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Start the new year right with this gallery's Resolutions 2020 exhibit

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David Davenport's "Light Within," a painting included in the Resolutions 2020 exhibit. Photo courtesy of David Davenport.

The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts is a space for artists, owned by artists. Founded in 2007, the gallery has welcomed hundreds of works of art of all kinds from painting and ceramics, to sculpture and jewelry. 

Earlier this month, the gallery opened its sixth annual juried exhibit, "Resolutions 2020." The exhibit features the work of artists from across North Carolina in various mediums and dimensions. It will run until Jan. 25. 

With over 100 applicants, competition was stiff, and only 36 were entered into the show. Yet, Katie Ziglar, director of the Ackland Art Museum, who juried the show, said it was one of the larger shows she has been a part of. 

Regardless of its size, Ziglar said the desire to jury an exhibit like "Resolutions 2020" comes from the conversations she gets to have with its artists. 

David Davenport, an artist whose work was accepted into the show, shares this same desire for artistic connection.  

“It was one of my favorite openings that I've been to, it just had a lot of energy, and I just really like the way they did their opening,” Davenport said. “It's a small space, but it was packed.”

For Ivana Milojevic Beck, a sculptor who entered two pieces in the exhibit, the crowd was a pleasant surprise as well. 

Beck was declared “Winner of Distinction in 3D” for her two entries, “Foundation Dance” and “Intersection Advice.” For Beck, whose work examines foundational shifts and adaptation, inspiration came from her own experience moving to the United States from Serbia. 

Beck said she found herself physically in the United States but mentally and psychologically back in Serbia.

“I started exploring this space in-between,” Beck said. “And I started doing that through new materials.” 

For this exhibit, brick was that new material. Brick represented the stability and influence of her loved ones back in Serbia, Beck said. 

Beck also said she wanted to make the brick look vulnerable. She did this by using other materials like concrete, mortar and wax. 

Despite the very personal inspiration, Beck said she is hopeful that viewers will be able to connect with her work by bringing their own stories to what they see. 

Both Beck and Davenport, despite their use of very different mediums, find inspiration in similar ways. Davenport said he does not want his paintings to be perfect — he wants them to be impressionistic so that a viewer can have their own interpretation of the piece. 

Much like how Beck uses brick in her work, Davenport uses light. 

“I like going in old barns and seeing the light penetrating the dark shadows,” Davenport said. “I love that impact of these old spaces, and then I try and awaken those old spaces by doing a painting.” 

Davenport also takes inspiration from his home in eastern North Carolina, and he hopes his work gives people a sense of time and place. 

To those who are scared to enter juried exhibits like these, Davenport said you need to have thick skin and understand what a juror is looking for. 

Ziglar encourages artists to just go for it. 

“From a juror's perspective I would say: What have you got to lose?,” Ziglar said. “Not so much.”

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