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Silvia Liz Davis

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Silvia Liz Davis

(Cupertino, California, 1957 - )

Born in 1957 in Cupertino, California, Silvia Davis has been a resident of Salt Lake City since 1966. She was born an artist; throughout her childhood she loved to paint and draw and create models out of cardboard, paper, and mud. When she went to college it was with the idea of studying painting. However, she found that she preferred working with three-dimensional forms and discovered that wood was the perfect medium for her. Clay was not restrictive enough; she says she needed the limitations of wood to force her to resolve forms more clearly. Davis has been working exclusively in wood since receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture in 1980 from the University of Utah, from which she also received a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture in 1993. Interested in realism, she works from observations made directly from life. She focuses a geometric clarity on her subjects. "My sculptures are a combination of direct observation and a personal sense of design. Contrast between complex geometric pattern and clearly defined volumes has always fascinated me. “I look at bits and pieces of everyday life which I translate into wood. A recurring interest of mine is the coexistence of plants and animals with the man-made environment. I try to make my sculptures real enough so that people can empathize with the subjects portrayed. Simultaneously, I want the work artificial enough so they can be seen freshly. Wood is the artificial element that allows the subject to be seen as sculpture. No subject is too insignificant for me, The world is full of subjects that are looked at all the time but rarely seen. The more closely I pay attention, the more the world is worth looking at. I never create sculpture out of a void. Instead I try to open my eyes to what is already there." This sculpture, Guest, is made from found wood—an old painted door. The wood was laminated and then carved, and the painted areas are the original painted surface of the door. Some of the painted areas were touched up after the carving was finished, to connect the piece. She says using the door to create the dog forced her to use some creative solutions in her sculpting. Davis has worked in a variety of artistic settings: as a sculptor for the Utah Shakespeare Festival, as an instructor at the Petersen Art Center teaching life drawing and sculpture, as an instructor in Woodworking at the University of Utah, as a sculptor consultant for architectural firms, as theater technician, as a free-lance sculptor and scene painter for the Pioneer Theater Company at the University of Utah, and as a sculptor, fossil preparator, and casting technician at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Silvia has participated in numerous Utah exhibitions as well as several one-person shows of sculptures and drawings. In 1983, she received the North American Sculpture Award from Denver, Colorado. Davis currently lives in Teasdale, Utah. Her works for sale are currently handled through the Phillips Art Gallery in Salt Lake City and Coda Gallery in Park City and Palm Desert, California.

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