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Meet Trailblazer Lelia Davis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lelia Davis.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lelia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Combining art with my background in biology and interest in environmental conservation, the focus of my work is to depict endangered land and their fragile ecosystems. My interest in landscape painting began while studying art and biology as an undergraduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Rock climbing in the beautiful Hill Country on weekends allowed me to photograph the scenery as inspiration for my paintings. I also taught mural painting and art for a local non-profit providing after school activities for children and families of Southern San Antonio. As a result, my art became infused with the colors and culture of the region.

While earning my Masters in Fine Art from Academy of Art University in San Francisco, I began to paint Colorado landscapes as my thesis work. As a participant of the Conservation Leadership Series with Colorado Open Lands, I toured protected land and learned about their conservation efforts. My recent landscapes reflect these fragile ecosystems, and I donate a percentage of my sales to the preservation of these sites through non-profits and foundations dedicated to conservation.

I show my work at local galleries and venues in Colorado Springs and the Surrounding area, currently at Kreuser Gallery, G44, The Modbo, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Vectra Bank and Ivywild. In addition to bold landscapes, I also enjoy painting commissions of any subject matter. My studio is located at Cottonwood in downtown Colorado Springs. You can find me there the majority of my time creating art, or finding artistic inspiration as I hike and photograph the beautiful scenery just beyond my doorstep.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I first decided to dedicate my career to art, my biggest challenge was myself. Even though I had studied art in college and was earning my MFA in drawing and painting, I didn’t know how to promote myself. Or even if I was worth promoting! Once I joined Cottonwood Center for the Arts, my community of artists grew. Bonding with my fellow studio mates and building relationships with gallery owners and other like-minded individuals inspired me to push myself outside my comfort zone. My work was accepted for the first few exhibits and the pride I felt in putting myself out there was the confidence I needed.

In addition to land conservation efforts, I also enjoy serving the community through my interest in art and wellness. I volunteer as an art instructor with CASA, offering classes and projects for foster children. As a previous CASA advocate in Nashville, this organization is near to my heart. I also volunteer my art skills with NAMI, the National Alliance of Mental Illness, where I am helping build an art therapy outreach program.

Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert allowed me to see my enjoyment of painting as enough of a reason to continue creating. Instead of judging my success based on the number of shows I’m in or paintings I’ve sold, I came to appreciate my creativity based on my enjoyment of the experience alone.

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown inspired me to place a greater value on my strengths and talents. It took a great deal of courage for me to dedicate more energy toward what truly gave me joy. Once I began placing more value on this, my art began to reflect this choice.


  • Painting starting at 250
  • Range up to 1700

Contact Info:

  • Address: Cottonwood Center for the Arts
    427 E Colorado Ave
    Studio 110
    Colorado Springs, CO 80903
  • Website:
  • Phone: 7193384137
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @leliadavisart
  • Facebook: Lelia Davis Art

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