William H. & Sonja Carlson Davidow '56
Fine Art Gallery

The mission of the William H. and Sonja Carlson Davidow '56 Fine Art Gallery is to provide quality exhibitions and educational experiences for students and the greater community that deepen understanding of art, strengthen critical thinking, and broaden life experiences.

Our exhibitions highlight the creative spirit while raising awareness of the arts and the role of visual literacy and culture in a liberal arts environment. All of us at Colby-Sawyer want the visual arts to flourish and believe that the arts enrich our lives and serve as testimony to the beliefs and values of our culture, the world and the mysteries of the unknown.

Current Exhibition

Gerry Williams: Craft and Conscience

June 15, 2021 – Sept. 15, 2021
M-F, 10 am – 5 pm

This special summer retrospective exhibition features the art and craft of master potter and New Hampshire artist laureate, Gerry Williams. Williams was the founder of The Studio Potter, a nonprofit, membership organization and editor of The Studio Potter Magazine, a journal about the aesthetics, technology, and history of pottery and about the personal lives of ceramic artists.

Gerry Williams was born in India in 1926, the son of American missionaries. He attended Cornell College in Iowa during the war. Influenced by Gandhi, Williams states, “There is a lot of the spirit of India in my work, though not necessarily in the form of pottery. The political effigies that I do certainly come from my India experience because I look after them not as sculpture, but as folk art. The ambiance, the dignity of crafts, the importance of manual labor, the spiritual necessity of the humanistic core of crafts all come from my background in India.”

Williams began his career in ceramics by taking classes at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen in the early 1950s when studio pottery was gaining recognition in the United States. New Hampshire was home to several significant artists in the studio ceramics movement such as Vivika and Otto Heino, Mary and Edwin Scheier, Karl Drerup, the Baileys, Ed Keen, George and Maija Salo, Lily Hoffman and Joseph Tripetti. Gerry Williams was inspired by these master potters when he built his own studio and home in rural Dunbarton, New Hampshire.

Gerry Williams was an internationally recognized master craftsman, teacher, lecturer and author. He was not only a leader and an inspiration as a ceramic artist, but also a technical master in developing a photo resist process to lay images directly onto vessels. Also, he is noted as a master of the copper red glaze, an elusive and challenging technique to attain.

Williams’ works are a part of many public and private collections including; the Smithsonian Institution, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Currier Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, Fleming Museum and George Walters Smith Museum in Springfield, MA.

Upcoming Exhibitions

  • New Hampshire Now: A Photographic Diary of Life in the Granite State

    October 1 - December 15, 2021

    55 accomplished photographic artists have documented life throughout New Hampshire over the past two years – the natural environment, built environment, unfolding events, and people going about their daily lives. The resulting rich photographic archive of 9,000 images (to be held permanently at the New Hampshire Historical Society) captures the essence of New Hampshire.

    Select images from this diverse collection, curated and printed by Gary Samson, will be exhibited in the Davidow Fine Art Gallery concurrent with seven other New Hampshire cultural institutions. The New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists is a cosponsoring organization of this project. An exhibition catalog will be available with this exhibition.

  • Richard Haynes: Cultural Keeper Cultural Maker

    February 7 – May 10, 2022

  • The W. Dale and JoAnn Franke Overfield ’69 Art + Design Faculty Exhibition

    September 15 – December 15, 2022

Marian Graves Mugar
Art Gallery at Sawyer Art Center

Rotating Student Art Installations

  • The Juried Student Exhibition
    Annually in the spring semester
  • Senior Capstone Exhibition
    Annually in the spring semester

For information on gallery programming and our studio art + design program, contact:
Professor Jon Keenan, Director, William H. and Sonja Carlson Davidow '56 Fine Art Gallery
at jkeenan@colby-sawyer.edu or 603.526.3667