July 10 – ALBANY – Albany State University announced in a press release that an art exhibit for “Memories and Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art,” celebrating the passion of an ordinary couple who have spent more than 35 years as devoted connoisseurs, building a collection of vivid works of art that are both resonant and remarkably personal, will be on display at the Arthur R. Berry Gallery in the center of the fine arts ASU Dr. Joseph W. Holley through August 24.
Normal gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, or by appointment. Interested persons may contact Charles Williams at [email protected] to inquire about individual or group tours.
“Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art” consists of 67 works selected from a body of art accumulated over 35 years. Kerry Davis, a retired postman, and Betty Davis, a former television news producer, willingly gave up many ordinary comforts to live with extraordinary paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures as their chief luxuries.
Their collection includes works by Romare Bearden, Beverly Buchanan, Elizabeth Catlett, Ernest T. Crichlow, Sam Gilliam, Loïs Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Gordon Parks, Alma Thomas and Charles White, but the Davises are not exclusively looking for well-known works and/or documented artists. Rather, say the Davises, they focus on the more meaningful task of bringing together and preserving a range of artistic approaches to the black image, in order to console the psyche and contribute to a more authentic articulation of the self.
The result is an eclectic collection of pieces crossing different media, subjects and styles by a group of African diaspora artists who – in terms of training, experience and expression – are strikingly diverse yet unified in their use of narratives. cultural and historical.
As their collection grew, the Davises retained memories of discovering new works of art, forming friendships with artists, and conversing with museum professionals and other collectors in their homes. “Memories & Inspiration” brings together an impressive selection of works, but it is their personal resonance – their connection to the hopes, passions and daily lives of the Davises – that gives the collection its unique power.
Kerry Davis, originally from Atlanta, is a former United States Air Force Sergeant, retired United States Postal Service carrier, and ordained deacon. He began collecting art in the mid-1980s in partnership with his wife, Betty, who shared his passion.
Originally started with the modest goal of improving the interior design of their mid-century two-level home in suburban Atlanta, the Davises’ collection has grown to over 300 works by some of the most popular Afro artists. -the most distinguished Americans of the 20th century. Inspired by previous generations of African American art collectors who understood the importance of preserving cultural expression, memory and imagery, Davis sought to contribute to this legacy and be an inspiration to other members of the community.
The Davis Residence – dubbed a “home museum” by neighbors, parishioners and visiting friends – serves as a meeting place and cultural center for artists, collectors and art lovers. Kerry and Betty have two children and a granddaughter.
International Arts & Artists in Washington, DC, is a nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally, through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, art institutions and the public. For more information, visit ArtsandArtists.org.