Meet Daniel Davis


Daniel Davis will never forget when he first discovered his love of painting. The year was 1966 and he was living in Akron, Ohio, when he happened to pass the window of a local art store.

“I saw this book, How to Paint, in the window,” he recalls. “It cost $1. It told you how to paint landscapes. It told me I needed brushes, I needed paper and I needed some paint. So, I bought those things, went home, looked out my window and just started painting what I saw.”

Soon, he moved beyond landscapes, putting to paper things he would find around the house. He would move to Baltimore for work, yet his love of painting continued to grow.

Today, Daniel is retired from his job as an engineer, yet painting continues to be his passion. In 2010, after joining the gym at the Edward A. Myerberg Center he learned about the Myerberg’s art classes from a friend.

Every Wednesday, Dan can be found in front of a canvas at the art studio. From 10:00 a.m. until around noon, Dan and his fellow class-mates experiment with paints — Dan favors oils — while enjoying an art class that is as much about the friendships as it is the art.

“We have one guy,” says Dan, “He’s 88 and he comes to every class. Everyone does, really. There’s usually a very good reason why someone would miss a class.”

The Wednesday class has become quite popular and is often sold out. Dan attributes this to the social connections that have formed within the class, and because everyone in the class rejoins.

“It’s really become a wonderful group of friends.”

Beyond the classroom, Dan and his painting friends visit a locally owned café that’s popular in the community, on Wednesday afternoons. In the past couple of years, the class started to go on trips, visiting museums and other cities.

“We’ll go off and take trips – in January we are taking a trip to Philadelphia, see the new home of the Barnes Foundation. It’s nice because spouses sometimes come along too. I like to say though, you need a physical for this class! We’re so active.”

For Dan and other students of the various art classes at The Myerberg, a biannual art show gives everyone the opportunity to show off what they’ve worked on throughout the year. Dan and a few other members prepare the show, collecting submissions, artist names and figure out how best to display as many as 175 works of art.

“Each person typically gets three paintings,” explains Dan, “one in each of the major hallways.”

This rule, Dan says, gives everyone the chance to show off a little more of their work, instead of having to choose just one painting. The class instructors will submit to the show as well. One of Dan’s pieces is a recreation of a painting he did years ago, depicting a game he used to play in New York with other kids in his neighborhood.

Take a walk through the halls and you’ll find everything from abstract paintings to portraits, landscapes and so much more. Other mediums, like ceramics, are displayed in a showcase near Myerberg’s Tech-Knowledge Hub. Near the Myerberg’s library entrance is a project that Dan is particularly proud of – a collection of still life paintings, arranged together to form a larger piece, contributed by him and other art students.

“Painting,” says Dan “is sometimes all you can think about. Nothing else matters. You could be trying to figure out how to incorporate a shape, a dimension, a feeling. When you get it, it’s exciting. It’s a wonderful feeling.”

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