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Kresge Gallery to feature exhibition by Tessa Davidson

The Kresge Gallery at Lyon College will feature the art exhibition “Saints Re-Formed” by Tessa Davidson from Tuesday, Jan. 14, through Friday, Feb. 28.

The reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, in the Alphin Humanities Building and will include an Artist Talk by Davidson.

The exhibit features 12 oil paintings inspired by the legends and symbols of historic saints, but with a modern twist. 

For example, her painting “Hope Has Feathers” depicts a man covered in birds and bird feeders, inspired by St. Francis of Assisi. Davidson even traveled to Assisi, Italy, in March 2019 and drew inspiration from the significant sites and stories connected with Francis’ life. 

“I am very excited about the completion of this body of work,” Davidson said, “and I am grateful to exhibit the work at Lyon College.”

“All the models who participated in the project live nearby and are remarkable examples of strength and character.”

She said the project was inspired by her interest in Medieval and Renaissance art history, fields of study dominated by the imagery of Christian saints.

“I continue to be mystified by historic depictions of these figures. I wanted to explore these artistic traditions and discover how the ideas behind these symbols might speak to a broader, contemporary audience.”

Davidson received her M.F.A. from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2018. She holds a B.A. in art education and a M.Ed. in secondary education from Harding University, as well as a M.A. in art history from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. 

She is an Assistant Professor of Art at Harding and resides in Cabot with her husband and their two children.

Lyon College is a private liberal arts college in Arkansas. The oldest college in Arkansas with its original charter, Lyon is located in Batesville, a historic town of 10,000 named by USA Today as the best city to live in the state. Listed among Forbes “Top American colleges," Lyon currently enrolls almost 700 undergraduate students, and 99 percent of its graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.