EXHIBITING THIS MONTH:
JAMES M. DAVIDSON
Mazie Jones Gallery
Artist Statement: “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” —John Muir
Since I was a child, I have loved the forest.
This love was instilled in me by my parents, both avid birdwatchers. We went on many early morning hikes and weekend camping trips, and while they scanned the branches for avian fauna, I would scan the ground for insects, sticks, rocks, leaves, flowers, acorns, moss, and whatever else might be there to discover.
I still have a fascination with the forest, its sights and sounds (or silence), its singular beauty, and with finding things on the ground (and overhead and on all sides). I like how a forest can seem from the road like the same thing over and over, but when you enter it on foot, you sense its true complexity, each patch of forest having its own ecosystem, its own personality, depending on how much light it gets, how much rain, how much wind, whether it’s walked on or left alone, steep or flat, rocky or leafy or loamy, invaded by weeds or relatively pristine.
Thanks in part to the fact that the Southern Appalachian forest is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world—it is home to more than 10,000 species—I rarely get in the woods without seeing something new, or seeing something I’ve already seen in a new way. As our lives seem to accelerate, the forest keeps the same pace it has had for millions of years. It transmits a palpable calm. It keeps its head on straight. Some of the base images for these works were taken along the Nuwati Trail in Grandfather Mountain State Park. The trail is aptly-named, as nuwati is the Cherokee word for medicine.More artwork and information can be found at jamesmdavidson.com The woods fulfill varying senses of that word—sometimes restorative, sometimes sacred. We are fortunate to live here.
This exhibit is part of an ongoing love letter to the woods, high and low, though this particular exhibit focuses on the forests of Appalachian North Carolina. My aim with these works is to present not just pictures of the woods, but also hopefully the feeling that comes with being there—the wonder and the joy and the medicine.
More artwork and information can be found at jamesmdavidson.com
Jeffrey DeCristofaro (b. 1985) is a freelance multi-artist (actor-filmmaker-model-photographer-poet-songwriter-singer) and activist currently based in Asheville, NC. Having graduated UNC-Asheville with both a BA in Literature (Concentration Creative Writing, Minor Mass Communications) and Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts, he is actively involved in Asheville’s local arts and film scene, including work as a featured extra in the upcoming summer action-comedy MASTERMINDS, several 48 Hr. Film Projects, and as an extra/supporting actor and crew member in several feature films, shorts, promos and music videos shot in Asheville. Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, he advocates for empowerment in Autism and other causes worldwide, while volunteering for charities and organizations including Manna Food Bank, Disability Partners and Rotarians Against Hunger. His poem “Jays, Larks and Robins” was recently published in the Winter 2015 issue of the Blue Lotus Review, and some of his photography has been featured in the first two issues of Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine. Currently he works a part-time job at Centering on Children, which distributes learning materials for autistic children.