Cleo Davis

Cleo Davis
Portland, OR

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Cleo Davis is currently an artist-in-residence at the City of Portland Archives, co-Artist of the Historic Black Williams Art Project and the Alberta Street Black Heritage markers. Davis combines disciplines of cultural and creative arts while utilizing design, historic preservation, economic development and city policy.

Davis’ work takes a critical view of social, political and cultural issues, reproducing familiar visual signs and arranging them into new conceptually layered pieces, while advocating for tools of economic growth and policy change. Most recently, Cleo orchestrated moving a historic house in order to create a Black/Afro-American cornerstone of creative genius that promotes art, research, and imagination.

In 2019-2020, Davis partnered with Visiting Faculty Fellow Karen Kubey for work on the (re)BUILDINGCORNERSTONES studio project. This year, Davis is partnering with Visiting Faculty Fellow Kayin Talton Davis and Belluschi Distinguished Visiting Professor and continuing Design for Spatial Justice Fellow Craig L. Wilkins on a terminal studio course sequence that buildings on the (re)BUILDINGCORNERSTONES work. The studio partners with residents of the historic Black and African American neighborhood of Albina in Portland to understand, analyze, and propose designs that creatively address decades-long, systemic obstacles.

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