Art with a touch of humor – Times News Online

Published on August 20, 2022 at 08:02

Lehighton artist Jay Davenport celebrates 15 years of art and teaching in Carbon County.

He recently hosted a rally at Davenport Studios’ new headquarters in the old DePue Insurance building in Lehighton.

Davenport said he started painting at an early age.

“It was my grandfather who got me interested in it; he raised me,” he said. “I went to college to be an animal illustrator, (but it was) sort of taken over by computers, so I just went to fine art and took instructions from a mentor and I apprenticed with him for about four years. ”

Davenport, from Stillwater, Luzerne County, said he realized early in life that he wanted to open his own studio.

“All I do is art; it’s all I do and I love what I do,” he said. “It’s the best job in the world.”

His enthusiasm and training in the arts continued as he later earned an associate’s degree in painting and illustration, then completed a four-year apprenticeship in realism and trompe-l’oeil, which uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the objects depicted exist in three dimensions.

He has participated in numerous exhibitions across the country, winning the Bosque Conservatory Silver Medal and numerous awards in Artist magazine’s annual competition.

His passion for art has been illustrated in numerous publications including 2007 Strokes of Genius, The Best in Drawing. In 2015, Jay won the Animal Achievement Award from the Oil Painters of America, Signature and Associate Division for “Keep Your Eye on the Ball”.

Using humor in his work, Davenport states on his website that his intention is for the viewer to “occasionally step back and observe and even laugh at ourselves”.

Davenport not only paints, but teaches. It accepts students aged 10 and over.

“I teach the art of photorealism,” he said. “On days when I’m not teaching, I paint for galleries all over the country.”

Davenport said he started with one student and now has over 30. He said he was accepting new students but there was a waiting list.

Her program begins with basic shapes and uses white and black charcoal, before moving on to oil paint.

“Everyone is on a different level; it’s a mixed crowd,” he said. “Once you’ve gone through the program, you can paint whatever you want.”

Davenport is gratified to watch his students grow.

“From a teaching perspective, they tell me they can’t draw a stick image,” he said. “(And then they’re going to) draw a picture of photo realism, and it’s great to see how far they’ve come over time.”

Davenport said he paints for galleries across the country.

“It keeps me in tune with the teaching because I have to repeat the same things over and over again,” he said. “It helps me be creative, and it helps me be better because I have to do it every day.”

After offering personal fine art training at his Jim Thorpe studio, he took his work to Tijera, New Mexico.

Some of the local artists who studied with Davenport were included in the Carbon County Creative Arts Fund’s Art With a View exhibit in the spring. They include Cheryl Popek, Veronica Walck and Susan DiFluri.

He said he had no intention of retiring and never thought he would go this far.

“I’m very proud of how far I’ve come and I look forward to it for many years to come,” he said. “I just want to keep doing this for as long as the good Lord makes me do it.”

Davenport Studios is located at 499 S. Ninth St., Lehighton. To register for classes, call 570-952-5663.

For more information, visit

Local artist Jay Davenport of Lehighton is celebrating 15 years in the Carbon County area. Davenport Studios recently held a rally at their new headquarters at 499 S. Ninth St. in Lehighton. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

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