Friday, November 17, 2023 | 5:30 p.m.
As a member of the Vista Guild Association, the Koger Center for the Arts is proud to partner with the Jasper Project in Third Thursday Art Night. We feature a different artist every month with an opening reception on the Third Thursday of the month -- this month we re proud to feature David West.
Art has been a constant companion throughout my life, an enduring source of inspiration and fascination. My journey as an artist was shaped by the influential figures in my family, each leaving an indelible mark on my creative path. My mother's love for painting, a memory of her brush strokes bringing landscapes to life while I was still in diapers, ignited the enchantment of art within me. My grandfather, a true Renaissance man, with a formal background in architecture and a talent for designing, engineering, drawing, and painting, further nurtured my artistic curiosity.
I consider myself an artist to the core, deeply immersed in the creative process, the labor of love, and the profound expression of art. However, the demands of life, including full-time work, sharing the upbringing of two children, and maintaining a relationship with someone special, often leave me with limited time and attention for artmaking. I yearn for the day when I can "retire" from teaching and devote myself entirely to exploring my artistic potential.
My current artistic endeavors are sporadic, but I have discovered a particular passion for woodcuts. Despite never having a formal printmaking class in high school or undergrad, my pursuit of an art education degree compelled me to explore various art forms, eventually leading me to the realm of printmaking at the University of South Carolina. Here, I uncovered my love for this medium.
In this show, there is work from my past, examples made for high school art lessons, and some of my current work. My work often draws from the canvas of my own life experiences, weaving personal narratives into universal themes. I aim to create art that resonates on an emotional level, avoiding overt or blatant expressions of ideas. Instead, I encourage viewers to bring their unique feelings and experiences to my work, connecting my artistic expression to their own life stories. In this way, my art becomes a bridge, inviting others to explore and reflect on the shared human experience, while my own artistic journey continues to evolve and inspire.
My formal education in the arts includes a year of Commercial Art training in a vocational school, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, and a Masters of Arts in Teaching with a focus on Art Education. For 13 years, I worked as a graphic designer, relishing the challenge of crafting designs that met the needs of diverse clients. In addition to my painting and graphic design endeavors, I also dabble in photography, from creative works to street photography, to documenting the special moments of weddings and corporate events.
My journey into teaching art began when I took on the role of organizing and conducting figure drawing sessions for the "About Face" figure study group at the Columbia Museum of Art. Encouragement from fellow art educators within the group led me to explore a career in art education. For the past 12 years, I have had the privilege of teaching beginning thorugh advanced levels of a range of Art and Photography classes.