Chelsea Davidson may live in a small town, but that doesn’t mean she wants to get out of it anytime soon.
In fact, the Trinity Western University graduate is doing the opposite of what many of her contemporaries have done. Instead of hightailing to the nearest big city with a college degree in hand, Davidson is using her skills in painting, drawing, graphic design and photography to stick around and make the place she’s lived most of her life her base of operations.
“Everson has so much personality,” Davidson says. “It embodies the small town image and attitude, but could potentially have a lot of traffic—especially from Canadian tourists—one day. That would boost our economy and encourage growth in Everson, but preserve what it is about Everson that makes the community what it is.”
To do her part to make her community more vibrant, Davidson will celebrate the opening of her own business, C. Rene Studios, Thurs., Sept. 13 at her new Lincoln Street gallery and creative space.
“An artist really needs two things—a place to work and a space to display,” Davidson says. “I am fortunate enough to be able to combine the two right here only minutes from my home.
“The great thing about having both a studio and gallery in the same place is that i can constantly be working on my latest painting or editing photos from a wedding I shot the previous weekend. When you come in, and you will not only see my finished work, but you will also see my work in progress.”
Being as she’s a multi-tasker—one who grew up helping her dad make pinewood derby cars and watching her mom sew and craft upholstered valances out of foam—those who visit C. Rene Studios on any given day are just as likely to find Davidson painting as they are developing prints from her latest photography shoot.
Although there was a time painting and drawing came first, Davidson says her time in college fostered a love for photography, and these days she spends equal amount of time in each creative endeavor. And at the opening on Thursday night, she’ll be showing off the results of both.
A quick glance through some of Davidson’s paintings and photos shows that, although there’s abstraction to be had, human beings figure largely in her subject matter. Whether she’s photographing friends on the beach or painting people in action, there’s a vibrancy to her pieces that can’t be missed.
“My style of painting is inspired by my own personality as much as other artists’ work, “Davidson says. “I have always been a joyful, adventurous person, and it comes through in my work. I tend to use bold colors, gestural brushstrokes , lots of contrast, and quirky subjects. People often are subjects in my work, and this may be because I value relationships more than almost anything.
“I not only reflect myself into my work,” she says, “but I also learn quite a bit about myself through my work.”
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