NOLA artist Davenport showing at JSU’s Gallery1

New Orleans artist Bruce Davenport Jr. is showing his works at Gallery1 at Jackson State University.

Bruce Davenport Jr.

Bruce Davenport Jr.

According to Gallery Director Kimberly D. Jacobs, the exhibition titled “The Dapper Bruce Lafitte: 6th Ward Icon and NOLA Original,” is showing through June 6.

A Gallery Talk and Reception is to be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 30, Jacobs said. Davenport will discuss his work with fellow artist and New Orleans native, Gerard Louis Howard, JSU webmaster and host of jazz music programming at WJSU-FM, with a reception immediately following the gallery talk. The reception will feature live music by Billy Winston & The Band and light refreshments.

The event is free and open to the public, Jacobs said.

“As an internationally renowned self-taught artist born in New Orleans, Davenport has created an extensive body of drawings in a considerably short period of time,” Jacobs said. “In 2006, one-year after Hurricane Katrina, he began to create thousands of drawings depicting a wide range of themes, which stemmed from his love of New Orleans and the city’s iconic marching bands.

“Seeking to spread the joy he found within this vibrant subculture, Davenport persistently creates drawings of marching bands of every high school in the city, as well as colleges including Southern University in Baton Rouge and Jackson State University. He graciously mails each school a work of art from his series with the intention of motivating the students to continue following their dreams,” Jacobs said.

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According to Davenport, “The marching bands are a passion to me. I love the history and the culture… My work serves as an illustrative reminder of an activity that not only engages creative thought processing, but also engages youth with the community and with each other… I recreate their vibrant pageantry… Hopefully leaving behind a sacred reminder of a part of my hometown’s identity.”

Davenport’s exhibition at Gallery1 features a 20-foot drawing of an entire parade from an aerial perspective and tagged with phrases and shot-outs to his relatives, friends and neighborhood.

He also writes “The Game Has Changed” onto the pages, representing his conscience/subconscious awareness of being an instrument of change in the greater art world. Other themes and drawings in this exhibition include Mardi Gras parades, political marches and prison stories.

A recipient of several fellowships and awards, he has had solo exhibits in New York, Tokyo, Paris and other venues.

For more information, contact Jacobs at gallery1@jsums.edu or (601) 960-9250

This exhibition and gallery talk is supported by Jackson State University Title III Sponsored Programs and the College of Liberal Arts.

Gallery1 at Jackson State University serves as a cultural meeting place where art educates and enlightens the community. Geared to enhance and support academic life on campus, Gallery1 is Mississippi’s premier art gallery showcaseing works by artists of African descent as well as international artisans.

Located at One University Place, on the historic John Roy Lynch Street corridor, Gallery 1 brings heritage, culture and creativity to Jackson State University’s campus and surrounding areas.