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Friday, October 21, 2011

Vernon Davis, 49ers Tight End, Wants Kids to Love Art

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Davis with his painting of Serena Williams. Not bad. - ESPN MAGAZINE
  • ESPN Magazine
  • Davis with his painting of Serena Williams. Not bad.

Not everyone can be a professional tight end in the NFL. But 49ers tight end Vernon Davis wants to let kids know that they can, just like him, follow their dreams to be artists.

On top of a successful career in the NFL, Davis has also been an artist since college; he had a dream about himself painting and decided to switch from a criminal justice major to studio art.

Now he's helping youngsters do the same by partnering with the African-American Arts and Cultural Complex and launching the A.R.T. Ambassador Youth Program.

The program is set to begin in 2012 and will be a four-year arts education program for Bay Area youth. Davis says he stifled his artistic leanings when he was young because they weren't considered "cool." But he's hoping that the students in the program -- which includes a mentoring element -- will feel realize how cool it really is to pursue visual and performing arts.

If you liked that Serena Williams painting above and want to see more of Davis' work, 13 of his paintings will be on display at 1317 Gallery on Friday, Oct. 28 from 7-9 p.m. The gallery is at 1317 Fillmore.

And for even more, check out ESPN Magazine's video tour of Davis' artwork, led by Davis himself.

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Ellen Huet

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