Friday, March 28, 2014

Art and Installation photos from "Joyride" at Public Functionary

Ostriches, 4x4', acrylic/graphite on panel, 2014.

I just made an epic blog post over at to show all of the artwork and a bunch of installation/party photos from my art exhibition at Public Functionary in Minneapolis.

This show represents the culmination of my carousel project. Swing by and check it out here!

The painting above was based on this guy I saw at the Carousel and Folk Art Museum at Heritage Gardens in Sandwich, MA. (I wrote a bit about my visit here.)

These guys:
Horses, 4x4', acrylic/graphite on panel, 2014

were based on this horse from the Paragon Carousel in Hull, Ma. (Blogged about that visit here.)

Lots more where those came from (including paintings based on the following) over here.

George L. Fox sculpture at Heritage Gardens in Sandwich, Ma.

Goat from Trimper's carousel in Ocean City, MD. (My notes here.)

Tough guy lion also from Heritage Gardens.

Frog from Trimper's carousel in Ocean City, MD. (My notes here.)

I never actually got to see this pig from Fete Paradiso (as it wasn't open when I went through NY) but I got permission to use fabulous photos for painting reference via @weiweistyle.) 

Rooster from Trimper's carousel in Ocean City, MD. (My notes here.)

Friday, March 21, 2014

PSSST! Print Pre-Release!

UPDATE 3/22/14: The print is now live and you can buy it right here
Here's a detail:

I'm releasing a BIG print from my show Jennifer Davis: Joyride tomorrow (3/22/14) at noon CST!
Big THANK YOUS to The Jealous Curator for announcing it on her blog. 

Beginning tomorrow, Sat March 22 at 12PM CST you can get first dibs. 

Only 15 prints from the edition will be released online before the opening and the rest will be available at the opening reception.
Visit the Jealous Curator for the FULL SCOOP.

Friday, March 14, 2014

"Joyride" opens at Public Functionary 3/22/14!

I just sent out my March 2014 Newsletter with a little peek at my exhibition:

I'm happy to announce my new solo exhibition featuring ten of my largest paintings ever-


Opening Reception: Sat, March 22

at  Public Functionary

"Public Functionary is pleased to announce its first exhibit of 2014, featuring new work by Minneapolis-based painter, Jennifer Davis.

In the summer of 2013, Jennifer Davis set out on an 8-cities-in-8-days research trip to study, photograph and sketch antique carousel animals and classic vignette paintings. “Joyride” is the product of the findings: a complete body of large-scale paintings inspired by vintage carousel animals and traditional carousel vignette paintings. Davis hasn't previously been compelled to create a series of works based on any specific theme, nor has she attempted to create works of this scale. With a 15+ year history as a painter, Davis liberates her own conventions with this much anticipated new body of work featuring large-scale paintings that abandon comfort for an exploration of the next level."
In 2012 I was awarded a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council/ McKnight Foundation
"Next Step Grant" for "funding to research, create, and document a body of large-scale paintings based on vintage carousel animals and traditional carousel vignette paintings."

In the summer of 2013 I set out on a road trip to visit eight states in eight days and dozens of vintage carousels (built in the early 1900s) along the US Eastern seaboard.

I documented my travels/research via blog at

See how cuckoo I am for carousels?
For this exhibition I'll be showing the results of my project-
* ten 4x4' paintings celebrating my love of creepy/crazy vintage carousel animals

(Mysteriously blurry in attempt to entice you to visit them in person!)

* 8 smaller oval shaped paintings featuring my take on traditional carousel vignette paintings

* and some other fun surprises!

I hope you can join me for the celebration of my biggest solo exhibition ever!

(If you can't make it in person I hope you'll swing by my blog to check out all of the artwork. I'll post everything right after the reception.)


Jennifer Davis * Joyride

at Public Functionary in Minneapolis (map)

OPENING RECEPTION : Sat, March 22, 2014 7pm- midnight
ARTIST TALK : Sat, March 29, 1pm
RUN DATES : 3/22 - 4/25
GALLERY HOURS : Thursdays: 2pm-7pm
 Fridays: 8pm-12am (PF Takeovers*)
Saturdays: 12pm-4pm


* Each Friday night will feature special events in partnerships with local groups and organizations under the PF Takeover Series. Event Details TBA.

This activity was made possible, in part, by funds provided by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) through a grant from the McKnight Foundation. THANK YOU, MRAC and McKnight!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Preparing to Paint

My big, giant panels are here and they are almost too purty to paint! 
Giant cat for scale. 
Thank you to Jason Nash for building these beautiful 4x4' mounted panels.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dr. Floyd L. Moreland's Carousel

Last week I wrote about my visit to the boardwalk in Seaside Heights New Jersey which was devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Yesterday I read an article about the man responsible for the most recent restoration of the carousel, Dr. Floyd L. Moreland.  He lost his home, his carousel collection, shop inventory and 1000s of books (classics) in the storm. I was so moved by the article and accompanying video. I wanted to share it here:

"Man who saved Seaside carousel not sure if he'll stay in deserted Ortley Beach"
Read the full article from the Asbury Park Press here.
Click here to watch this video.

THANK YOU, Dr. Moreland for all you have done to save the carousel. It is so beautiful and I enjoyed my visit so much. I wish you the very best in your next chapter.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

One Last 'Round!

On day 8 we were scheduled to fly out of BOS (where we started) back home to MSP. Lucky for us our flight was delayed three times (!?) so we got an extra day to spend exploring.

I discovered there is a Carousel Restoration Expert right in the town of Hull so I swung by his shop for a visit. It was dark but I snapped a few pics through the window. Really sad that I didn't get to chat with him.

We walked around town:
A view from the hill- you can just barely see Boston in the distance.

Hmmm..."settled by the Puritans" is one way of putting it... At any rate- Hull is OLD!

Nantasket is Nantastic!

Hanging out in Boston with ol' snaggle tooth and ol' blue eyes.

Our flight followed the sunset home so this was my view for most of the ride. A beautiful site for reflecting. 

I am so excited to get back into the studio and MAKE SOME ART! 
More on that here very soon...stay tuned, won't you?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Last Day of Carousel-ing...OR IS IT???

(In the voice of that one guy on Dateline.)

Day 7 of our trip included visits to two more carousels- the last ones on our agenda.
We hated to leave our amazing room at The Ocean Club on Smuggler's Beach in Yarmouth, MA.
(I've been saving up hotel credits for almost two years in anticipation of a free night- A splurge for Brad's birthday!)

I want to live in this little apartment overlooking the beach!

(Regarding the name of the hotel.)

Adorable neighborhood cat doing naughty cat things in a garden.

First stop was the carousel at Cape Cod Carousel and Funhouse Arcade in Hyannis, MA. This was the only carousel we visited that had all metal animals. It was also the newest of the "vintage" carousels we saw- built in 1957 by Allan Herchell.

LOL FunnyBunny- you're scaring the brown horse!

Where's Waldo?

Wonderful World, indeed.

The last carousel turned out to be one of my favorites! (I was asked to "Calm Down." Heeeeee!) The Paragon Carousel in Hull, MA has been in operation at Nantasket Beach for more than 80 years. Built in 1928 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Co. it is a "Grand Carousel" (it has four rows of animals.) It has 35 of the ORIGINAL paintings, 15 carved cherubs and ladies, and a Wurlitzer Band Organ. The Paragon Park amusement park of the early 1900s closed in 1984 and the carousel is the only ride that remains.

An old-timey view of the park. *sigh* via Wiki
The carousel house today.



If anyone needs to calm down it is the guy with the flag. What the?!

The Wurlitzer.

Two white horses pulling a chariot.

The colors on this carousel- I'm dying.

Cherubs, butterflies, lights- oh, my!


 That was the last stop so we had a toast on the beach. I swore I wouldn't say the word "carousel" for a good while.

Cheers to Brad! My hero rockstar traffic master!

Stay tuned to find out how long I went without blabbing about carousels. ;0)
Thank you for reading!