Artist Portrait: Wanta Davenport

Applause celebrates an artist in our community bi-weekly

Wanta Davenport’s earliest lessons in art came while her mother painted and she played with crayons, pencils and paint.


Her mother, Fernie Tait, was well-known in Texas, especially for her oil paintings of roses, garnering the nickname of The Yellow Rose of Texas.

While Davenport takes after her mother’s love for painting with oils, she doesn’t limit her subjects.

“I paint just a little bit of everything,” said Davenport, who owns Artistic Perceptions at 551 Broad St.

Portraits are among Davenport’s base of work. She painted portraits of Mayor Deke Copenhaver, which he has hung at his office, and Symphony Orchestra Augusta’s former conductor Donald Portnoy. She also paints flowers and scenes with buildings.

Davenport has had a gallery in downtown Augusta for 23 years. She needed a dedicated space to paint, said her husband, Roy. It often took more time for her to set up her paintings and take everything down than she had to devote to painting itself, so they found a place where she could have it all.

While Broad Street has provided a permanent space for her to show her work, Davenport has exhibited her work in galleries around the world, including Houston; Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia; and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Artistic Perceptions is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Call (706) 724-8739 or visit