Strokes of Fame

Indiana artist Davis to exhibit
her work at Vevay Art Center

She has artwork on display
in locations around the world

VEVAY, Ind. (November 2017) – Nancie Scott Davis’ work has been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and graced the cover of books and magazines. She has two paintings on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Her pen-and-ink and pastel of a buckboard wagon and a doctor’s old-fashioned buggy is housed there. This 12th century museum also houses DaVinci’s Mona Lisa and the famous Venus de Milo.
Davis is the featured artist at the Community Art Center of Switzerland County in Vevay. She will be at the art center from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, and will have some of her works for sale plus she will have Native American artifacts to view.
You may be wondering how the work of a Hoosier artist residing in Osgood, Ind., came to be on display in Paris France.
Talent, luck and a chance meeting many years ago in Louisville, Ky., is where that journey began.

Photo by Rhonda Pennington

Artist Nancie Scott Davis resides in Osgood, Ind., and is known for her portrait paintings.

Davis and her late husband, Sid Davis, were working the sound for a bluegrass festival at the Louisville Belvedere.
There it began with a chance meeting of some French people. It started to rain, and she invited them back to their room at the Galt House. The French visitors welcomed the offer. While there, the guests spotted her artwork and portfolio in the corner. Luckily, Davis happened to have her works with her to take to an art gallery in Louisville.
The French guests asked if they could look at her work. She graciously agreed. They were impressed with her work and invited her to France. It was an all-expense paid offer for her and her family. She couldn’t refuse. Her son was thrilled with the news; he was 15 at the time and taking French.
“It was a good thing since I didn’t speak French,” she said. They had a great time and sold all the artwork she had brought.
Davis, whose father was Southern Cheyenne, began her journey in Fort Wayne, Ind. She has had a passion for art from a young age and began creating from the time she could hold a pencil. She was not the only artist in the family; her maternal grandmother and paternal great uncle were also artists. Davis’s grandmother encouraged her to pursue an art career.
It all started with her grandmother, a minister’s wife. Her grandmother commissioned her to paint a portrait of a Chinese man in exchange she would pay for her to go to art school. Davis attended the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis and continued honing her skills after college through practice, lessons and studying with other artists. Not only did she continue learning, she shared her passion and knowledge as an art teacher for 33 years.
“I love teaching and people.,” she said. “I love life and I love people.” She plans to continue sharing her talents by offering private art lessons.
Davis also does Scrimshaw and uses a variety of mediums including pastels, oils, pencils always seeing a “canvas” of anything with a flat surface. She has used gourds, parfleche (rawhide), scapula, and even feathers as a canvas for her works. She said that the feathers are tricky to paint portraits on since they move.
She is listed in the Who’s Who in American Artists. Davis is most famed as a portrait painter. Eli Lilly once commissioned her to paint a portrait. She has also been commissioned to do portraits of Indiana writer and poet James Whitcomb Riley and bluegrass musician Bill Monroe to name a few. 
“When I paint portraits, the eyes will follow you no matter where you are in the room. I try to create a mood with my paintings. The pathway to the soul is the eyes. I always do the eyes first, so I am never alone when I am painting.”
She also did work for the late Charlton Heston and more recently designed labels for Fiekerts Homestead Wine.
Davis uses her Osgood, Ind., home as a museum and art gallery for her collection. Her private gallery is not open to the public; it can be viewed by invitation only. Guests entering her home are greeted by the word, Ahwatahe, which means welcome. 
But the public will be able to view her work at the upcoming show in Vevay. The Community Art Center is located in the historic Grisard Building on the corner of Main and Ferry streets. It is a not for profit gallery offering space to showcase local artists. The Art Center features an artist each month and generally has a theme, two or three months out of the year.
This month’s theme is Native American inspired art, in which several members will be participating. Trimble County, Ky., students will be participating, too.
“I love the art center because you never know what the artists are going to create,” said board member Tim Shackleford. “The selection is always changing. We have a wide variety of artists and artisans working in various mediums. There’s a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy.”

• For more information, call the Art Center at (812) 599-4048.

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