In Honor of Willis "Bing" Davis
“Someone once told me to express best what is closest to us. I think creative expression is a human endowment. What I try to do when I make art is to make things that are uniquely my own, but yet make what I see and what I experience.”Willis “Bing” Davis
The Miami Valley region is fortunate to have a renowned artist, educator, arts advocate and community servant in Willis “Bing” Davis. No living American artist better embodies the true spirit of African American art than Bing Davis. A product of the Dayton Public Schools, this world-renowned artist has had works exhibited in private and public collections in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, South Africa, England, West Africa and Russia.
A graduate of DePauw University, he taught high school art while pursuing a master’s degree at Miami University. In 1967 he accepted the position of Art Director for the Living Arts Center, an experimental after-school program for exceptional children in Dayton. There, his innovative work with young people led to national recognition. He later taught at DePauw and traveled abroad to Africa to explore traditional African Art. From 1978 until 1999, he has served as chairperson of the School of Art at Central State University and as director of the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Center.
He is an art advocate as exemplified through his participation in many arts organizations, among them, the Ohio Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and Letters for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District.
The Dayton Community has been touched and enriched by his artistry and creativity through his numerous visits to schools, community centers, churches and organizations. Bing Davis serves as an outstanding role model to inspire young people to pursue excellence.