Geri Davis is a talented artist, a community treasure who is dedicated to helping folks appreciate art in our area. She's the focus of this week's News 3 Neighbors story.
Geri considers her talent a gift from God. She says, "Whenever I start a painting I always start it by saying, 'All glory and honor is yours Almighty God. I'm being used, but the glory and honor is His.'"
She moved to Columbus in 1963 and quickly got plugged in to the community teaching art. She graduated with an art degree from Auburn University. She admits her training was invaluable. "People tell me now you're a good teacher. Well, it is because I was taught well."
Her talent has even been broadcast over the airwaves of WRBL-TV. She recalls getting a phone call from Rozell Fabiani, the host of one of the longest running public service programs in the country. Geri recalls, "Rozell called me up and wanted me to come and give an art class on television. That was a fun thing!"
Geri ran her own art school for 14 years through the continuing education program at Columbus State University. For over 40 years she taught art in the classroom at St. Anne School and Pacelli High School.
She tried to open her students' eyes to the world. In talking about her teaching philosophy, Geri says, "Everything that you look at you can find something beautiful in it, whether it be another person, a dead tree or whatever. There's beauty there to be found."
Geri recently had a birthday. She received quite a few emails and Facebook messages from former students. The theme to their notes to her was: thank you for teaching me more about life than art.
One particular piece of art that caught my attention was a black and white painting of a native American Indian. It was an expression of how Geri felt following the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
Geri describes it this way. "I couldn't tell the sadness that was in me. I couldn't tell the hurt, the confusion." So she painted.
"The painting I came up with was an American Indian with a headdress, the feathers representing the American flag. I originally didn't have the tear in his eye. The sadness was there but the tear wasn't, and the tear represented to me how I felt in my heart. So, the tear was added at the very end."
Geri uses her talent to give back. Proceeds from the sale of the prints from her painting called "Through These Portals" at Auburn University go to support the College of Liberal Arts at her alma mater.
She is currently conducting a "Y-art Sale" at the Joseph House Art Gallery in uptown Columbus on the corner of Broad and Ninth. It runs through the month of October. She's selling not only her artwork but also a lot of resource material for her paintings. Part of the proceeds will go to the art department at St. Anne School and Pacelli High School.
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