Beginning on Friday, Oct. 12, the works of Elizabeth Schoyer will be on display at the Davis Gallery of the Houghton House, with an opening reception being held that evening from 7 – 9 p.m. The “Natural Histories” exhibit will remain open until Saturday, Nov. 10.
Through her paintings and gouaches, Schoyer travels across Suriname, Egypt, Amazonia and Antarctica with European naturalists and pioneers as her guides. The journals of Maria Sibylla Merian, Napoleon Bonaparte, Henry Bates and Ernest Shackelton help Schoyer explore this vast world and journey into the unknown.
Schoyer considers her works the imaginary renderings of the experiences and specimens depicted in the naturalists’ journals. Using their detailed descriptions of the devices and architectural structures used for collecting and storing different plant and animal species, Schoyer’s works attempt to make order out of the chaos of the journals and serve as metaphors for fragility.
Schoyer has had numerous solo and group exhibits across the country. She received her MFA in painting from Indiana University and her BFA in painting from Philadelphia College of Art. She began her teaching career in Charlottesville, Va., and she is currently a professor of art at the University of Virginia. Schoyer has served as a member of the fine arts honor committee at Hobart and William Smith, as well as a visiting artist on campus. She is also the 1971 and 1972 recipient of the Scholarship and Purchase Award from the Banff School of Fine Arts.
The Davis Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m.; the gallery is closed Sundays.