Jenai Davis

Painting (MFA Student)

Statement of Purpose/ Bio

Jenai Asemoa Davis was born on January 15 in the heart of Washington, D.C. where she was also raised. Her upbringing in the city allowed her to gain firsthand experience of the different lifestyles and cultures within the district. In addition to her urban experience, she was granted the opportunity to travel abroad to Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire of West Africa. These experiences account for much of the inspiration for her art work today. She is a graduate of one of the few black independent private schools in the city, Nation House Sankofa Institute. There is where her passion for art blossomed.  At Nation House, she was exposed to an African-centered educational system that was structured to educate African Americans from their own historical perspective. Jenai was greatly influenced by her first art instructors, Afia Nson and Ron Akili Anderson.

She began painting at the age of sixteen, focusing on abstractions as well as representational art. Jenai attended Morgan State University where she received her Bachelors of Fine Art in 2011. In addition to her educational background in Baltimore, she gained professional experience as a museum assistant at the James E. Lewis Museum of Fine Art as well as the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture. Jenai’s long term goals include founding an art-based non-profit for “at-risk” youth within Washington, D.C., in addition to working as a professional artist. Jenai hopes to expand her knowledge within art, hone her craft as a painter and make a statement through her figurative work.

“I have always wanted my art to service the people—to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential” –Elizabeth Catlett