Misha Davydov

My mentors from Lewis & Clark continue to be my biggest influences and advocates. 

Misha Davydov



Degree and Class Year

BA ’21


Moscow, Russia

Current City

Irvine, California


Studio Art


Art Club

Overseas study

Beijing University; New York City

Job Title, Organization

Previously: gallery assistant at Adams & Ollman (Portland, OR) and PDX CONTEMPORARY ART (Portland, OR)


Artist assistant during NYC program

Continuing Studies

MFA in Art at University of California, Irvine

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Enriching, Supportive, Interdisciplinary

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

One of the main reasons I came to Lewis & Clark was the exceptional overseas programs which gave me an opportunity to experience multiple places and communities during the four years.

Another reason was a developed ceramics program within the art department, which is rather an exception for liberal arts colleges; having an opportunity for an in-depth exploration of the medium with a full-time faculty felt important.

Finally, I wanted to be in a place that was close to an urban area, and the proximity to Portland’s art scene (as well as amazing food that the city has) was another reason I commited to LC.

What have you been doing since graduation?

After graduation, I worked for two art galleries in Portland: Adams & Ollman and PDX CONTEMPORARY ART. I also worked for Gather:Make:Shelter, which is a project that brings established Portland artists with the houseless community in the city. That same year I decided to apply for graduate school and I am now enrolled at University of California, Irvine where I am pursuing my Master of Fine Arts (MFA).

How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for your job?

The New York City program led by Dru Donovan was the most instrumental aspect of my LC education in terms of life after graduation–going to New York gave me an opportunity to connect with the people who are passionate about art, have a hands-on experience in the field through an internship, and gave me an understanding of the profession I wanted to pursue.

What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?

LC taught me that it is okay to follow your passion and interest. While some people in my life would criticize me for making art my career, I left LC feeling that it was a great choice for me. I know I would be unhappy doing anything else. While being an artist is a difficult path, it is possible to both take pleasure from doing it and also succeed if you believe in what you do.

Why did you major in Studio Art?

When I came to Lewis & Clark, I knew that I wanted to connect my life with art, whether through a studio practice or within academia. The art department’s faculty and pedagogical approach blew me away, especially in respect to the attention to conceptual development of the students’ ideas.

How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?

One of the most important things that I got out of the Lewis & Clark experience are the friendships that I have. Many of the people who I was close with continue to be in my life despite living in different places. I think that for anyone the years spent in undergrad are some of the most formative, and I know that the relationships I harvested during that time will stay with me throughout my life. Even though I am attending another institution right now, my mentors from Lewis & Clark continue to be my biggest influences and advocates.

What was your favorite class? How did it expand your knowledge?

“The Body in Art” with Dru Donovan was probably my favorite class, though all of the art classes I took were incredible. That class really encouraged me to work in an interdisciplinary manner, which also responds to the goals of liberal arts education. It was really enriching to come together with my classmates working in different media to tackle ideas around the body from different perspectives. Even four years later, my studio practice is concerned with some of the themes that I first encountered during that class.

Who was your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?

The four main faculty I worked with the most were Jess Perlitz, Dru Donovan, Joel W. Fisher, and Dawn Odell. The professors in the art area were really outstanding, both when it came to the studio courses and art history.

Another person who was integral to my academic experience was the art librarian Erica Jensen. I got to work with her at Watzek Library in my first year at LC, and she continued to be the irreplaceable person who helped me with my academic pursuits, always staying enthusiastic about the research I was doing.