Willis Bing Davis Gallery Talk
On the Shoulders of Ancestors
In the East Gallery
of the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette
February 16, Noon
FREE to Members and students with ID
February 16, 3 pm
at The Purdue University Black Cultural Center
Bing Davis Talk
on The Joy of Being Alive
Willis Bing Davis was born in Greer, South Carolina but grew up in Dayton, Ohio where he lives today. He attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, graduating in 1959. He also attended the school of the Dayton Art Institute and received his Master of Education degree in 1967 from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Davis also pursued graduate study at Indiana State University from 1975-1976. His career as an educator includes: teaching in the Dayton Public School System; Teaching at DePauw and Miami Universities; and twenty years at Central State University (CSU) in Wilberforce, Ohio. While at CSU, Mr. Davis was also Chair of the Art Department and Director of the Paul Robeson Cultural and Performing Arts Center. He has also served as an artist-in-residence for the School of Education at the University of Dayton, and visiting scholar at Wright State University. He is Acting Treasurer of National Conference of Artists (NCA).
Davis’ record as an artist and a curator is equally illustrious, including exhibitions at Studio Museum of Harlem, American Craft Museum, Renwick Gallery, Maryland Institute College of Art, Savannah College of Art and Design, Anacostia Museum, National Museum of Art of Senegal West Africa, United States Embassy Accra, Ghana and Museum fur Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts, Frankfurt, Germany.
His art can be found in public and private collections in the USA, England, China, Japan, France, Australia, plus Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, and Gabon on the Continent of Africa.
Bing’s 40 plus years of teaching art included elementary, high school, and universities. His creative and innovative approach to teaching, learning, and human development through the arts resulted in his receiving state, national and international acclaim, including Ohio Art Educator of the Year, Individual Artist of the Year, Ohio Designer Craftsman of the year, and the Ohio Governor’s Irma Lazarus Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, the highest art award given in the state of Ohio.
He participated in the recent Stop Asking: We Exist exhibition of African-American craft art at the Society for Contemporary Crafts in Pittsburgh and was curator for the popular and groundbreaking exhibition Uncommon Beauty in Common Objects: The Legacy of African American Craft Art that toured the United States in the mid-1990’s, organized by the National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center in Wilberforce, OH.
Since retiring from teaching in 1998, he has opened the Davis Art Studio and EbonNia Gallery in the historic Wright-Dunbar Business District where fine arts and crafts are produced by Bing, Audrey, and son, Derrick Davis. Youth and community art and cultural activities are coordinated through SHANGO: Center for the Study of African American Art and Culture (501C3).