Retired TAMUC Art Professor Featured in Texas Monthly

A recent article in Texas Monthly features Lee Baxter Davis, retired art professor at A&M-Commerce. The article, written by Rainey Knudson, is entitled “One of Texas's Greatest Artists Lives Quietly in East Texas­—and Was a Beloved Professor to Famous Art Stars.” It touts Davis as “an unrecognized master because he's never played to popular or critical tastes.”

The article describes Davis' ink-and-watercolor drawings as “strange and dense with layered imagery” and “crowded” with “comic-book weirdness.” Yet, the themes are deeply meaningful.

Knudson writes: “Davis's work is ultimately about the kinds of things that make a lot of artists and gallerists and patrons squeamish: devotion, the search for meaning, an unabashed love for life, for the universe, for God.”

During his 35-year tenure at A&M-Commercefrom 1969 to 2004—Davis taught drawing, watercolor, two-dimensional design, cartoon animation and more. His former students include several renowned artists, like Trenton Doyle Hancock, Robyn O'Neil and the designers of Pee-wee's Playhouse.

The article describes Davis as an influential professor.

“His former students give the impression that Davis loved working with them as much as they did with him. He encouraged them to tell stories, to leave space for magic and questioning in their work. He gave them confidence and treated their raw, unformed talent seriously.”

Read the full Texas Monthly feature.