Lisa Vandegrift Davala

Lisa Vandegrift Davala, Writer, Director, Producer

LISA VANDEGRIFT DAVALA began her career as a mural painter, architectural restorer and sign writer,and has been a life-long musician. She was given the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Architecture and Design by Irish President Patrick Hillery. As a visual artist, she exhibited in galleries and museums in the US and Europe including Gimpel Fils London, Ducal Palace Leningrad, and The Berman Museum of Art (12-year retrospective exhibition). Since the 1980’s the major part of her attention has been given to the relationship between the marks we make and their ability to be containers of our human spirit. She has referred to this phenomenon as “The Calligraphy of the Spirit”. Her film “…for peace comes dropping slow…” is a celebration of this idea, bringing a human presence to a meaningful space, and inscribing it with the line and mark of poetic light.

During 2009 she completed a 50 minute documentary film entitled “The Ballinagare Initiative, A Design Thinking Challenge”, with students in Roscommon, Ireland. Over the last decade her work has moved closer to film, moving image and light art. The work increased in both scale and technological breadth to include a projected, larger-than-life, movable book room and a work designed for the iPod. She completed the second “SLIGLOW”, 2010, a live, filmed, public light event, and is presently working on a new feature documentary.

Lisa was the recipient of the Vira Heinz Award, Pittsburgh; First Prize, Fenderesky Open Exhibition, Belfast Northern Ireland; and The Adolf and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Award, New York. Her works are in the permanent collection of MoMA, The Crayola Museum, The Berman Museum of Art, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Library of Ireland and The Boyle Civic Collection, Ireland. Her film “…for peace comes dropping slow…” was nominated for “Best Irish Short” at the 23rd Foyle International Film Festival, 2010, was awarded “Honorable Mention Best Experimental film”, Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival, 2011 and has received an “Official Selection”, and the Nomination for Best Short, and was the Festival Genius Audience Buzz Winner at the New Hope International Film Festival in the U.S., 2011.


2013  Nominated, 30 Minute Film Festival, Galway Film Fleadh, Galway, Ireland

2012  Nomination for TV3 Broadcast, Signal Shortlist Shortfest, Dublin, Ireland

2012  Hon. Mention Best Intl. Short, Intl. Film Festival for Peace, Jakarta, Indonesia

2011  Hon. Mention, Best Experimental Film, Corona Fastnet Film Festival, Cork, Ireland

2011  Nominated Best Short & winner Festival Genius Audience Buzz, New Hope, Film Fest. US

2011 “…for peace comes dropping slow…” IFI Shorts @ The Model, May 7, Sligo, Ireland, The Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival, May 29, Schull, Ireland, and the New Hope Film Festival, July 16, PA, USA

2010 “…for peace comes dropping slow…” Screened in competition: Best Irish Short, 23rd Foyle International Film Festival, Derry, NI, November 26, 2010

2010 “…for peace comes dropping slow…” Premiere, Gaiety Cinema, Sligo, Ireland 22 October, additional screening November 6, 2010.

2010 “…for peace comes dropping slow…” Sneak preview Culture Night Sligo, 24, September
and Strule Arts Centre Cinema, Omagh, NI, September 11, 2010.

2010 “SLIGLOW2, Glasshouse, Culture Night Ireland, Site-specific (filmed and photographed) installation Co-Created with Darren Carr, Justin Knecht, Tara Lewis and 800-1000 participants, Sligo, Ireland.

2009  “SLIGLOW, Glasshouse, Culture Night Ireland, Site-specific installation (filmed and photographed) assisted by Tinka Bechert, Vanya Lambrecht Ward and co-created with 800-1000 participants, Sligo, Ireland. Best Culture Night Ireland event pick,  2009,

2003    Celestial Circus The Crayola Factory Museum, Easton, PA, USA, Permanent Installation

1996    Shaking The Tree: L. Vandegrift Davala and Studio, Berman Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA

1991-92    L. Vandegrift Davala, Alleluias of Love: Selected Works 1979-1991, 12-year retrospective, Berman Museum of Art, Philadelphia, touring to Rathbone Gallery, Albany, NY, Lycoming College Gallery, PA,


2009-10    New Wave, Canon of the 21st Century, Artist’s Illustrated Books, (    invited) UWE, UK

2009    Boyle Arts Festival Exhibition, (invited) King House, Boyle, Co. Roscommon, Ireland

2007    HEAL, Naughton Gallery, Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland

2006-09    Sitting Room, touring to Alsager Gallery, MMU Manchester, Permanent Gallery, Brighton, Winchester Gallery, Winchester, UWE Bristol, Enschede Academy of Visual Arts, The Netherlands, Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge, K Gallery, Almeida, CA, Universidad Autonoma Metropolotana, Mexico City, Martha Hellion Artist Book Center, Mexico City

2003    Manifestations/Form & Function, Denise Bibro Fine Art, NYC, NY,

2002    Figurative Works 2002, Montgomery Armory Center, W. Palm Beach, FL, US, juror, Olga Viso (Hirshhorn Museum)

2002    AONE USA Silvermine, New Canaan, CT, USA, juror Ann Temkin, (Philadelphia Museum of Art)

2001-02    7th Wexford International Artist’s Book Exhibition, Wexford Arts Centre, touring Cork and    Derry, Ireland

1998    Agart World Print Festival, Ljubljana, Slovenia, (three works)

1992    2UP, First Annual Juried Exhibition, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA, USA

1993    Harmonious Markings, Calligraphy and the Book, Kamin Gallery, University of Penna., Philadelphia, PA, USA

1991     Gimpel Fils, London, UK

1990    Flower, exhibition to benefit persons with AIDS, (invited), Schacht Fine Arts Center, Troy, NY, USA,

1989    Oireachtas, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland

1989    12th Claremorris Exhibition, Claremorris Art Gallery, Co. Mayo, Ireland, selected by Brian Fallon

1988     Oireachtas, Bank of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland

1987     S.A.D.E., Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland

1987    Fenderesky Art Gallery Open Exhibition Competition, Belfast, Northern Ireland

1987    10th Claremorris  St. Coleman’s College, Co. Mayo, selector Henry Meyric Hughes (British Council)

1987    Self Portraits Exhibition, Irish Visual Arts Foundation, (invited), Project Arts Center, Dublin

1986    Independent Artists Exhibition, Guinness Hop Store, Dublin, Ireland

1984-87Contemporary American Prints, (invited), Ducal Palace, Leningrad, USSR

1984    Gimpel Fils, London, UK, (nine works)


Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

MoMA, Franklin Furnace Collection, NYC, USA

The Crayola Factory Museum, Easton, PA, USA

National Library of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland

Boyle Civic Art Collection, King House Gallery & Museum, Roscommon, Ireland

Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Private collections in England, Greece, Ireland, Belgium, Malaysia, Spain, and USA


2010     Public Art Film Commission Sligo Arts Service, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government Per Cent For Art Scheme.

2009     Film Artist’s Grant, Sligo County Council Arts Office, Sligo, Ireland

2008/09  Film Artist-in-Residency, Roscommon, Ireland

2003    Commission, The Crayola Factory Museum at Three Rivers Landing, Easton, PA, USA

1991     Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant, NYC, USA

1987    First Prize, Fenderesky Art Gallery Open Exhibition, Belfast, Northern Ireland

1984    Outstanding Contribution to Architecture and Design, presented by Irish President Dr. Patrick Hillery

1972    Vira I. Heinz Award for travel and Study


Tyler School of Art of Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA, Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (Hons.), Painting

Apprenticed to American painter Richard Callner, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Attended École de Mime Potash, Montpellier, France

Attended the Aegean School of Fine Arts, Paros, Cyclades, Greece


Visual Artists Ireland, IVARO, IAA U.N.E.S.C.O., Tax Exemption for Artists, Ireland; Archives on Women Artists, National Museum of Women in the Arts