11 Dec 2012

NFL 49er’s Vernon Davis celebrates opening of Gallery 85 at Santana Row

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49er football player Vernon Davis cuts the ribbon for his Gallery 85,
while SJSV Chamber’s COO Stephanie Caldwell, far left, and CEO Matthew Mahood, right, hold the ribbon.

With the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber conducting the Ribbon Cutting,  top-ranked NFL tight end and 49ers star Vernon Davis celebrated the grand opening of his new art gallery on Dec. 10, at San Joseʼs Santana Row.

The event feature Vernon Davis, his San Francisco 49ers teammates and staff, area artists, Silicon Valley CEOs and elected officials who packed the gallery for the grand opening.

Gallery 85 will soon give a wide range of emerging visual artists a new means of high-end exposure, but Davis is utilizing the galleryʼs premiere event to raise funds for The Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts, which promotes arts education and art appreciation for at-risk youth and awards college art school scholarships for talented inner-city youth.

Best known as one of the NFLʼs elite pass-catching tight ends and one of the 49ers most vocal leaders, Davis is also a talented, trained visual artist who majored in studio art at the University of Maryland. Like many young people in his situation, Davis grew up keeping his love for art hidden because drawing and painting were not culturally accepted means of expression in his tough Washington, D.C. neighborhood.

The mission of the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Art is to bring art back as a genuine, viable outlet for inner-city youth, giving them new, positive ways to express themselves. The approach Davis  takes with his foundation is to make art “cool.”

During the evening, donated art was sold to benefit The Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts. Further keeping with the nonprofit/charity focus of Gallery 85ʼs opening night festivities, the foundation and Davis invited the Make-A-Wish Foundation Greater Bay Area Chapter and San Jose at-risk youth nonprofit Unity-Care to exhibit artworks by children and youth being served by those agencies.

The evening will also featured exhibits of the artwork of Niyjale Cummings, the most recent recipient of the Vernon Davis Visual Arts Scholarship Fund. With the help of supporters and the eveningʼs attendees, Davis hopes to continue to inspire at-risk youth to a lifetime dedication of arts and education.

The gallery is located at 377 Santana Row, Suite 1180, San Jose, 95128.


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