Alex Rosborough Davis, MFA ’23, will be the inaugural artist-in-residence at the Des Lee Gallery this May through September. The residency was created specifically as an opportunity for alumni of the Sam Fox School’s MFA programs to create and publicly present an exhibition, project, performance, or workshop. In addition to access to space for making and showing work, Davis will also be awarded with a $3,000 unrestricted honorarium and take part in an open studio event September 2.
As a queer, trans, and non-binary person, Davis finds themself at odds with the proliferation of anti-queer legislation and violence being enacted across the U.S. They collect and organize queer materials in order to build and defend spaces of queer utopian potential. In this vein, they have built a library of queer revolutionary literature, as a way to help protect queer ideas from the contemporary calls for censorship.
During the residency, Davis plans to further their exploration into light as a medium to abstract and recontextualize the queer club. They also plan to collaborate with other queer artists and activists to host workshops on making signs, banners, pin-back buttons, and posters to elevate queer voices in the fight for human rights.
About Alex Rosborough Davis
Alex Rosborough Davis (They/Them/Theirs), b. 1995, is a genderqueer artist from St. Louis, Missouri. They are a soon-to-be graduate from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Art from Washington University in St. Louis with an MFA in Visual Art. Davis earned a BA in Anthropology-Sociology and Environmental Studies from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois in 2018, where they managed a student-run bicycle shop and were heavily involved in student activism, primarily working on a labor rights campaign.
During the final stages of their undergraduate studies, Davis discovered their passion for art-making after learning to weld. The following academic year, they were a post-baccalaureate fellow at Knox College, where they continued to develop their art practice. Their work has earned them recognition, including the Beverly Bender Sculpture Award, Sam Fox School Graduate Travel Stipend Award, and a Thesis Research and Production Grant from the Sam Fox School. Davis’ work has been included in several exhibitions, including a solo exhibition in Galesburg, Illinois, in 2019 and a group exhibition at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in 2023.
About the Des Lee Gallery
The Des Lee Gallery provides Sam Fox School students and faculty a formal gallery space for presenting exhibitions, and has earned a national reputation for showing work by local and international contemporary artists. Located in the heart of the historic Washington Avenue Loft District, the 1,300-square-foot gallery opened in 1999, and is housed in the University Lofts building, an eight-story, century-old refurbished warehouse.
The gallery is named in honor of E. Desmond Lee, a 1940 graduate of Washington University’s Olin Business School, who provided significant support for the university as well as the greater St. Louis community.