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CJ Davis


Artist Bio:

CJ Davis is a dynamic force in the art world, bringing her Mexican American heritage and personal experiences to the forefront of her work. Currently residing in Northern Virginia, CJ's journey as a painter has been marked by a commitment to diversity, advocacy, and healing through art.

After completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art & Visual Technology at George Mason University's School of Art, CJ quickly made her mark with a powerful TEDx talk in 2021. Titled 'Art Looks Better in Color', it addressed the glaring lack of diversity in the art world, sparking important conversations on inclusion and representation.

Her impact only grew with her second TEDx talk in 2022, "Hurting Hearts to Hear and Heal", where she bravely shared her own struggles with mental illness within the BIPOC community, showcasing how art became her avenue for healing.

Beyond the TEDx stage, CJ is actively involved in workshops and speaking engagements, championing intersectionality in art and advocating for marginalized communities. Notably, her collaboration with UndocuMason resulted in the curated exhibition "Establishing Roots and Resisting Illegality", shedding light on the importance of advocacy in art. She is Vice President and a founding member of The Healing Artist Collective, an art therapy oriented artist collective based in Northern VA, which have put on multiple art shows in VA, DC and Maryland.

In 2023, CJ added 'author' to her list of accomplishments with the publication of her book, 'Resurrection: Returning to Roots from Trauma'. This deeply personal account explores how art became her lifeline during a period of domestic violence, resonating with audiences in Northern Virginia and beyond.

Outside of her artistic endeavors, CJ's commitment to social change extends to her work in the non-profit sector, where she collaborates with grassroots organizations to advance education for undocumented individuals, immigrants, and survivors of domestic violence.

CJ Davis continues to be a beacon of creativity, resilience, and activism, using her art as a catalyst for meaningful change in both the local community and the wider world.

Artist Statement:


Color makes the medicine go down. I do not use the color black in my paintings, instead using every other color. I try to explore the intersection of color and emotion, and trick the eye. My subject matter can be very dark, as I mainly illustrate living with mental illness, chronic pain, and traumatic events such as domestic violence and sexual assault. Using immense color allows the viewer to walk away with a resolve. The contrast between humor and dark subject matter is another major theme that juxtaposes throughout the works as well. Without humor, coping is much harder. 

I also focus on the intersectionality of identity, and how disability, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, and race affect me in everyday life. I take the subject matter, and try to stage compositions that force the viewer to take a different perspective about a person or object. Being a Mexican American woman, I have never fit in easily. Being disabled with mental and physical illnesses, made it even harder. I always struggled with internalizing these things, until I met my high school art teacher. I learned about expressionism, and was inspired by the ability to display emotion, and empower myself through visual means. I did not want to stop at just empowering myself, but empowering others. I believe the intersectionality of all identities is a powerful resource to inspire people to think in new perspectives, and truly empathize with them. I work in acrylic paint and ink are the main mediums I use to portray these themes.

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