leaving the White House, Love attended the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and is now a partner and vice president of Transatlantic Holdings. Love discussed his first-hand account of life as the president's "body man" and reflected on the 2016 presidential election.


From 1972 until 1976, Herb Jackson, Davidson College professor emeritus, initiated and hosted a landmark exhibition, The Davidson National Print and Drawing Competition. During those five years, artists from around the country shipped thousands of works of art to Davidson College to be juried by acclaimed artists and curators. Artists vied for a spot on the gallery walls and for awards, which included the purchase of works for the college's Permanent Art Collection. The series of exhibitions, and subsequent subset of the Permanent Collection, provided a glimpse into drawing and printmaking techniques and styles at the time. In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the last Davidson National, and in the spirit of this exhibition, the Van Every/Smith Galleries were delighted to present "Making Marks: Water, Pigment, and Light," featuring works from eight artists from across the United States (Nancy Baker, Matthew Brandt, William Cordova, Chris Duncan, Selena Kimball, Lavar Munroe, Liz Nielsen, and Shoshanna Weinberger). Though this exhibition was curated rather than juried, the artists selected represented the range of possibilities for what works on and of paper could be, including an exploration of unique processes and materials capable of making marks - from graphite and gouache to water, sun, earth, and time.

This exhibition, related programming and brochure were made possible through the support of the Herb Jackson and Laura Grosch Gallery Endowment, Malú Alvarez '02, and Davidson College Friends of the Arts.


Cordova explored topics implicative of transcultural migration through a multimedia installation centered around Fort Mose in St. Augustine, Fla., an area founded in 1739 by runaway African slaves and Native Americans fleeing British persecution. Just over two decades later, in 1763, the group relocated to Ceiba Mocha, Mantanzas, Cuba. Cordova's exhibition, comprised of reclaimed ephemera, film, photography, sound, and more, linked these early migrations with the movement of more than 80 Asian, Black, and Latinos from America to Cuba between 1968 and 1971-a time typically associated with Cuban exile into the U.S.


In collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Davidson was thrilled to offer this unique master class Al-Andalus, two connected events in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Talk & Performance by La Hora Española

A pre-concert talk about the origins of Spanish classical music during Islamic rule in Spain featured performances by La Hora Española, a wonderful soprano and piano duo from Spain who specialize in finding the true essence of Spanish Music. The duo performed Islamic, Jewish, and Christian pieces that came from the time of Al-Andalus. UNC Charlotte's David Russell and a special guest offered a brief introduction to music in Al-Andalus, and its origins and influence on classical music.

Letters from Baghdad: Ramin AlHaj, oud & Ciompi String Quartet

This performance featured the Grammy-nominated Iraqi-American oud player and composer Rahim AlHaj with the illustrious Ciompi String Quartet in a concert called "Letters from Baghdad."


Charlotte's own bluegrass and folk music legend Jon Singleton will take the stage to offer up some traditional Irish fiddle tunes alongside our gifted pianist David Gilliland.


Alan Michael Parker is the Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English, and the author of eight collections of poems, including The Ladder, and four novels, including the forthcoming Christmas in July. His honors include three Pushcart Prizes, two inclusions in Best American Poetry, the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize in 2013 and 2014, and the North Carolina Book Award.
Karl Plank is the J.W. Cannon Professor of Religion. His recent poetry and creative work has appeared in publications such as Notre Dame Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Zone 3. He is a past winner of the Thomas Carter Prize for nonfiction and a Pushcart nominee.



The Davidson College Chorale & Davidson Singers offered the first choral concert of the season. This special performance for friends and family highlighted some of the vibrant and challenging repertoire the ensembles are performing this year.


The DCSO played an eclectic performance of season highlights, that featured music from our Southern Excursion concert, a preview of The Planets, and more.


New York-based renowned jazz pianist and Davidson parent Jerry Korman joined the Davidson College Jazz Ensemble along with his daughter, violinist and vocalist Arielle Korman '17, for this special Family Weekend performance.



Perhaps Shakespeare's most popular and (let's face it) approachable work, this romantic comedy featured a few of his favorite themes: the mystical difference between city and woods, lovers who must suffer before their happy ending, hyper-truth revealed through the play-within-a-play. And the bard ain't afraid to be a little bawdy. Likewise, this contemporary production expressed a bold vision: anything can happen if you open your mind to a new rhythm.


This concert features the winners of the 2016 annual Concerto Competition, along with a refreshing dive into the realm of orchestral dance music.


America's premier gospel choir, the Harlem Gospel Choir, is synonymous with power vocals, glorious sound, and infectious energy. The unique musical tradition of gospel music arose out of the hardships of slavery and forever shares the rich history of gospel as it relates to African-American culture and present a night of contemporary gospel classics as performed in the churches of Harlem today. Their harmonious songs of love, hope, and inspiration aimed to touch the depths of your soul, lift your spirit, and take your breath away.


Contemporary composer Dan Forrest's works have been hailed as "magnificent, very cleverly constructed sound sculpture" (Classical Voice), and "superb choral writing...full of spine-tingling moments" (Salt Lake Tribune). In the last decade, Forrest's music has become well established in the repertoire of choirs in the U.S. and abroad. His choral works have received dozens of awards and distinctions, and have been premiered in major venues around the world. He joined Davidson's Choral Arts Society and Pro Arte Orchestra for a lush and heartfelt performance of Forrest's work, Requiem for the Living.


The Davidson College Chorale and Davidson Singers brought beautiful music to a new venue this fall, performing in the 900 Room for the first time. The program included fresh and fun offerings that started the weekend off right!


Ballet Hispanico is the nation's premier Latino dance group that explores, preserves, and celebrates Latino culture. Their performance at Davidson included staple works from their vast repertoire as well as a preview of the new work Línea Recta by Belgian-Colombian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, one of today's most sought-after choreographers. Línea Recta paired the hallmark passion of flamenco dance with highly inventive and intricate partnering, performed to Spanish classical guitar.


The Central String Quartet returned to perform the great Schubert "C Major String Quintet" with guest cellist Alan Black. The ensemble included Charlotte Symphony Orchestra violinists Joseph Meyer and Jenny Topilow, violist Kirsten Swanson, and cellist Marlene Ballena. Join us for this breathtaking afternoon highlighted by the crown jewel of chamber music pieces.


Under the direction of accomplished saxophonist Tim Gordon, the popular Davidson College Jazz Combo presented a mesmerizing evening of small group jazz literature and improv.


Naomi Iizuka's riff on Georg Büchner's Woyzeck tells the story of a young couple working desperately to make sense of their relationship while toiling to survive. Skin moves with supernatural fluidity, creating a beautiful play in which we feel the world squeezing tighter and tighter.


In its fourth season, the Holiday Gala continued to delight sold-out audiences. The unofficial beginning of the town's annual "Christmas in Davidson" event, the Holiday Gala brings together the college choirs, symphony orchestra and jazz band with local community talent to ring in the holiday with dancing, singing, festive light, and seasonal sounds.


The Davidson College Chorale and Davidson Singers were honored to raise their voices during this lessons and carols service. Additional music from Carolina Brass.


The Davidson Singers led this year's carols at the annual Campus Christmas Party.


Capping off our seasonal offerings, the Davidson College Choirs performed the second annual Messiah! Sing-Along. Featured the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra and professional soloists.