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Meet Cherie Benner Davis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cherie Benner Davis.

Cherie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started making art as a young child at a time when I lived in another country. That was the beginning of a life-long journey. Early in college a professor encouraged me to choose art as my major. That was all I needed. I worked hard and saved in order to do this. I was fortunate to have opportunities to study both in the states and abroad.

In 1997 I completed my studies with a Master’s Degree in Fine Art from Cal State University, Long Beach. Since then I have been living and working in the Los Angeles area both as a college teacher and as a practicing artist. My studio is at my home so that when I am not teaching or engaged in other professional activities, I can be making my work (mostly oil paintings).

Doing this kind of work feeds me intellectually and psychically. It is a way in which I engage with the world and commune/communicate with others something of my experience on this planet. I feel fortunate to have it.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I chose “Artist” as my life’s profession so yes, I’ve faced my share of challenges. I worked my way through school with the goal of achieving the ability to support myself teaching college while simultaneously pursuing my personal work. This artist-life comes by way of focus, tenacity, work, delayed gratification and some luck.

We know there is no such thing “having it all”. We have to choose. Does a person want money? Fame? A family? A house? To live in a particular place? To have a particular lifestyle? Hopefully, we get to chase a few things near the top of our lists. Success is never guaranteed but we are fortunate indeed if we get to try. My own challenges are what they are.  We all have them. Would I have chosen a different life? No. I value this life that has enabled me to be an artist. It is a thing that for me creates meaning, so I take the lumps with the rewards.

Cherie Benner Davis – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I make one-of-a-kind, highly polished art objects–mostly oil paintings–that are labor intensive, clean, aesthetically appealing and coloristically charged. The work I make responds to that which came before in the history of art and to that which is going on in my life and in the world. I exhibit my work mostly in contemporary art galleries and am active in the LA art scene. Sometimes I curate or organize exhibitions independently.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
An art career is an ongoing thing.  I don’t worry so much about “proud”. You’re only as good as the last thing you did. I just keep working.

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