Museum to display work of Shands granddaughter and Disney artist

fairy mermaid

 Watch Me Designs, the exhibit of the work of Tracey Savely Davis, will open at the Union County Heritage Museum on Sunday, June 1, from 1:30 – 3:30.   Her work is featured in many galleries across the southeast as well as in the Disney galleries in Florida.

Included in this exhibit will be handmade dolls and fairies, as well as her more recent objects of iconic pieces, shrines, watches, jewelry and other adornments.

Davis has created one very special piece that will be debuted at this exhibit.  It is in memory of her grandfather who was a well-known Union Countian. He lived in New Albany and is fondly remembered by many, Dr. Robert Shands, long-time physician.

Davis’ artistic journey is unusual in that her  recently created  artworks of the last 20 something years, came about as the result of a stroke that she unexpectedly suffered at the young  age of 28 while giving birth to the second of her three sons.

She considers her artwork a gift that came from this medical tragedy.  In working toward recovery from this stroke, Davis found that art was therapeutic and her talent and passion for the dolls, fairies and now the clockworks, shrines and icons have become not only a passion but a career.

She said,” I learned that when something bad happens, I had to reinvent myself.  And becoming a Disney artist was something that from childhood I had dreamed about.”

“ I always wanted to become an animator for Disney, and I realized that I was a good copier,” she said.  But she could never find the opening to realize this dream.    Always artistic, but never a trained artist, her work falls into a unique mixed media-folk art style. When she had the opportunity to realize the dream of working with Disney, she said, “It was the most surreal thing.  It had taken me 50 years to realize that dream.” And now she is one of the artists of Main Street Disney World. And her work must meet the standards and be approved by Disney.  Familiar themes such as Alice in Wonderland and others appear in her tiny watch case pieces and larger clocks.

Many of the miniature pieces she has created represent spiritual themes of saints and shrines and tabernacles.  Some of her work consists of found objects.  When she has a piece on her mind, she will go to great lengths to find just the right objects to complete the work.   She has used original wood cuts from Grimm’s Fairy Tale illustrations and miniature crystals that have been put on one at a time with a toothpick.

And her themes have evolved from dolls to fairies to tiny watch cases filled with intricate details to shrine clockworks and now to jewelry.   Many examples of her work will be seen in this exhibit. She said, “In my iconic stuff, I have a message to get out. Making these pieces gives me the opportunity to do this. People have asked me, ‘what’s the deal with the saints,’ and it’s about people who lay it on the line for their faith, people who went through horrific things in their lives.”

What people will see in this exhibit will be a great variety of this artist’s work: the dolls from her earlier work and a select group of the more than 400 fairies that she has created, as well as the newer  intricately detailed icons, shrines  and the jewelry.

The New Albany Pilot Club will host the reception and the public is invited.  For more information, call the museum at 662-538-0024 or email