Maritza has exhibited frequently since the mid-1970s. Here is a selection of some of her more recent shows
Solo and two-artist exhibitions
2018: Libros y Grabados, Galeria Poliglota, ACE, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2017: Solo exhibit, Playhouse on the Square Memphis College of Art Gallery, Memphis
2016: Small Show, Jay Etkins Gallery Memphis TN
- Maritza Davila and Jornada Prints and Exchange Portfolio exhibits, Normal Editions Space at Illinois State University
2013: “Ancestral Chapel,” solo exhibit at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art's Kraft Gallery
2012: Solo exhibit, Playhouse on the Square Memphis College of Art Gallery, Memphis
2011: Sabbatical Exhibition, Memphis College of Art Nesin Graduate School’s Hyde Gallery
2010: Solo exhibit, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff
2009: Solo exhibit, Arkansas State University Gallery
2008: Solo exhibit, Lausanne Collegiate School Gallery
- Notes On Origin: Assemblages, Tennessee Art Commission, Nashville
2003: Joysmith Gallery, Memphis
2001: Taproots School of the Arts, St. Louis, Mo.
2000: The Art Center, Arkansas State University
2018: "Here and Now: Printmaking and the Political Present" (exhibiting artist and group leader). The Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art, the University of Memphis
- Pacific States Biennial, Hilo Campus Center Gallery, Hilo University Hawaii
- River Arts Fest Invitational Art Show, ANF Gallery, Memphis Tennessee
- 9th International Print Biennial of Douro, Portugal, August-October
- Crane Company Building Gallery, Memphis
- "La Litografia en Otros Con-Textos," ACE Buenos Aires, Argentina
2017: 3rd Global Print, Portugal, Coa Museum in Foz Coa City Portugal
- Le Monster Project, Memphis College of Art in collaboration with Le Bonheur Children's Hospital
- Atlanta Printmaking International Biennial, Kay Lin Art Contemporary Gallery, Atlanta
- Displacement and Migration, St. Louis Artists Guild, St Louis
2016: Words Matter, Playhouse on the Square: Art book presentation as part of a team with a visual artist, writer, performer and a music group
- Dog Head Stew - The Third Course, 3 Visual Arts Center, 3rd floor Exhibition Space, Boulder, Colorado
- Fundación ACE, “Sala Poliglota, Territories”, Buenos Aires Argentina
- Minnesota Center for the Book Arts, Mapping the Mississippi, Exchange Portfolio
- Le Monster Project, Memphis College of Art / Le Bonheur Children's Hospital
2015-16: Human Rights Institute Gallery, “We Are You" project, an exhibition of social justice and immigration; Kean University, Union New Jersey
2015: Crosstown Arts, “Mi Sur / My South”, Latino/a art in Memphis
- Germantown Performing Arts Center
- Playhouse on the Square MCA Gallery, Memphis
- School of Design at Louisiana Tech University, Louisiana Biennial: National Juried Exhibition, Ruston, Louisiana
- Louisiana Biennial, School of Design Louisiana Tech University
- Celebración, Germantown Performing Arts Center Gallery, Germantown, Tennessee
- Faculty Biennial, Memphis College of Art, Hyde Gallery, Nesin Graduate Building Memphis
- Fundación ACE, “Sala Poliglota, Territories”, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Mapping the Mississippi, Southern Graphics International 2015, The Art Market Gallery, Knoxville
2014: Southern Printmaking Biennial VI International, Bob Owens Art Gallery, University of North Georgia
- “We Are You” project international, UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art, University of Colorado, New England Edition, Fountain ST Fine Art Gallery, Framingham, Massachusetts
- Mini-monumental books MIMB III Southern Graphics Council - San Francisco State University
2013: “Present Tense,” Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis
- Illahe Studios & Gallery juried book arts exhibition, Portland, Oregon
- Art Books Cleveland at the Morgan Conservatory, Monumental Ideas in Miniature Books III, Cleveland Ohio
2012: Print Zero Studios traveling show and catalog: Seattle; Chicago; Managua, Nicaragua; Miami; University of Iowa Center for the Book; University of Texas at Brownsville; University of Tennessee
- Memphis College of Art Faculty Exhibition
- "We Are You" project international
2011-13: Mini-Monumental Books MIMB II, Juried traveling exhibit to National Library of Spain and locations in Asia and the United States
2011: The Sketchbook Project traveling exhibit: Brooklyn Art Library; Austin Museum of Art; Space Gallery, Portland, Maine; The Granite Room, Atlanta; Hillyer Art Space, Washington DC; Mercer Gallery, Monroe Community College, Rochester NY; Form/Space Atelier, Seattle; ACE, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and others
2010: Global Fusion exchange portfolio, MAPC conference University of Minneapolis
- Las Faces de las Distancias, El Libro de Artista international collaboration internet exhibit Librodeartista.com: Jardin Borda, Cuernavaca Mexico; Casas de las Diligencias, Toluca, Mexico
- Open House Exhibit, Santa Reparata International School of Art, Florence, Italy
- Gathering II The Ned Cultural Art Center, Jackson, Tennessee
2009-10: MIMB I Mini Monumental books exhibit, University of Granada, University of Colorado Boulder Colo., Printmaking Gallery, Yonsei University Wonju Campus, Korea, Indiana University, Bloomington
2009: Museo de Arte de Huelva, Spain, Puerto Rican Printmakers
- Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, Global Fusion International Portfolio Organized and Curated by Maritza Davila (other venues were University of Miami, University of North Texas, Memphis College of Art)
- CCBA Conference University of Iowa - Members juried books exhibit
- Southern Graphics Council Conference Chicago Mini Monumental books exhibit
- Chicago Printmakers Collaborative: Global Fusion International prints exchange portfolio presentation
2007-08: Voices in my head, Northwest Mississippi Community College
- Dream Show, Memphis College of Art
- Print exchange V, Print Zero traveling exhibit
2007-08: Printers Pick at Highpoint Center for Printmaking Minneapolis, Minnesota
- La Persistencia del Grabado, Museo de Arte de San Juan, Puerto Rico and others
- Studio 2414, Hyattsville, Maryland
- Forging Connections, MAPC Members exhibition, Athens, Ohio
2005: Deep Blue: Caribbean-American Statements, Diaspora Vibe Gallery, Miami, Fla.
- Entre Amigos, Buckman Center, Memphis (Curator)
2003-05: 5th British Miniature Print Exhibition, Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries, Scotland and other locations in the United Kingdom
- South Carolina State Museum - Thresholds - Expressions of Art and Spiritual Life, Columbia
2003: Solar Plate Revolution Portfolio, Southern Graphics Council, Gallery at First and Second Church Unitarian Universalist, Boston
- Whitney Art Works, Greenport, NY and other locations
- Delta National Small Prints Exhibition, Bradbury Gallery, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro
- Muestra Nacional de Artes Plasticas, Antiguo Arsenal de la Marina Española, San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Nontoxic Printmaking International Exhibition, coordinated by Keith Howard, various locations in Spain
2002: Montreal International Miniature Print Biennial, Canada
- Side By Side, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
- First Contact Invitational Nontoxic Exhibit, Gracefield Art Center, Dumfries Scotland
- Imagine the Multiple, Gracefield Art Center, Dumfries, Scotland
- Nontoxic Printmaking Exhibition, Keir Gallery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
In father’s memory
By Lesley Young
Special to The Commercial Appeal
When printmaker Maritza Davila was invited to show her work this summer at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, she used the exhibition to honor her late father.
Ramón Davila-Cruz, a guitar player who died in 1993 at age 83, “had amazing self-discipline — with his work, his studies, his professional development, his skills. He taught me that — discipline and dedication to my craft and commitment to what I feel I should be doing,” said Davila, a professor of printmaking at Memphis College of Art.
“Ancestry and Identity: Prints by Maritza Davila,” opened July 27 and will hang in the Kraft Gallery at Brooks until Dec. 2.
Davila, 62, a native of Puerto Rico, dedicated an entire gallery hallway to her father’s memory. “It was a way to come to terms with the loss of my father,” she said.
The determination he instilled in her led Davila to leave Puerto Rico in the 1970s, with little command of English, to enroll at the Pratt Institute in New York for her graduate studies.
“It wasn’t that easy with all the prejudices I encountered — as a Puerto Rican and as a woman. For me it was a cultural shock,” Davila said. “I had reservations because my English-speaking skills were very poor. I could read and write English, but I had never practiced.”
She earned her master’s degree in printmaking and painting, and tried her hand at various jobs in New York, including screen printing on glass, teaching pre-Colombian history through art at the Museum of Natural History, and other teaching jobs, until she and her husband, Jon Sparks, decided to move to his native Memphis in 1981.
Within a year, Davila began her career as a printmaking instructor at MCA, where she has tried to pass on to her students the same values she learned from her father.
“I tell them to do whatever it takes to accomplish what they need to accomplish,” she said.
Over the past 30-plus years, Davila has taught classes in bookmaking, drawing, painting, lithography, screen printing, etching, woodcutting, many techniques found in her own vast body of work.
For the portfolio dedicated to her father, Davila created intaglios using images of her father playing guitar, of his sheet music and his journals, transferred onto different types of paper, which she then collaged onto other images.
In the adjoining room, a “chapel,” she continues with similar techniques: She constructed an altar with candles on top, milagros of pendants attached to the skirt, and images of her mother and father above it and her daughter on either side.
“My daughter is like the virgin with one looking up and the other looking down,” Davila said. “She is completely encased, oblivious to anything going on around her, as if she is a figure never to be touched by anything but goodness.”
For her mother, Dolores Irizarry-Valentín, she used images of domestic life and the mountains.
“She was a caretaker, and her family is from Spain, from the mountains,” Davila said.
The altar and images pay tribute to Davila’s religious upbringing, touching on Catholicism, espiritualism and Santeria.
“This exhibit is the opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to do on the scale I’ve wanted to do it,” she said.
On Oct. 27, Davila will display two of her handcrafted books in the Boston Printmakers Biennial, a highly competitive juried show that selected only 130 works out of 2,300 submitted.
“What I am proud of is that they chose two of mine,” she said.
Having participated in art biennials in Poland and other such shows, Davila often has these opportunities, and she makes it a point to globe-trot while learning new techniques.
“I’ve been to Spain, Argentina, Scotland, Italy,” she said.
With a studio full of reference books, textbooks, history books and catalogs, Davila is always in learning mode.
“I’m a great believer in research,” she said. “Everything I do, I do a lot of research.”
It’s something she picked up from her father.
“My father was self-taught after eighth grade. He was extremely knowledgeable,” she said.
“There is always more and more learning to do.”
October 22, 2013