Art & Culture, Lifestyle

Art Feature: Professor Danica David

reported by Hope Charles-Pierre



“Stop hiding behind that mask. Get to know who you are. You are beautiful. You are loved. Believe it, claim it, walk in it, live it.”

On the Facebook post, entitled “Self-portrait #19,” Danica David writes, “It’s been a while… I’ve been busy painting 15 images for a new children’s book project. The book will be released prayerfully in 2020. Took a break and created this mixed media self-portrait.” “Self-portrait #19”

David had an early interest in art, she says, “When I was in the second grade was when my interest started. At the Lew Muckle Elementary school. My mother bought me a Charlie Brown dictionary, and I used to trace the images.”

For the past five years, she has been a professor of UVI, on the St. Croix campus. She teaches Caribbean Art I &II, Painting, Drawing, Basic Design, and Design.    

As a teacher, David has the capacity to encourage young men and women. “As human beings, we are only here for a short time, I want to inspire future artists.”

Pertaining to her role models, Elisa Mackay, Yemaya Jones, Marcia  Jameson, and John Jones, David says, “It’s good to see other artists who are consistent in the profession. When you are interested in a career, associate yourself with people who are likeminded and encouraging.”

When referring to her inspiration, David says, “I pray a lot, prayer is very important to me and my surroundings too, the beautiful Caribbean, the island that we’re on, the people, the scenery.”  These are the elements that David credits for her inspiration.

In 2001, David did a painting of the historical VI Queens, Queen Mary, Queen Agnes, and Queen Mathilda. Artists who have attempted these portraits have to use their creative imagination, seeing that there are no records of the true images of the three queens. The author of the book Fireburn, Apple Gidley, saw David’s artwork Virgin Islands Queens and contacted her to design the cover of her book.

David is the primary illustrator of The Vienna Cake by Charlene Abramson Joseph, and Creative Callaloo: Art, Poems, and Recipes by the Virgin Islands, with chef Mark E. Davis and poet Winifred “Oyoko” Loving.

A few more original and beautiful works of art include Caribbean Blue Masquerader, Queen of the Band Masquerader, and The Last Dance.

As future endeavors, David is working on putting out another children’s book, as an illustrator. As well as, one day with hopes of writing her own children’s book. With dreams of still writing another art inspired book.  

David wrote lines of inspiration to accompany some of her artwork. Next to a painting of a carnival lady in feathers and spangles, she offers the following advice: “Stop hiding behind that mask. Get to know who you are. You are beautiful. You are loved. Believe it, claim it, walk in it, live it.”

She said that she wants to encourage young women and men.

“It took me a long time to realize that I am beautiful, to feel confident,” she said.

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