Phoenix area native Marieke Michelle Davis is a 2017 summa cum laude graduate of Arizona State University, with a BFA in Art (Drawing), minors in English Literature and Women's & Gender Studies, and a Certificate in Creative Writing. She is a 2017 VSA Emerging Young Artist, one of fifteen artists chosen nationally by the Kennedy Center's International Organization on Arts and Disability, awarded for excerpts of her online comic, "Life is Blurry," an ironic view of life through the perspective of a visually impaired visual artist such as she is. In 2016, her project to create print and audio versions for the Prologue and first chapter of her graphic series, Ember Black, won the Audience Choice Award in the First Annual Herberger Institute IDEA Showcase, and her project premiered at her BFA Senior Exhibition that fall. Continuing her mission to extend the audience for her visual art to the blind and visually impaired, she won a 2017 Artist Research & Development Grant through the Arizona Commission on the Arts to create the second chapter of Ember Black in print and audio.
An industrious and prolific artist and writer, Ms. Davis won First Place in the ChoiceMagazineListening.com National Poster Contest, advertising alternate reading formats for the visually impaired, and First Prize in the Phoenix Sister Cities International Competition for Artists with Disabilities for her original drawing, "An Extended Hand." Her artwork has recently concluded a six-city VSA Kennedy Center national tour, has been exhibited at the Arizona Opera Company, and has been published in the ASU student anthology, Marooned, which previously published her short story, "The Onlookers." In addition to this work she has authored five other short stories, eight poems, and a one-act play, "Disappearing Act," published in the Spring 2016 edition of the online anthology, Canyon Voices. An active participant at the Phoenix Fan Fusion (formerly the Phoenix Comic-Con), Ms. Davis has presented panels discussing topics as diverse as "The Philosophy of Rick & Morty," "So Funny It Hurts: Introducing the Autobiographical Comic Strip, Life is Blurry, and Other Comics Created By and About the Disabled," and "Creating Ember Black." In May 2019, she returned to the PFF to premiere "Ember Black - Chapter Two in Print and Audio." In an effort to refine her craft, explore new ways for the visually disabled to experience visual art, and teach other aspiring, interdisciplinary artists how to create works that include a diverse audience, Ms. Davis intends to earn an MFA in Illustration, even as she resumes her Life is Blurry online comic, continue her position as a comic artist for LivAbility Magazine--which has inspired her "A Different P.O.V." feature--and plan future chapters for Ember Black.