Lindsy Davis says her art is often categorized as minimal. But to the Nashville sculptor and painter, it is anything but.
Artist: The northern New Jersey native grew up in Mahwah near the New York border with a creative mother who studied photography and a hard-working father, who owned a coffee shop.
At an early age, Davis took “Mommy & Me” ceramic classes and stayed with ceramic classes until age 14. She also had access to tools from her grandfather’s tool shop called “Tool Town.”
But her childhood and teen years were marked by hardship and sadness. Her father died suddenly of cancer in 2010. Her mother, who had a broken back, which left her bedridden for years, died of an accidental overdose in 2020.
“My art making was my only way through it, forward,” said Davis.
Even then, there were some bright spots. A high school art teacher gave her a safe space to work. And in 2008, she spent a summer at the renowned Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, MI, studying advanced drawing and painting.
She started college in 2009 and graduated with a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, where she studies sculpture, welding, woodworking and mold making. After college, Davis spent time in South Africa studying paper-making and printmaking.
Davis returned to the states and later relocated to Nashville. She worked for several years at a non-profit print shop before turning to work on her art full time.
Art & materials: Sculptures, mostly made from wood, scavenged and sustainably collected, concrete, plaster, fibers, such as horse hair. ($1,200 to $20,000). Also large-scale paintings ($2,000 to $6,000), which are often sewn and stuffed to add dimension and play with the “flat” surface of the canvas.
- Large pieces of wood that she burns for charcoal drawing.
- Her paternal grandfather’s files for sculpting wood.
- Her torch and her maternal grandfather’s pull knife, which was a lifesaver during Davis’ first public art install in 2022.
“It was exactly what I needed to get the proper leverage to skin the bark off the tree,” said Davis. “While keeping the inner wood smooth and well-shaped. I resharpen it daily, and it never lets me down.”
- Gestalt imagery and space.
- Grief, memory and nostalgia.
- Sculptors including: Isamu Noguchi, Martin Puryear, Richard Serra and Barbara Hepworth.
Awards/honors: many, including:
- Artist in residence program at the Homestead National Monument in Beatrice, NE. 2016.
- Art featured in the permanent collections of Soho House and the Four Seasons Hotel in Nashville. Her work is also in several private collections throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, and South Africa.
Special commissions: Several, including:
- A collection of six, one-of-a-kind, burnt wooden sculptures to a single collector in Los Angeles, CA.
- A series of 24 paintings on paper all displayed grid style for another single collector in California.
Recent project: “Crevice,” a public art piece for Artville, a first-time art festival in Nashville. Sept. 29 to Oct.1.
The seven-foot- tall sculpture is composed of concrete and plaster with neon accents.
- A group show at the Cleve Carney Museum of Art near Chicago IL. Oct. 7-Jan. 7.
- Solo show: “Deconstructing Dogmatic Domesticity” at Red Arrow Gallery Nashville. Nov. 4-25.
Where to buy or commission:
Get social: @LindsyDavis_