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Badgerhound brings thought-provoking art to Shepherdstown

By Staff | Jan 11, 2019

Badgerhound Studio and Gallery owners Michael T. Davis, left, and Emily Vaughn show off some of their art pieces, "Modern Day Presidential II" and "Merdach," respectively, inside of their business at 110 West German Street. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — In the almost four years since it was opened at 110 West German Street, The Badgerhound Studio and Gallery has become a fixture in town.

Run by fiances and business partners Michael T. Davis and Emily Vaughn, The Badgerhound sets itself apart from the other art galleries in town, as it mainly exhibits the work of Davis and Vaughn. It also, uniquely, is named after the breed of one of the couple’s two dogs.

“The Badgerhound kind of sounds like an old English pub,” Davis said, with a smile, mentioning the couple’s dachshund, Fredo, is the dog pictured on the business’ sign.

Davis, a West Virginia native and Shepherd University graduate, met Vaughn in Baltimore, where Vaughn graduated with her bachelor’s degree in general fine arts from the Maryland Institute College of Arts and he completed a graduate certificate course from the Schuler School of Fine Arts. At the time, Davis was in another relationship, and the two went their separate ways. But when Vaughn, who was teaching in Japan, heard he was no longer in a relationship, she reconnected with him.

After three years of long-distance dating, Vaughn returned to the U.S. Vaughn moved with Davis back to his college town, and while he chose to become a self-sustaining artist 17 years ago, she worked at Michael’s part-time for seven years, before quitting her job two years ago, to focus on her fiber art.

“It provides for a very eclectic atmosphere. We’re both just working artists supporting ourselves and making a living,” Vaughn said, mentioning she and Davis both teach and sell their work. “The goal is the same, we just have different approaches.”

According to Vaughn, quitting her job was something she had wanted to do for a while, but she didn’t feel any urgency to do so until the 2016 general election.

“The panic finally pushed me into being a full-time artist. It seemed like a good impetus, to put that energy into my work,” Vaughn said.

Since then, both she and Vaughn have created works contemplating political issues, some of which have been so popular, they have turned into a series, such as Davis’ “Modern Day Presidential” series of paintings.

“We both really influence each other,” Vaughn said, before describing an exhibition she plans to open in March, related to the Rockwool plant controversy.

According to Davis, community members are encouraged to come in and check out the gallery, so they can get a better picture of the business’ art and see the artists at work.

“Trying to get people to come in here and look around can be difficult,” Davis said, mentioning his art can also be viewed on Instagram, at michaeltdavis.fineart, and both his and Vaughn’s work can be seen at badgerhoundgallery.

The Badgerhound Studio and Gallery is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment. To learn more, visit www.facebook.com/BadgerHoundStudio/, emilyvaughnfineart.com or call 304-261-6028.