At last night’s Crafty Mart Beach Bash fundraiser, the group unveiled the inaugural Jennifer Davis Award for Fostering Creative Community, which was awarded to none other than Jennifer Davis.
A handful of representatives from local organizations including Akron / Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau, ArtsNow, Akron Art Museum, Crafty Mart and the University of Akron banded together recently to nominate Davis for the Governor’s Awards for Arts in Ohio in the category of Arts Education. Unfortunately, the honor was not bestowed upon her, although her reaction to seeing the recommendation letters written for her would have made you think she had won.
Davis is well-known for her pop culture painting parties (including the likes of Bill Murray and David Bowie), her creative programs at the Akron Art Museum, and as a founding member of the Akron Craft + Social Club which hosts monthly creative activities while raising funds for charitable causes.
“Jen is more than an art educator,” said Brit Charek, executive director of Crafty Mart, “She’s the type of person who makes everyone feel comfortable– whether they’re 8 or 80, whether they’re a classically trained artist or a newbie.”
Not only does she strive to help her students in ability, but her focus on process over product has had a therapeutic effect on hundreds of Akronites.
Davis, who was surprised with the honor, was awarded a handmade plaque and a cash award. The award was funded by generous donations from Davis’ fans as well as a portion of each ticket sold to the event. The leftover funds will be used to sustain the award as an annual honor given to a person that embodies Davis’s sparkly spirit and builds community through creativity.
Davis runs smARTStudio Akron out of her home in Highland Square. To learn more, visit www.smartstudioakron.com.
To learn more about Crafty Mart and the programs they have in place to support artist entrepreneurs, visit www.craftymart.org.