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Conversations with Sandra Davis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandra Davis. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I am a mixed media visual artist. I have created art for as long as I can remember. I graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1981 and did not pick up my art practice again until 2009 after getting laid off from Bank of America. All of a sudden I had the time. Getting married at 21 and raising 2 boys while being the primary wage earner for the family, the art career took a back seat. Today I am very involved in the Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia art community, where I participate in exhibitions throughout the area. My art has a social justice focus, women of color, some abstract and work with fabric. Repurposing materials is another facet of my art. Discarded materials have a way of showing up in my work, newspapers, magazines, wrapping paper and even fabric are just an example. Friends and family love to give me used books, cards and magazines to incorporate in my work. I have a great love of creating art on various surfaces, tabletops, boxes, and some of the art has been used to create a series of cards, scarves and kimonos.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
My journey has required me to be patient. I have to carve out time in the evenings and weekends to create art. I still work full-time in the financial services area with Bank of America to ensure I am able to support my family financially. My art practice has not blossomed into a full-time career at this time, but that is a goal! Most artists want to have their work seen, respected and purchased. Participating in exhibitions throughout the area is what has worked best for me. During the first year of the pandemic,virtual platforms were very instrumental in getting my art seen and sold.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I have taken my art into Women’s Shelters, community centers, and various art spaces throughout the Greater Washington area. I have been highlighted in the local Gaithersburg MD quarterly magazine for my work on the exhibition Why I Vote in 2020, which celebrated the Women’s Right to Vote Centennial, and featured in the Montgomery Magazine as an African American artist living in Montgomery County MD. My work was also highlighted at Bank of America during the 2020 civil unrest atmosphere of this country allowing for courageous conversation sparked by the art. I continue to be an active participant in the Gaithersburg Art community. One of the most fulfilling areas for me is my participation with the Women’s Caucus for Art in the Greater Washington area and the national organization. My role as the membership chair and co-exhibition chair has kept the members involved in virtual exhibitions, artist interviews, and recruitment of diversity within the local and national chapters. In 2016, I partnered with my husband on The Davis Project where I curated a one-day exhibition with artists highlighting what mental health looks like. My solo exhibition at the Interfaith Women’s Shelter even allowed me to conduct collage workshops with the residents and staff. This led to another collaboration that involved the residents where the collages were on exhibit at the JCC Bender Gallery in Rockville MD in 2019. I am most proud of the interview series that began in 2021 that highlighted artists from the area via Zoom and Facebook live. This will continue throughout 2022 as well. The biggest compliment an artist can receive is when curators reach out to you and ask you to participate.

What are your plans for the future?
My future plans will be to continue to exhibit throughout our area and outside of the DMV with opportunities for solos and group shows. There are 3 exhibitions that I am curating and overseeing for the late summer and fall of 2022. My goal is to gain new collectors of my work and to eventually transition to creating art full time. I am also competing for grants and other financial support to help finance future projects. My work will continue to concentrate on women, African American experiences, social injustices, education, and family. It is important as an artist to continue learning, trying new techniques and working on and with unique materials and surfaces.

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Aaron Davis

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1 Comment

  1. Karen C

    February 4, 2022 at 2:04 pm

    Great interview with Sandra Davis, a proactive artist who is well known in our community of female artists!

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