Georgia College Front Page

Art Exhibit at Sallie Ellis Davis House


A ‘safe place’ to discuss race

“Exploring Race: A Student Exposition” – showcasing drawings, inks and ceramics by Georgia College students – is being called a “safe place” for students and community members to gather.

By Ashley White.

"We wanted to do an art exhibit in the Sallie Ellis Davis House, where we bring in a new audience and also appeal to a modern conversation that's happening right now." - Kierstin Veldkamp, co-curator of education and public engagement





"This will be a safe place. People don't feel threatened by art. It brings commonality and gives people a starting point for discussion." - Molly Randolph, co-curator







Breaking down barriers

The Sallie Ellis Davis House was renovated into a museum, which opened in 2012 commemorating the teacher’s tenacity and compassion. Davis was an inspiration and pillar of the African-American community in segregated Milledgeville. She educated African-American children and adults who had few learning opportunities in the early 1900s. Her one-room Eddy School now serves as a starting point for discussions on race.

By Carlie Gilbert.

"This exhibit provides our students an opportunity to express themselves in a place where they can scream as loud as they want without someone saying they are offended. Throughout history, for many groups of people, art has been their only voice." - Veronica Womack, chief diversity officer

Art to transform minds 

Students in beginning art classes created exhibit pieces last spring and this fall.

They were asked to investigate, question and reflect on issues of race. Communicating their ideas visually required many critique sessions and multiple drafts. 

Junior fine arts major Brianne Hall.

"Art-making is hard. I believe that the artistic process leads to both artistic development and personal growth. Through the process, students expanded their ideas about assigning meaning to how a person looks and how our ideas about race change over time. They're excited to be a part of the conversation." - Sandra Trujillo, professor of ceramics






By Brianne Hall.






Interpretations of race were varied and creative. To some, the issue meant oppression of African-Americans. To others, it meant Native Americans being pushed aside or Muslim women harassed for wearing the hijab. 

Junior fine arts major Lydia “Grace” Lombard molded a cup out of clay, painting the outside with a black underglaze and carving in designs. She hopes school children on fieldtrips will be inspired by her work. 

Junior fine arts major Brianne Hall made a cup, painting a face with its mouth taped shut. It reads: “I will not stay silent so you can stay comfortable.” Her pair of vases were created by coiling and layering ropes of clay. She etched in hands holding hearts.

"It is a huge honor to be part of this exhibit. To be able to voice my thoughts and opinions is a privilege. I really hope I've done it justice. I hope people will think about their ability to contribute towards a more positive future." - Grace Lombard

Hands holding hearts by Hall.

"Though all different, we have have the same hearts." - Brianne Hall

By Marilyn Corn.


"People will come from different socialization processes, different histories, different experiences to see these beautiful things and be touched in the place where we need to be touched." - Veronica Womack










Ceramics professor Sandra Trujillo.

By Avery Kronz.




A dozen pencil and charcoal drawings, pastels and inks are included in the show, like:


  • An African-American woman behind bars made from the stripes of the American flag.
  • The cartoon face of Chief Wahoo, Ohio’s Cleveland Indians logo topping realistic bodies of Native Americans on horses in a desert prairie.
  • Women and Muslim faces on band members of the Beatles in a caricature of their famous Abbey Road photo.
  • A skull showing death as the great equalizer.


"Many people think staying silent is being neutral. But silence helps the oppressor. I hope my work gets conversations started, because where there is conversation, there is no silence." - Brianne Hall


About 15 bowls, cups, plates and vases are also being displayed. Students glazed pottery, adding features like zigzag borders, African-American figures, handprints of all colors, maps of the African continent and teardrop shapes.

Artwork at Salle Ellis Davis House by ceramics students.

By Yayi Tang.


"I feel honored to be able to include my work in this exhibit. As a liberal arts college, I believe shutting down discrimination and stirring up these conversations is very important." - Brianne Hall


A collaborative effort by William Applebury and Ashley White.






Georgia College VimeoGeorgia College FacebookGeorgia College LinkedInGeorgia College Front Page RSS FeedGeorgia College Twitter