Hobart and William Smith Colleges
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The Davis Gallery at Houghton House

Davis Gallery at Houghton House

Welcome + Curatorial Statement
In her memoir From Where We Stand (1993), Deborah Tall described the Finger Lakes as "eleven long claw marks left where glaciers gouged blue water out of the hard land...elsewhere in New York State, lakes meander like question marks, but here they are unequivocal exclamations." (3) Seneca Lake, as bodies of water generally do, acts as both a reflector and a refractor, providing a mirror and a method of discovery: of different colors, shapes, and movements. It is also a massive, complicated ecosystem, essential to this wine producing microclimate and therefore the backbone of our economy. It is impossible to divorce Hobart and William Smith Colleges from the waters that surround it.

Most of the Finger Lakes bear names drawn from the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Sagoyewatha (Red Jacket, Seneca) describes the loss of Haudenosaunee lands, codified in a series of treaties in the 1780s and 1790s, in aquatic terms: "We stand a small island in the bosom of the great waters-we are encircled-we are encompassed. The evil spirit rides upon the blast, and the waters are disturbed. They rise, they press upon us, and the waves once settled over us, we disappear forever" (1797, Hartford, Connecticut; quoted in Densmore, 1999, 47). After the Sullivan Campaign torched Haudenosaunee crops and infrastructure in 1779, the Seneca people were forced to migrate throughout the Great Lakes, and eventually into reservations in western New York. This history, and its continuing ramifications, are central to any discussion of water in the Finger Lakes.

Our 2019-20 exhibitions are tied to the Year of Water, a year long celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Finger Lakes Institute, which will include lectures, theater, coursework, and programming across campus. Our fall exhibition, The Worth of Water, questions how we value water-aesthetically, socially, culturally, and as a resource in need of protection, especially now, as it is threatened by climate change. The spring exhibitions are focused on these questions as they relate to specific localities. In their Davis Gallery exhibitions, artists Amanda Maciuba and Sarita Zaleha have focused on the ecology of the Finger Lakes. Maciuba turns her attention to prairies and wetlands, while Zaleha examines the forgotten history of spring water in Geneva and the Finger Lakes, through historical artifacts and a mixed media approach. In the Solarium Gallery, Areca Roe's Drunken Forest examines the destabilization of trees and houses caused by the melting of Alaska's permafrost. Emily Kenas's sculptural assemblages as well as Ashwin Manthripragada and Alysia Kaplan's mediated prints and slides point to more universal themes of transience, loss, and movement: the collection and dispersal of objects.

These exhibitions, like the lakes, are an exclamation: of this land and our place within it. I have now lived here for a year, and I can mark the passage of time through the various phases of Seneca Lake: from icy stillness and mist to deep blues and greens; the arrival of snow geese in the winter and the busyness of boats in the summer. We hope that you'll find water's transient and intractable qualities in these exhibitions, and a space for contemplation and challenge in the art galleries at Houghton House.

Anna Wager, Ph.D.
The Clarence A. "Dave" Davis '48 Visual Arts Curator
Department of Art and Architecture


Davis Gallery at Houghton House
Named in recognition of the generosity of Clarence A. (Dave) Davis, Jr. '48, the Davis Gallery is an academic resource of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. The Davis Gallery at Houghton House is the exhibition space of the Department of Art and Architecture. The Gallery has six shows each year beginning with a faculty exhibition and ending the year with a student exhibition. In between, a variety of artists and architects are invited to show their work and an exhibition from the Collections of Hobart and William Smith Colleges is staged. The mission of the Gallery is to exhibit, and make accessible works of art in support of the educational goals of the Colleges and for the benefit of the community at large. The Davis Gallery is primarily a space to immerse Hobart and William Smith College students in visual culture by providing an environment for studying the role of art and architecture in shaping, embodying and interpreting cultures.

Solarium Gallery at Houghton House
The Solarium Gallery is an alternative exhibition space adjacent to the Davis Gallery. This gallery offers us an exhibition space to accommodate a more experimental and flexible gallery setting. The Solarium Gallery is used for exhibiting installations, emerging artists, smaller shows and student exhibitions. The exhibition schedule echoes that of the Davis Gallery.

The Department of Art and Architecture
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Houghton House
1 King's Lane
Geneva, New York 14456

Contact
Dr. Anna Wager
Visual Arts Curator
Department of Art and Architecture
wager@hws.edu
315-781-3483

Hours
Mid-August through mid-May
Monday through Friday
9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Saturdays
1:30 to 4:30 pm

Directions from the North
From the New York State Thruway (I-90), take exit 42 - Geneva. Once through the tollbooth, take a right, heading south on Route 14 toward Geneva. Travel approximately 5.8 miles through the City of Geneva. Turn right on to Seneca Street. Travel to the top of the hill to the "T" intersection. Turn left onto South Main Street/Route 14. Continue approximately 1 mile. You'll pass through the commercial district and enter the campus area. Continue until you see the sign for Houghton House located Kings Lane and turn right.

Directions from the South
From the Southern Tier Expressway (Route I-86/17), take the Elmira exit off of I-86 for Route 14 North. Follow Route 14, approximately 50 miles, until you reach Geneva. Houghton House is located on Kings Lane which is a left hand turn at the top of the hill just past Geneva on the Lake.

Directions from the West
Take Route 5&20 East to Geneva, and turn onto the ramp heading south on Route 14. Turn right onto South Main Street/Route 14. Continue approximately 1 mile. You'll pass through the commercial district and enter the campus area. Continue until you see the sign for Houghton House located Kings Lane and turn right.

Directions from the East
Take Route 5&20 West to Geneva, and turn onto the ramp heading south on Route 14. Turn right onto South Main Street/Route 14. Continue approximately 1 mile. You'll pass through the commercial district and enter the campus area. Continue until you see the sign for Houghton House located Kings Lane and turn right.

Exhibition Proposals (PDF)




Information

Contact
Dr. Anna Wager
Visual Arts Curator
Department of Art and Architecture
wager@hws.edu
315-781-3483

If you would like to be added to the Davis Gallery email list, please contact sgage@hws.edu.


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Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.