Remembering Sandy Davis, a fierce warrior in Kentucky

Remembering Sandy Davis, a fierce warrior in Kentucky

Photo by Michael Kloth

To Sandy, with Love

Remembering a Fierce Warrior 

By Erin Chandler 


Sandy Davis, a Boston artist stationed for years in Versailles, Kentucky, left this world on June 14th. I say stationed because we seem to be at war and artists are on the front line. As the seekers, examiners, they reflect on society and the world, show us ourselves, and point the way forward. Sandy Davis was one such warrior, a painter, photographer, traveler and explorer. 

Berea craft artist and metalsmith Deb Chenault says,  “She was my greatest, most vocal cheerleader and the person I called when darkness threatened to overwhelm me. She was always staunchly in my corner, she always showed up. To say I will miss her is so understated it seems laughable.”

Photo credit Michael Kloth Photography

“I don’t remember being introduced to Sandy Davis. I just remember life before and after Sandy Davis,” says Lexington photographer and musician, Kopana Terry. “It wasn’t long before she was the glue that held our tribe of middle-aged women together. Her enthusiasm for art, being unafraid of virtually everything, was boundless and contagious. We were all willingly swept up in her wave of brilliant light.”

“Meeting Sandy was like being reunited with someone I already knew and loved,” says Lexington disc jockey and music programmer, Stacy Yelton. “She was so open and generous with her time and heart. The art she left us is a rich inheritance indeed. Her love and laughter will endure.”


Kentucky artists prolifically celebrate Sandy Davis, but if animals could talk they would celebrate her as well. What she did for animal shelters and humane societies cannot be understated. 

 “Sandy was a truly giving and beautiful being,” says Harriette Swart, a sister in spirit to Sandy. “There was no one to walk by your side, cheer you on like Sandy. She held my hand when my beloved Gary died and helped transform me, introducing me to people who have become so important in my life. She was a connector, a conduit.”

That is what an angel does— helps us get through life. Sandy did not have it easy, far from it. But she turned challenges into empathy. She turned struggles into art. Her difficulties, born of circumstances no fault of the beautiful blonde child with a giant smile, did not break her. What they did was make her give and give and give. I can’t picture her without a smile on her face. She led with love.

May we take a cue from this fleeting light, and work hard to do the same. I will forever think of Sandy as Deb Chenault does, “Free from the dense gravity of the earthly world, running joyously along a beach somewhere with her beloved hounds who have been patiently waiting, faint footprints melting into the sea.” 

We send you on your way with love.


Lexington Memorial Planned

Sandy Davis spent decades in Lexington working in the media and advertising community, as a volunteer for many non-profits, and as an artist and photographer. She was also a longtime dedicated staffer at the Woodford Humane Society. As an entrepreneur, she founded the Art Movement Gallery, transforming Lexington businesses into art studios as she rotated the work of local artists into their spaces.

Her sudden death this summer left Lexington shocked and grieving, even moreso, as we have not yet been able to gather in person to console and mourn collectively.

Sandy touched so many lives with her light, her smile, her love, and her art, that the community wants to celebrate her life and legacy, and share memories of her in person.

In 2013, we all celebrated the launch of Sandy’s Art Movement Gallery, co-hosting an Ace Holiday Party with her at our downtown office. Each room celebrated a special local artist.

Although she had since relocated to her beloved hometown of Boston (and a family memorial was held there), she always held Kentucky in her heart, and Lexington always claimed her as a native daughter.

A fall memorial is planned to share memories and stories and images of Sandy. Her art will be on display, and we have begun the process of gathering volunteers to create an Annual Memorial Fundraiser in Sandy’s honor (supporting local affordable spay-neuter programs).

The Memorial is subject to community guidelines and restrictions regarding gatherings, and any scheduling updates, and modifications will be announced at the Facebook Memorial Page, “I Knew Sandy Davis.”  

All friends are welcome to join the facebook group and to share photos and memories.




This article also appears on page 9 of the August 2020 print edition of Ace Weekly.

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