On the field, the 49ER’s elite tight end is a gifted football player, but in the studio, Vernon Davis expresses his creative side. Growing up in a rough neighborhood in Washington, DC, Davis found peace and enjoyment in art. He went on to major in studio art at the University of Maryland. Through the years, he has recognized that the arts have been considered uncool. In fact, he grew up trying to keep his love for art hidden. Now, he’s trying to change that perception. Last fall, Vernon Davis opened Gallery 85, his own art studio located in San Jose, California.The studio features both his art, as well as creations by emerging artists. He also created the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts. The mission of his foundation is to bring art back as a genuine, viable outlet for inner-city youth, giving them new, positive ways to express themselves. His foundation helps fund arts education and art appreciation for at-risk youth, as well as awards college art scholarships for select youths from low-income communities. Vernon Davis wants to make art cool. Regardless of the outcome of this Sunday’s Super Bowl, we applaud Vernon Davis, who is using his celebrity in a positive way to encourage children in art.

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