Melanie Rush Davis, who taught photography at Trinity as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Art and Art History for seven years, died on Nov. 12, 2018, after a more than two year battle with brain cancer. She was 63.
Davis was born in Indianapolis, Ind., on May 10, 1955, to Adeline (Addie) Rush and Harold (Joe) Rush. She was the fourth child of eight—two brothers and five sisters. She grew up in a military family, so her life was filled with global travel, graduating from high school at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippine Islands. She attended college at the University of Texas at San Antonio, earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees of fine arts in photography.
She diligently pursued her love of photography by becoming an artist, a teacher, a published author, and mentor to many. Davis is well known for her unique pinhole photography, earning her “local-legend” status as the “pinhole queen.” She constructed a life-sized “camera obscuras” and frequently presented her work at the Blue Star Arts Complex and the annual Luminaria event.
“Melanie was known for always bringing a camera and wonderful food to parties,” Emma Davis, her daughter, says. “She had an infectious optimistic spirit—whenever you were with her, she made you feel like the most important person in the world. Her smile and giving heart are known around the country and have left their mark on anyone in her wake.”
Davis, who taught through chemotherapy treatments, passed away with music, champagne, and a gathering of loved ones by her side. She is survived by her husband, Kemp Galloway Davis, and her daughter, Emma Jewel Davis, both of San Antonio.
Though Davis taught at other schools, her daughter says she loved the Trinity community, enjoyed her students immensely, and made some strong connections with the professors. Davis’s family invites the Trinity community to a service in her honor, which will be held at University Presbyterian Church, 300 Bushnell Ave., on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m.