Economic downturn returns upbeat agent to first love
August 23, 2011
By Tom Corrigan
About 20 years ago, Cammy Davis, now 46, was a single mom with an overriding interest in art.
“But the thought of being a starving artist and a single mom … The two just didn’t go together,” Davis said.
Davis took up studying architecture, but never was able to finish her degree. She married, became a stay-at-home mom and later became a single mom once again. At that point, Davis thought she had her future pretty much charted out, gaining her license to work in real estate escrow.
Then, the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008. Instead of helping other people with their home sales, Davis said she was forced to sell her own residence.
“I’d just started painting again at that point,” she added.
Davis is now nearing the end of an interior design program at Bellevue College. Her artwork is getting its first official public viewing at the Issaquah Coffee Co., in Gilman Village along Juniper Street in Issaquah.
Hanging on nearly every wall in the homegrown coffee shop, Davis’ work will stay on display between now and Sept. 18. The closing date of her show is important to Davis since it means her art will stay on display through the last Issaquah ArtWalk of the year Sept. 2
For her work, Davis is trying more and more, she said, to concentrate on using found or recycled items. A large, flat piece, hung like a painting, is made of what appear to be wooden tiles. Davis noted she tries to use wood that contains no chemicals. The upraised design on each tile is the result of painting over tissue paper.
“I think it’s really cool,” said Page Dormier, 17 and Davis’ youngest daughter. “I always knew she would do art at some point. I always knew it was her thing.”
If you go
Cammy Davis art exhibit
A student in Issaquah High School’s Running Start program, Page actually attended Bellevue College along with her mom. They didn’t take the same classes as Page is majoring in business, but they often ate lunch together.
“It was cool,” Page said. “I liked it.”
As Davis was earning her interior design degree, she put together a photographic portfolio of her work. Page was the model in many of the shots.
“People would recognize her from those photos,” Davis said.
Page talked about how her mom tore apart the home she was forced to sell.
“I took it apart maybe more than I should have,” Davis said, adding she had hoped to add plenty of artistic touches to the home.
For example, Davis redid the home’s fireplace and put in all new checkerboard flooring.
While the Coffee Company show is her first public art show, Davis set out to get her work into at least 10 retail outlets, an effort that is still under way. She’s reached three stores or boutiques, but then the economy bit her again as two of those retailers went out of business.
For now, Davis plans a move to Jacksonville, Ore., to help care for her grandmother. She’ll have studio space there and in addition to her regular projects, she plans to take on smaller works, such as decorative postcards.
“I’ve had some pretty good response,” Davis said. “I’d really like to make to a go of this.”
Tom Corrigan: 392-6434, ext. 241, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.