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David Ribar showcases his work in Leu Art Gallery

Professor David Ribar is showcasing his vibrant history as an artist in Nashville in a Leu Art Gallery exhibit spanning the last 40 years of his career.

A crowd of Belmont students, alumni and aspiring artists gathered Thursday afternoon in the Leu Art Gallery to hear Ribar give an insightful and lighthearted reflection on his career as both an artist and a professor.

Ribar approaches art by accurately depicting things he could not explain with words, he said.

“If anything, an artist is a question-asker, not a problem-solver,” Ribar said. “Looking at the art I have to show you, I don’t have the answers, but I have really good questions, I think.”

The exhibit, called “David Ribar: A Semi-Retrospective,” includes numerous pieces of art from throughout Ribar’s career, including detailed oil pastel drawings, eye-catching collages and a vivid series of interpretations of the Stations of the Cross.


Ribar’s methods in creating art are as varied as the works themselves, with some of his pieces being drawn from a figure, others being entirely abstract, and others still being colorful digital prints created in Photoshop.

“Photoshop gives you the benefits of the psychedelic without any of the nasty side effects,” Ribar said.

Works like “Dynosynchlasticinfandibulum” highlight the intensity with which spirituality and art can collide, utilizing explosive, saturated colors and layered geometric patterns to evocative effect.

On the other hand, with works like “Some Kinda Mistycal,” Ribar uses a variety of materials such as wood, pins and acrylic to create pieces that add physical depth and texture to his lively imagery.

With plans to retire in May, Ribar happily expressed a conviction to take more naps and read more books; however, his time as a professor at Belmont is significant to him, he said.

“I got to say things that were, to me, at the core of human existence and the things that animate it.”

“David Ribar: A Semi-Retrospective” is is on display at the Leu Art Gallery and will be available for students to view until May 3.

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This article written by Justin Wagner.

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