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Mixed media art opens season at Young Harris College 

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Mixed-media art is about seeing art in things that many people might not – a faded photograph, scrap of yarn or even a wallet. Making art from objects like this is something Dariana Dervis has been doing for close to 20 years.

The Birmingham, AL, based artist is currently showing at the Campus Gate Art Gallery at Young Harris College. Her show – Threads of Inheritance – is the first of many for the College’s 2023-2034 season. The show will be at the Campus Gate Art Gallery through Sept. 21. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

I am like the crow – always collecting shiny treasures fallen from the pockets of a world passing by,” said Dervis. “I thoughtfully assemble reflections of my journey, my emotions and my truth. Each scrap of paper, every fragile insect wing and every borrowed beauty is artfully paired with something else – neighbors in a community, stitches of a tapestry. Evidence that we, too, are sometimes quietly lost until nestled within our assembled and interwoven lives. Each collage records my personal path and mirrors the soul of each receptive eye that sees it.”

Dervis’ art takes many shapes – collections of elements hung in a pattern on a wall, a small house built from a collection of hand-written letters, or even a wallet formed into a book.

“I got the idea from my dad’s wallet, or really any wallet or purse. We keep all kinds of mementos in our wallets – photos, ticket stubs, scraps of paper,” Dervis said. “So, the wallet or purse is like a story or book about our life.” 

Dervis has been interested in art all her life. Inspired by nature, she delights in mining beauty from the ordinary to create the extraordinary. Her artwork explores the ways we are connected to the landscapes in which we live and also to one another. 

“I’m fascinated with our life memories and the story behind them,” she said, at the show’s opening Aug. 24. “It all relates to personal history and what speaks to me when I look at it. 

 I’m humbled to be here. It’s a vulnerable place to be in when you put all your work out for others to look at,” she added. “I hope everyone enjoys it.” 

About Young Harris College

Young Harris College is a private baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting institution located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires, and empowers students through an education that purposefully integrates the liberal arts and professional studies. The College has four academic divisions: Fine Arts; Humanities; Mathematics, Science, and Technology; and Professional Studies. Approximately 1,400 students are enrolled in its residential and Early College programs. The College is an active member of the NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the Conference Carolinas. For more information, visit