George B Davison

My ceramic art as of late uses a human form reminiscent of Egyptian sarcophagi or cycladic stone figures. I create press molds so the form remains constant and operates as a visual foundation for each artwork. Continuity and a common use of materials creates a calming effect, allowing the viewer an intimate, archetypal or primal experience. The identity of each figure becomes apparent as I begin to adorn them with, amulets, trinkets and symbols of authority and power. Each day we deal with the human experience- we have common thoughts goals and desires. Some turn to religion, others to creative endeavors. My ceramic work is about common spirituality. I employ many symbols in my artwork to convey a sense of history, time and culture. I have always been drawn to indigenous art for its connection to mother earth, purity and the natural world.\

Growing up in the fifties and sixties there were no  “Big Box” stores servicing the needs of aspiring artists. I grew up with five siblings. My parents always encouraged us to express ourselves creatively.   My mom use to make “play dough” from scratch, flour, salt, water, and a bit of food coloring. When I was in middle school my dad and I built a fishing boat in the garage. This was the beginning of my life as an artist. As a young adult I became fascinated by the ceramic process. I was fortunate to have teachers that helped inspire my passion for art making.
In 1976 I entered the  New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. There I worked closely with my mentors, Tony Hepburn, Wayne HIgby, and William Perry. At Alfred University I was awarded a departmental degree with honors.  I continued my studies in the arts and in 1980 I received an assistantship in ceramics at Illinois State University.  It was there that I began showing my work nationally. I participated in several “Chicago and Vicinity” exhibitions. One was juried by internationally known ceramic artist Ruth Duckworth. In 1983 I received an M.F.A. in ceramics.
In 1981 I had an amazing opportunity to attend a workshop at Kampsville, Illinois. The workshop focused on Native American technology and pottery making. I studied with John White, a potter of Cherokee descent. John and I created pottery making tools from deer bone and clam shells. We fired our pottery in wood fired pits. To this day I use many of these techniques in my work. My journey as a teacher began as an Instructor of ceramics at St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York. In 1985 I moved to Virginia and became an Assistant Professor of Art at Hampton University.  In 1987 I returned to New York and began teaching ceramics in the public schools. In 1989 I met my wife Denise who has been my muse, and greatest source of inspiration. Together we moved to Putnam county, New York and raised two daughters. They are both involved in the arts, a musician and graphic designer.
I began teaching ceramics at White Plains High School in 1991 where I remain today. In 2002 I became a Fulbright Memorial Fund scholar to Japan. I traveled the country visiting shrines,temples and pottery villages. I currently have work in several permanent collections.  I have presented workshops and taught at Brookfield Craft Center, Brookfield, CT,  Garrison Art Center, Garrison, New York and the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, Wheatley Heights, New York.
Art history and the antiquities have always been forces in the development of my ceramic work. Since I was a child I have always been fascinated by the ingenuity of Native American and indigenous art. Their use of natural resources and the power of their symbols and imagery captured my imagination. Growing up in a family of artists I was always encouraged to express myself creatively. As a child I visited Native American reservations and archeological sites. I became familiar with shell middens,wampum and pot shards. I hunted with my dad for arrow heads in the freshly plowed fields of Long Island farmland. In college I studied the Anthropology of Native American art and the history of world religion. Religion and faith are ideas I have begun to explore in my newest work.
Cave paintings and ancient amulets were crafted to bring good fortune to their creators. Each is a symbol of the human spirit and endeavor. Ancient artists portrayed the human form in simple abstract fashion. Though minimal in their design they had a powerful visual impact. Venus figures of ancient Europe conveyed fertility, mummified Pharaohs promised the riches of the afterlife. Native American kachinas portray characters in the mythology of Pueblo world view. Currently in our modern day culture few things exist with the inherent power of these ancient human symbols.


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