Arts and Culture / Magazine Feature

Art exhibit raises funds for DU scholarship

The Helen B. Davis Endowed Scholarship fund of DU’s Women’s College is $8,000 richer thanks to the fundraising efforts of a local gallery.

In celebration of 25 years in business, the Show of Hands Gallery in Cherry Creek North hosted “Give Us a Hand,” a traveling art exhibit.

Sixty-five artists from around the U.S. and Canada each embellished a 14-inch wooden hand template, working in fiber, clay, metal, wood and mixed media. The hands were auctioned to benefit the scholarship fund.

The show opened June 21 at the Show of Hands Gallery. It also was on display at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, the TACTile: Textile Arts Center in Englewood, the Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery and the Hirschfeld Gallery at the Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women on the DU campus.

The exhibit and auction closed on Sep. 24 with a reception at the Hirschfeld Gallery honoring Davis, participating artists and the Show of Hands Gallery.

Davis was the head of the art department of the Colorado Women’s College from 1962–71, and she ran the Boulder Valley School District’s art program from 1971–76. She’s been an exhibiting artist, curator, juror and lecturer. She helped develop the Boulder Arts Commission and what is now the Colorado Council of Art and Humanities.

Knowing of her passion for women’s education and her interest in DU — she received her doctorate in education from the University — her artist friends approached the Women’s College about creating a scholarship in Davis’ honor. They raised more than $80,000 to endow the Helen B. Davis Scholarship, which is awarded each year to a student who demonstrates high academic achievement and passion for life.

“Being a strong feminist and believing so strongly in women’s education, I can’t think of a more wonderful thing, knowing that others will have the fabulous opportunities in life that I’ve had,” Davis said at the closing reception.

Gail Pough is one of the scholarship recipients. She’s a Women’s College law and society major and a code enforcement officer with the City of Aurora and hopes to eventually pursue a public policy degree and work in local and state government.

At the closing ceremony, Women’s College Dean Lynn Gangone accepted a donated quilt from local artist and DU alumna Faye Anderson (BA graphic design ’67). The “stitched sketched portrait” quilt depicts famous women throughout history. The quilt will hang on the second floor of the Chambers Center. Anderson also created a hand for the “Give us a Hand” exhibit.

“The quilt is such a beautiful work,” says Gangone. “It’s so wonderful to see all of these connections happen.”

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