CODA Gallery unveils a new exhibition of wood and bronze sculptures by Silvia Davis, running March 2-23. The artist from Utah will attend an opening reception on March 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. in conjunction with El Paseo Art Walk/Palm Desert First Weekend.
“I create very complex wood sculptures that can have color, texture, pattern; and they’re all derived from direct observation, meaning I look closely at the world around me,” Silvia says of her work.
In terms of subject matter, she tackles both the organic animal world and inanimate still lifes, such as a coat rack with hats, coats, and umbrellas. She also loves sculpting mechanical objects, such as a gumball machine or a typewriter, in exotic woods and barn wood.
Because working in wood is so labor intensive, Silvia, who earned a masters degree in fine art from the University of Utah, also casts sculptures in bronze, a skill she developed while making fossil molds for the Utah Museum of Natural History.
To support her time in an old warehouse in Salt Lake City that she converted into a studio, she began painting backdrops for theater companies, which then asked her to carve sculptures for their productions. From 1995 to 2008, she made sculptures for theater and opera company productions, as well as for the Showtime and Disney channels.
Her earliest commission came from The Sundance Institute for a mechanical-object sculpture to be exhibited at the 1987 U.S. Film Festival. Other commissions and public art projects include sculptures of a life-size firefighter for a Salt Lake City fire station and liturgical work for St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Richfield, Utah.
As an artist married to an artist, Silvia calls her life with painter Paul Davis “a really fabulous partnership.”
“I think we have made each other better,” she says. “In some ways, we have similar work processes in that we both build up and destroy our work. Fortunately, we feel like equals, so there is no competition but just great dialog at the end of the day. I can also say, ‘Paul, this head is not working. Can you give me a fresh eye?’ And I can do the same sort of thing for him.”
She describes herself as “fairly athletic” and “a pretty good golfer.” She further claims she has talents for cooking and remodeling a house. But, she says, “I was just born an artist. My earliest memories are when I was 3 or 4 and would sit under a tree and make something. The impulse was so strong.
“The longer you go on this journey, the richer it becomes,” she says. “Each piece suggests another five pieces of possibilities to examine.”
73-400 El Paseo
Palm Desert, California
About CODA Gallery
Recognized by American Art Awards 2017 as one of the nation’s 25 best galleries and museums, CODA Gallery offers a wide range of art styles and mediums by local and international emerging, mid-career, and established artists. An El Paseo landmark that has resonated with contemporary art collectors for more than 30 years, CODA Gallery moved in 2016 to a new 9,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art location in the heart of Palm Desert at the corner of El Paseo and Lupine Lane. For more information on the gallery, call 760-346-4661 and/or visit codagallery.com.