(L) Willis “Bing” Davis, Ancestral Spirit Dance #325, 2001, oil pastel, 41 x 33 in. (R) Tess Little, Dancing Dress, 2005, bronze, 16 x 8 x 8 in.

Journeys: The Work of Willis “Bing” Davis & Tess Little

February 21-March 23, 2019

A retrospective featuring painting, sculpture, ceramic, photography and drawing reflecting the African American and Appalachian roots of the 25-year creative partnership of these Dayton-based change makers, artists and friends.

Progressive Reception

Thursday, February 21 | 4:30-8 p.m.

Mayor Whaley will present a proclamation of Willis “Bing” Davis & Tess Little Day

4:30-6 p.m.: Burnell Roberts Gallery, Sinclair Community College

6-8 p.m.: The Contemporary Dayton

free & open to all

Art in Real Life

Critical conversations on creativity and community

Friday, February 22 | 10-11:30 a.m.

Sinclair Community College, Great Hall, Bldg. 12

Journeys: The Life & Work of Willis “Bing” Davis & Tess Little–In Their Own Words

Presented as the Keynote Lecture of the 26th Annual R.E.A.C.H. Across Dayton Conference

free and open to all, but you must register online

R.E.A.C.H.-Out Open House

Sunday, March 10 | 2-5 p.m.

The Contemporary Dayton

An all-faith community celebration honoring Willis “Bing” Davis and Tess Little. Live music, special guests, and refreshments.

free & open to all

More About R.E.A.C.H.

The long-time friendship between Willis “Bing” Davis and Tess Little, whose common Appalachian background and love of teaching, forged the 25-year community project that is R.E.A.C.H. –Realizing Ethnic Awareness and Cultural Heritage across Dayton.  

The early years of R.E.A.C.H. focused on the commonalities found in African American and Appalachian communities, as reflected in the the friends’ artistic and cultural expressions. Within a few years R.E.A.C.H. embraced and served all other ethnic and cultural communities in the Dayton Miami Valley community and included the art of additional local, regional and national artists. Tess and Bing retired from their leadership roles for REACH after 25 years and the 2019 presentation extends the opportunity for Tess and Bing to be the featured artists.

The journey for Tess and Bing has always reflected their cultural heritage and urban lifestyle with its strong tie and love of family, kinfolks and friends. The 25-year R.E.A.C.H. experience solidified a bond and friendship that will last a lifetime and this rare opportunity to exhibit together is looked to with great anticipation.”

Bing and Tess’s lifetime involvement, both locally and internationally, has born of constant advocacy, nurturing, and supporting both people and the arts. They both have been “pied pipers” of the community for over 40 years, forging links within and between the African American and Appalachian—and all—communities, the educational community and the art community. It is their gentle presence and constant humanness that endear them to everyone that their lives and art touch.


Eva Buttacavoli

Executive Director, The Contemporary Dayton

Exhibition Presenting Sponsor: Sinclair Community College
REACH-Out Open House Sponsor: The Interfaith Forum, City of Dayton (pending)
Education & Public Program Sponsors: Dr Robert L. Brandt, Jr., Susan DeLuca, and Charles Knickerbocker
Media Sponsor: WYSO 91.3 FM Radio
Coffee Sponsor: Tastefully Roasted

Contact info:

Pat McClelland, Gallery Coordinator

Sinclair Community College

(937) 285-5217

(937) 602-0823

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