Mrs. Davis is a Cincinnati native who has held strong roles at various social justice organizations for over nine years.

Joy Alise studied Political Science at Miami University and holds an MA from Parsons School of Design in New York. She is the founder of the award-winning firm, Design + Culture Lab. In 2014, Joy served as the project manager for PAALF’s award-winning The People’s Plan. To this day, Joy is proud to continue PAALF’s mission of helping the Black community imagine the alternatives they deserve. In 2019, Joy made her gallery headwrap sculptor debut for the Albina Queens Project.

When she is not winning awards, Joy enjoys spending time with her two loves: Emmy-nominated husband Rob, and her vintage 1973 Honda SL100 motorcycle.

When Joy Alise gets a seat at the table, she swiftly dismantles the old furniture and makes room for a more inclusive space led by Black and Indigenous folks.

SPACE Program

This artist was curated at PICA by A Black Art Ecology of Portland (BAEP). PICA is the fiscal sponsor and a core partner of A Black Art Ecology of Portland through the SPACE Program.

SPACE (Supporting Partners, Artists, and Community Events) offers PICA’s space, equipment, staff and other resources in support of local artists and community organizations to curate and produce residencies, programs, and events.

SPACE is supported in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Pacific Power Foundation, and Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust. 

More information on the SPACE Program, including its two-year history at PICA, will be released in coming months.

Image Caption

2019 Albina Queens. Models: Shanice Clarke, Danielle McCoy, Isatou Jallow, TJ Brown. Headwrap Sculptor: Joy Alise Davis. Photographer: Rob Lewis.

More Info:
This photography exhibit celebrates those who claim, reclaim and/or disrupt traditional constructs of black femininity in its many forms. The images captured mark an occasion where black women/femmes were seen, counted, loved and valued. This in and of itself is a political act.

The black women/femmes we are seeking represent a wide spectrum of difference (trans women, non-binary femmes, femmes, cis women, youth, elderly, people with a range of abilities — and everything and everyone in between). It is in this spectrum where we find the beauty and power of black people.

The photographs focus on bringing out the natural vibrancy and radiance of black skin and the rich traditions of head wraps. Head wraps have a deep and complex history from their use as tools of oppression to literal crowns. This piece of fabric represents the resilience, resourcefulness, and creativity that black women/femmes have employed as a method of survival and self-empowerment for centuries. Learn more at

Project Creator: Joy Alise Davis, Executive Director of Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF)
Albina Queens Photography Project Sponsors Kamp Grizzly, Design + Culture Lab, Travel Portland, and Design Week Portland.
Photographer: Rob Lewis
Headwrap Sculptor: Joy Alise Davis, Executive Director of Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF)