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CJ Davis

Project Type



April 2023

CJ Davis is a Mexican American painter living in Northern Virginia. She is currently a BFA student concentrating in interArts at George Mason University's School of Art. In 2021, she was chosen to do a Tedx talk with George Mason University, on how there is a lack of diversity in the art world, and how to resolve it. ‘Art Looks Better in Color’ is her breakout Tedx talk. One of her major debut exhibitions was from the show she curated with UndocuMason, “Establishing Roots and Resisting Illegality”. This show illuminated the importance of advocacy within art. Davis grew up in a unique cultural mixing bowl, with a southern American father and an immigrant Mexican mother. The stark realities between family identity and political affiliations left her ashamed and confused about her identity. At the age of 12, she began to immerse herself into art. By the age of 17, she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disease that sends false pain signals to the nervous system. She had to grapple with giving up her art, due to the immense pain it caused her. She lost 60% of the strength in her arms and hands. By 18, she was able to overcome it, and regain her strength, as well as finally accept her Mexican identity. Later on, Davis was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and PTSD due to traumatic events between the ages of 16 and 20. These events inspired her to advocate on campus for others who had been in similar situations. She wanted to advocate for mental health, especially for those who are in BIPOC communities. Davis makes paintings that respond to the intersectionality of her identity and her struggles with mental and physical health, as well as trauma. She is very inspired by how intersectionality affects perspectives, and how important it is to empower others who are struggling with very real issues that are invisible to the human eye.

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