A Reinhardt University art professor has launched a solo exhibit at Day & Night Projects in Atlanta.
Jym Davis’ “SHAME FACES” opened Thursday. The exhibit features Davis’s newest series of works and includes masks, paintings, and sculptures. The exhibit runs through Dec. 4.
“I chose SHAME FACES in reference to the medieval masks of shame (Schandmaskes in German) that were pervasive in old Europe,” Davis says on his website, jymdavis.com. Masks of shame were a form of punishment for social crimes such as gossiping, gluttony, or lying. Wearing the mask was intended to be humiliating to the offender, and the design of the mask often gave a clue as to the offender’s crime.
Davis began making masks in 2015. He was looking for unique masks to use in video and photography projects. In the 2020 issue of “Reinhardt Magazine,” Davis said, “At that point, it was just a fun experiment, and I did not really think about my masks as a finished art project.” However, people began to show an interest in his masks. “As I developed my own techniques for mask-making I realized I hit on something a little bit unique to the art market.”
Each of Davis’s masks is a one-of-kind. After each mask is created, he documents the mask with photography. Inspiration for his masks come from nature, particularly from animal skulls, and from European folk traditions. Davis has been an artist-in-residence at six national parks and has exhibited his work across the United States and Europe. Davis believes that people connect to his masks because they “react to the transformative aspect of the mask. You can wear a mask and become someone else or tap into a new identity.”
Day & Night Projects is an artist-run gallery at 585 Wells St. SW near downtown Atlanta. Viewing hours are Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. or by appointment. For more, visit www.daynightprojects.art.
COVID-19 safety precautions at Day & Night Projects include: Visitors must be vaccinated. Masks are required indoors. The garage door will be open in good weather to increase air circulation. Hand sanitizer is provided. All high-touch surfaces are cleaned every hour.