As the state’s only dental school, the Augusta University Dental College of Georgia has an addition to its list of accomplishments: an art gallery.
“To the best of our knowledge, ours is the only dental school nationwide to house a large art gallery,” said former Dean Connie Drisko.
More than 175 pieces of art, including paintings, photography, wood work, blown glass and metal sculptures, line the walls of the dental building’s gallery, named Transcendental: Works of Impression. The art was donated by alumni and dentists across the state.
“The seed was planted in my mind about 10 years ago when I visited Eastman Dental Clinic’s new dental building in London,” Drisko said. “They had been told they must set aside a percentage of the cost of the building to spend on art.”
The college collected art over a period of approximately 18 months and has received some museum quality pieces, as well as limited editions, artist prints and autographed copies.
“We were particularly interested in dentists who were artists giving us an example of their work. We have two dozen or more pieces where the dentists were actually the artists, some of whom have given up dentistry and are doing their art now,” Drisko said. “That’s not too surprising, because dentistry is very much an art and a science. It’s about color, shape, aesthetics and dexterity. So people who have that eye often also have artistic ability, either in visual arts or performing arts.”
Two pieces of art in the building have won juried competitions, including a 26-foot chandelier by Augusta artist Paul Pearman, and an eight-foot wooden carving of a ship by Dr. Travis Smith, Augusta University Assistant Professor of General Dentistry.
Alumni and others are invited to visit the gallery at 1430 John Wesley Gilbert Drive, Augusta, Ga. 30912. For more information, contact the Dean’s Office at 706-721-2117.