Jelisa Davis is a Chicago-born artist who is fascinated with the often avoided but inescapable power of the subconscious. She explores ideas that personally allow herself to revisit childhood memories and moments of anxiety through surrealistic painting and self-portraiture.
Davis graduated from Chicago State University in 2016, where she studied studio art, unearthed her love for painting, and grew a great appreciation for surrealism and the freedom to visually manipulate reality. Davis is often influenced by scenarios, objects, and interpretations of anxiety dreams and their relevance to the internal fears in her waking life. She often depicts imagery from her reocurring nightmares such as human eyes, spirals, and spiders. From 2016-2019, Davis was a teaching artist for public art organization, Green Star Movement, where she collaborated with artists to create beautiful mosaic murals in various communities and public spaces around Chicago. Later, she became an instructor for various art programs for After School Matters, which developed her love for teaching art. From 2019-2021, she was the lead instructor for ASM programs at the Chicago Mosaic School. Davis is currently a visual arts instructor at the Lillstreet Art Center and the Fortson Art and Music Education Center. She desires to pursue further education in art education and art therapy.
Davis’s work has been exhibited in the Hyde Park Art Center’s D’Angelo Art Library in 2021, the Gallery of Contemporary Mosaics in 2020, Savage Smyth in 2018, 33 Contemporary Gallery of the Zhou B Art Center and Sanctuary Cafe in 2017, and Phantom Gallery in 2016. Her work was also featured in Arts and Cultural Strategies online magazine in 2016 and 2017.