The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College Professor of Art, Benjy Davies has been named as a 2017 recipient for the Individual Artist Excellence Grant. The grant was created by the Ohio Arts Council to award individuals for their involvement in the arts throughout the state of Ohio. Davies said he was honored to be recognized for his work.
“The Ohio Arts Council does a variety of activities to support arts and culture in the state. They fund art organizations to create educational outreach and award individual artists for their contributions as an artist in Ohio,” Davies said. “This specific award recognizes the achievement of some recent pieces artists have been creating. This grant is really important to a lot of artists because it helps them to continue their work and take opportunities to share it with others.”
The grant rotates mediums each year between performance and visual arts. As part of the application process, recipients are ineligible to apply for the grant’s next two-year cycle. Davies also received the grant in 2013, making this the first year he was eligible to reapply. Visual artists are required to send in recent works for review. For his application, Davies selected works from his recently self-published book, Daily Drawings, vol. 2. The chosen pieces are part of a “Daily Drawings Project,” he has been working on for nearly a decade.
“I started this project in 2008 because I feel it is important as a professor to keep working in the field while I teach, so I make a small drawing each day. This is my way to make sure I take time to be in the studio, which could be anything from my office to my home or even at a restaurant, every day,” Davies said. “Anything you do in the studio is going to help you as a teacher. It’s also very important to model the behavior we want to see in our students. We want ongoing commitment to their work to continue beyond classroom assignments, so we need to show that same dedication in our own artwork.”
Davies said the OAC’s recognition of artists shows the organizations dedication to promoting art and supporting art programs such as Rio’s School of Arts and Letters.
“The OAC uses this grant to acknowledge artists for what they are passionate about. Artists often work isolated in a studio, so to have that recognition showing those hours and our work matters to someone is very gratifying. The organization does really important work to promote the arts in the state and this is a reflection of that effort,” Davies said. “I’m also grateful to Rio and our administration for the support they show everyone in this department, not only as employees and faculty, but as artists in our community.”
For more information on the School of Arts and Letters, contact the Office of Admissions at 740-245-7208.