Boat sculpture wins ‘Best in Show’
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Ready to burst into tears, she grabs her sunglasses to cover her eyes and starts explaining her journey of becoming an artist.
A recent winner of “Best in Show” at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) for her abstract sculpture of a boat, Janet Davids, art studio major, refused to listen to critics and instead followed her gut feeling when entering the contest.
“Everyone told me they didn’t understand my art and that I should try something else,” she said. “I went with my intuition. Sometimes you just don’t know where it’s going to take you and you just go with it.”
Titled “Adieu mon Coeur” (farewell my heart), the sculptured boat symbolizes the progressions of a journey of freedom, Davids said.
At 7 feet long, the weathered sculpture is made out of 275 pounds of stoneware with ash glazes covering its entirety.
“My large ceramic boat is an expression in the course of life where you say farewell to your heart, whether it is to family, friends or a lover,” Davids said.
Featured among 500 professional and amateur artists in the art exhibit, “Open Call LA 2011,” Davids not only won $500 in prize money, but she said her ultimate reward was realizing that professional artists had validated her work.
“I was completely dumbfounded that my cathartic experience was conveyed to other people in some form,” she said.
But Davids wasn’t always an artist.
“When I was seventeen years old, I wanted to pursue art, but my parents weren’t having it,” she said. “So for many years, I was an undecided major but never finished my degree.”
After a career in the financial industry and raising her children to do what they love, Davids realized she wasn’t practicing this motto in her own life.
She is now in her fifth semester here and found a passion in sculpting. Not only does she admire her professors, but Davids also credits them for her success as an artist.
“I especially thank Russell McMillin for believing in me and encouraging me,” she said. “I would have never done it without him.”
McMillin, fine arts professor, said Davids has accomplished so much in two years and that she instilled the knowledge gained from her previous professors into her current artwork to help her succeed.
“Janet Davids is an extremely hardworking, dedicated, and focused student,” he said. “There are so many talented students in the art department and it makes us professors so proud and honored to watch our students succeed.”
While Davids continues to sculpt, she is enjoying the early success it has brought her and is using it as motivation in her new art projects.
“As of right now,” she said, “I am just living in the present and going for the ride of my life.”