Rock, paper, scissors…Paper wins!

If you have visited the DMA lately, you have probably encountered the friendly face of Cathy Davis-Famous at the Visitor Services Desk. The Museum is so lucky to have someone like Cathy – someone who is ready to help families find their way through the galleries, suggest exhibitions to see, and provide a warm greeting to incoming visitors. Most people probably don’t know that not only is Cathy a welcoming face of the Museum, but she is also an artist. I had the privilege of sitting down and talking with Cathy to learn a little bit about her and her artwork.

What is your favorite thing about your job here at the DMA?
I love the interaction with visitors! I really enjoy people and am glad that I was promoted from Gallery Attendant to Visitor Services. I love talking to people and being surrounded by art.

What inspires you as an artist?
Vibrant and patterned papers, fashion, fabrics, and beautiful paintings.


I just started creating this one because I wanted something to hang. The colors on the box attracted me, and then I noticed how many logos one box actually had – 10 logos on one cereal box! Adding the woman’s face gave it a whole new look.


What types of art do you enjoy making most?
I like creating with paper…pretty much anything that deals with paper inspires me. I read a quote once…”Rock is dead, paper and scissors live on!” I don’t remember who said it, but I like it! I love making paper dolls. I started wishing that I had studied fashion and just began creating paper dolls.


I call this one Marie Antoinette. I love this era and wanted to create something with that style of dress, hair, etc. This one is still in the works. I plan to add birds, a bird’s nest, and ribbons – the sky is the limit!


What materials do you prefer to use?
I can use anything – from paper to recycled materials. I’m drawn to colors, patterns, designs on paper…I started asking coworkers to save papers for me – anything that they were planning to recycle, they would show me first. I collected so many great things – samples of paper, catalogs, brochures from other museums, and brochures from our Museum. I often frequent paint shops and Home Depot asking for discounted books of wallpaper; I have collected some beautiful wallpapers over the years!

The brochure from the Domains of Wonder exhibition offered so much for my design. I made dolls from the other side of the brochure as well.

What has been your favorite exhibition at the Museum?
Definitely The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. Gaultier takes the prize! Everything he created was so over the top. I had never see anything like it. All of the textures, fabrics, beadwork and the way that he combined everything was out of this world.

At this point, I made any brochure that hit the desk into a paper doll. This one was from the Sketching in the Galleries program.

Do you have a favorite work of art here at the Museum?
I could think on this question forever…it is so difficult to answer! I am drawn to little girls and girly things – so I would have to say…Dorothy by John Singer Sargent. I am the mother of two boys and have two grandsons. I am still waiting on a grandaughter – I need someone I can pass on my doll collection to!

This one is from a Late Night brochure. I got a little more creative with the design of this doll’s fashion. I wanted to create more with the text of the brochure…that is how she ended up with a swoop hairstyle!

What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists?
Hold on to your dreams and ideas – don’t let them go! Continue to create art – – no matter what. Create, create, create!

Thanks, Cathy!
Posted by Amanda


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