Silicon Valley CEOs, elected officials and 49ers were among those who came to San Jose for the opening of Vernon Davis’ Gallery 85 on Monday night in an evening of art and charitable fundraising.
The 49er’s tight-end hosted the Santana Row, invite-only event where he sold art to benefit his namesake organization, The Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts. Organizers said they sold everything available for the fundraiser and exceeded capacity with more than 250 people in attendance.
Davis started the night off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony where he stood beside teammate and 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. He was joined by teammates Alex Smith, Aldon Smith and 49er owner Jed York.
Exhibits included artwork of recent foundation scholar Niyjale Cummings, as well as Davis’ own portrait of 49ers’ defensive tackle Justin Smith.
The art foundation’s profit will go toward Davis’ foundation, according to a statement, which he created to provide art education to at-risk youth and give scholarships to college art students.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Davis grew up in a harsh inner city where he feared the pressure and judgment for loving art.
“I figured that if I took up art classes, people would look at me differently,” Davis recently told Yahoo! Sports. “I wanted to be cool, and I didn’t know how to adapt at the time. It’s sad, but that’s just the way it was.”
A fitting location, Santana Row’s affluent community is expected to be a successful location for high rolling donors.
NBC Bay Area has been following Davis’ artistic endeavors for the past several years. Here’s an archive video of him showing us his artwork: