Award: Artist Research & Development Grant
Discipline: Multidisciplinary Arts
Artist Website: http://www.mariekedavis.com
In many ways, my work is a reflection on how I have embraced my disability without allowing it to define or limit me; rather, it has inspired me to expand my concept of visual art and the audience perceiving it.
Marieke Davis graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University in Spring 2017 with a BFA in Art/Drawing, minors in English Literature and Women’s & Gender Studies, and a certificate in Creative Writing. She is also visually impaired.
This grant will fund Chapter 2 of Davis’s Ember Black, a classic hero’s journey narrative rooted in the rich traditions of legend and folklore, told in two separate but complementary media: a graphic novel and audio drama. By creating a graphic novel with a strong female protagonist, Davis aims to deliver a compelling, relatable story about a woman’s struggles and ultimate empowerment to an audience the comic book industry has historically underserved. By simultaneously crafting the story as a complementary audio drama, Davis invites another underserved audience to participate in the medium of sequential art–those who, like her, have a visual impairment.
Davis presented the first installment of Ember Black in both print and audio formats at winner of the Audience Choice Award at her BFA Senior Exhibition, “Tell-Tale Art: An Exhibition of Narrative Art.” Her work earned her the Audience Choice Award at first annual Herberger Institute IDEA Showcase. In May 2017, she made her first Phoenix Comicon appearance with her presentation and panel discussion, “Creating Ember Black.”
A visually impaired visual artist and Gilbert, AZ native, Marieke (mah REE kah) Michelle Davis is a May 2017 summa cum laude graduate of Arizona State University, having completed a BFA in Art/Drawing, minors in English Literature and Women’s & Gender Studies, and a certificate in Creative Writing. Among her awards, she is the recipient of the New American University Scholarship, the ASU Alumni Association Medallion Scholarship, the John W. Luttrell/Children’s Cancer Network scholarships, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation scholarships, ASU School of Art Talented Artist Scholarships, and the J. Russell and Bonita Nelson School of Art Scholarship for the Outstanding Senior.
Her artwork has been exhibited at the Arizona Opera Company, and has been published in the ASU student anthology, “Marooned,” which previously published her short story, “The Onlookers” in 2014. In addition to this work, she has authored five other short stories, eight poems, and a one-act play, “Disappearing Act,” published in the Spring 2016 edition of the online anthology, “Canyon Voices.” In Fall 2016, the first installment of her graphic series, “Ember Black”–winner of the Audience Choice Award at the First Annual Herberger Institute IDEA Showcase–premiered in both print and audio formats (the latter, for the blind and visually impaired) at her BFA Senior Exhibition, “Tell-Tale Art: An Exhibition of Narrative Art.”
Photo by Lou Coopey Photography