North Central Arkansas Art Gallery Featured Artist:Mark Davis Feature Artist
The North Central Arkansas (NCA) Art Gallery features an artist each month. We want you to get better acquainted with our Artists. This month Mark Davis is the feature artist. His paintings that are now hanging in the Gallery are four oil paintings titled Ole Bullet, Red Shed, Summer Fires of British Columbia, and Lily Pond. He has been married to Laura for 41 years. His wife Laura gave him a set of oil paints their first Christmas and his love for oil painting began. When he went to college at Harding, he took some courses in ceramics and jewelry making but at this time no formal training in drawing or painting. It was from his time at Harding that he learned of this area and its beauty. Upon graduation in 1981 he and Laura moved to Fairfield Bay. He was so busy building a practice that there was no time for art. Mark retired after practicing dentistry in Fairfield Bay for 36 years. He said, “I was fortunate to meet many wonderful patients, whom I love to this day.” They have one daughter, Erin Mize, who is also artistic, and operates a graphic design business from her home. She and her husband Josh are parents of their 18-month old grandson, Davis. He says he looks forward to spending time with him in the woods and fields when he’s a little older. He & wife Laura live on a farm just north of Shirley with dogs, chickens, a turkey, guineas, miniature donkeys, and cattle.
Mark’s mother inspired his love of art from an early age. As He grew older, he loved nature and hunting. He taught himself taxidermy from a mail-order course, and began doing pen and ink drawings. Upon seeing Bill Garrison’s gallery showing at the Indian Hills Country Club in 2001, and later taking a painting workshop from him, it renewed his interest in art. Artists Bill and his wife Gloria motivated him and became his mentors. Mark later had the opportunity to hone his skills by taking classes with Bruce Peil, Jason Socran, Duane Hada, and Tim Tyler. Mark said “I’ve taken some of these artists to obscure local spots to be inspired by the creeks and mountains, and have enjoyed seeing the paintings they’ve done as a result.”
Mark attends workshops whenever he can, but as his mentors have told him, it is by painting regularly that one improves as an artist. Mark is a member and Vice President of the NCAAL art group, and enjoys painting with local artists and helping promote art in this area. He has a passion for hunting that has taken him all over the globe. Mark said, “I love to travel and meet people from various cultures and circumstances. Hunting these wild places has allowed me to see things off the grid that the average traveler would never experience. As I get older, it is more difficult for me to climb the mountains, but the view from the top is always worth it. In September in the Yukon, a horse accident left me with several broken ribs, but I toughed it out, and was able to take a beautiful Dall sheep. One of my favorite sayings is “It’s a wonderful life,” and I hope to be able to enjoy it for many more years.” Mark is now thinking towards his next paintings for the NCA Art Gallery’s new exhibit April 9th.
About the NCA Art Gallery:
The North Central Arkansas (NCA) Art Gallery Mission is tobring quality Fine Art to our community with good taste & family values.The artists are professionals as well as emerging new artists. The artwork is open to all Artists and chosen by a selection committee under the direction of Art Coordinator, Charlotte Rierson.
Art Gallery hours are Tue. – Fri., 9am-4pm(However, when we have conferences, meetings, weddings, events, entertainment, or visitors coming for information about The Bay, the art is available for viewing). The viewing of the Art is open & free of charge to the public. All art is available for purchase. The NCA Art Gallery is sponsored by the North Central Arkansas Foundation for the Arts & Education (NCAF&E) and The City of Fairfield Bay. For more information or purchase of artwork, contact NCA Art Coordinator, Charlotte Rierson – 501-884-6100, email [email protected] or Conference Center Director Wilba Thompson for more information- 501-884-4202, [email protected], 110 Lost Creek Parkway, Fairfield Bay 72088.