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"Bing" Davis '59 Contributes Installation to Pittsburgh Art Exhibit

Willis "Bing" Davis '59

December 14, 2011

December 14, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — Among the "attention-grabbing works on display" in a new exhibit at Pittsburgh's August Wilson Center is "Willis (Bing) Davis' altar-like installation Portable Shrine in Homage to the Middle Passage," reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The story looks at "Common Ground: Affrilachia! Where I'm From," which is on display through March 17, 2012.

Of the work by Davis, a 1959 graduate of DePauw University, Kurt Shaw writes, "Taking up half of a small gallery, the piece is comprised of an accumulation of miscellaneous objects Davis, a retired DePauw and Miami of Ohio university art professor from Dayton, has collected during the past 20 years in conjunction with objects given to Davis by more than half of artists whose work is on display."

"Every time he installs this, he makes it place-specific by asking others to include something," says Cecile Shellman, artistic director of visual arts and exhibition initiatives at the center, who donated an item to be displayed. 103224"For me, it was a very spiritual experience, seeing the care he took in placing all of these objects." 

Shaw notes, "Although shrines are thought of as constructed sites filled with precious materials, Davis' shrine allows the visitor to approach a portable shrine constructed of found objects that reflect a family -- represented by several pairs of shoes placed at the center -- acknowledging their African-American heritage." (at right: Davis' Portable Shrine in Homage to the Middle Passage; photo by Jasmine Goldband/Tribune-Review)

Read more at the Tribune-Review's website.

Bing Davis became an educator after graduating from DePauw and taught at both the high school and college levels, including DePauw, Miami and Central State universities. He was featured in an article published in the September issue of Art Education, the official journal of the National Art Education Association.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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