MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

April 4, 2013

OMHOF portraitist remembered

Friends recall Roger Davis for art, caring role in community

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Whether in the portraits he painted or people who saw his paintings, Roger Eric Davis made faces glow with life.

The Muskogee artist, who painted portraits of Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame inductees and Muskogee kids, died Tuesday. He was 49.

Services will be 3 p.m. Saturday at St. Paul United Methodist Church under the direction of Bradley Funeral Service.

Davis specialized in oil portraits, still lifes and landscapes. He also owned Lovie and Dodge, a stationery and gift boutique founded by his wife, Ann Boos Davis.

“He was such a kind and gentle soul,” said Wren Stratton, secretary of the Muskogee Area Arts Council. “He loved Muskogee.”

Stratton recalled the time she, Davis and others painted a mural along Main Street depicting cattle crossing a stream.

“He must have walked up and down his ladder 100,000 times and crossed the parking lot to look at his work,” Stratton said.

“Roger was one of those guys who played a huge role in the community,” said Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Executive Director Jermaine Mondaine.

He said Davis’ art “was one of those things that when you see it, you love it.”

“You connect with it,” Mondaine said about Davis’ art. “It’s the same as with music. When somebody’s heart goes into something, without ever meeting the artist, you think, ‘I like this person.’ That’s what the arts do.”

OMHOF museum curator Ronald Boren said OMHOF visitors from around the world marveled at Davis’ portraits of OMHOF inductees. The portraits ranged from the early wall-sized black and white portraits of Patti Page and Merle Haggard to the more intimate grouped color portraits of Kristin Chenoweth and Wayman Tisdale.

“The depth of color in his pictures was so natural,” Boren said.

“He was a great father and great husband,” Boren said. “When the ice storm of 2007 hit, Roger was right there for our family.”

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.