Senior artist to debut work at national art show in Nashville


Artwork Courtesy David Tapia

David Tapia’s art runs the gamut in style and medium.

Zachary Jones, Staff Writer

David Tapia is a big name in the Bearden art department.

His art has been presented in Bearden’s art show Uncommon Core and the Knoxville Museum of Art show on multiple occasions over the past three years. Soon, however, his name will be known to many other artists from different parts of the world when his work is showcased at a national level.

Tapia will participate in the upcoming RAW National Art show on Sept. 27 in Nashville. RAW is an independent company that helps artists in all fields – including visual art, film, fashion, and dance – advance and get their name out into the tough field of art. Artists from all over the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom come together to display their art.

As a sophomore, Tapia also attended Governor’s School, a prestigious summer program that helps young artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs further develop their skills. The program typically only accepts rising seniors with years of experience. While there, he was instructed by Charles Clary, a well known Tennessean artist who uses the art of cutting and folding paper in order to create stunning pieces of art.

David kind of took from that [the art of folding/cutting paper] his own version and has really made that a part of his style too,” Bearden art teacher Mrs. Anna Boyd said.

Tapia not only takes part in Bearden-based art activities, but his art expertise has also proliferated into tattoo design.

Some people focus on what they desire, some focus on what they want to be, some focus on their love, and some focus on their aspirations in life,” Tapia says in the artistic statement published on his website. “I desire none of that. I desire understanding my own past, even though I must find new interests to entertain my mind.”

Tapia also has experience with screen-printing or the process of creating T-shirts through putting ink onto fabric through cut-out designs. He was introduced to the Knoxville-based company Meltdown Graphics through a friend of Mrs. Boyd and from there, their partnership blossomed.

“He actually sold to a couple students, so they have his shirt with the artwork on it; it’s kind of neat,” Mrs. Boyd said.

In addition to Meltdown Graphics, Tapia these sells shirts featuring his artwork on

Tapia, with the support of Mrs. Boyd, says that he will pursue a full-time career in art. Tapia is currently considering attending Savannah College of Art and Design, Maryland College Institute of Art, Pratt Institute, and Memphis College of Art.

“I am looking into illustration or concept art,” he said. “I would love to do that.”

Tapia’s art and full artistic statement can be found on his personal website.