Topics: Foundation, Giving, President

September 8, 2021

One Ball State Day

The David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, will exhibit Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art, from September 23 through December 22, 2021.

Memories & Inspiration presents more than 60 selected works from a body of art amassed over 35 years by Kerry and C. Betty Davis. 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.

Kerry, a retired mailman, and Betty, a former television news producer, sacrificed many comforts in order to live with extraordinary paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures. The result of their sacrifices is an eclectic collection of pieces, in various mediums and of differing subjects and styles, by a diverse group of artists of the African Diaspora. These artists—in terms of training, experience, and expression—are unified in their use of cultural and historical narratives. 

This special exhibition was made possible by support from the Friends of the David Owsley Museum of Art; Arts Alive, presented by College of Fine Arts; and the Sursa Fund of the College of Fine Arts at Ball State University.

Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art was organized and toured by International Arts & Artists in Washington, D.C.

The David Owsley Museum of Art grants permission to use the exhibition images for the timely publication of the exhibition under the following conditions:

  • The artwork will not be cropped, detailed, overprinted, or altered; and
  • Each work will be fully credited with the captions provided in the PDF also in the folder.

About the David Owsley Museum of Art

Free and open to the public, the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University houses a world art collection with over 11,000 works from Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, Europe, and the Americas. DOMA cultivates lifelong learning and recreation in the visual arts through exciting interdisciplinary art exhibitions with engaging displays of the permanent collection in an educational environment that serves both the University and the East Central Indiana region.

  • Website: bsu.edu/DOMA
  • Location: 2021 W. Riverside Avenue, Muncie, Indiana
  • Visitor hours: Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Parking is available at the McKinley Parking Garage, and MITS bus stops are nearby. DOMA is in the Fine Arts Building on the northern side of Ball State University’s Quad. For more information, call the museum at 765-285-5242 or email artmuseum@bsu.edu.

About The Davis Collection

Kerry Davis, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is a former sergeant of the United States Air Force, a retired carrier with the United States Postal Service, and an ordained deacon. He began collecting in the mid-1980s in partnership with his wife, Betty, who shared his passion for art. Begun originally with the modest aim of enhancing the interior decor of their mid-century split-level home in suburban Atlanta, the Davises’ collection has grown to over 300 works by some of the most distinguished African American artists of the twentieth century.

Inspired by previous generations of African American art collectors, who understood the importance of preserving cultural expression, memory, and imagery, Davis has sought to contribute to this legacy and be a source of inspiration for others in the community. The Davis residence—dubbed an “In-Home Museum” by visiting neighbors, parishioners, and friends—serves as a meeting place and cultural hub for artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts. Kerry and Betty have two children and one granddaughter.

International Arts & Artists in Washington, D.C., 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, arts institutions, and the public. Visit ArtsandArtists.org.

About Ball State

Founded in 1918 and located in Muncie, Ball State University is one of Indiana’s premier universities and an economic driver for the state. Ball State’s 21,600 students come from all over Indiana, the nation, and the world. The 790-acre campus is large enough to accommodate first-rate facilities and 19 NCAA Division I sports, but our welcoming and inclusive campus is small enough to ensure the friendliness, personal attention, and access that are the hallmarks of the University. Destination 2040: Our Flight Path establishes Ball State’s ambitious goals for our second century. We Fly!

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