The Harvard Gazette has announced that Harvard has chosen Viola as the Harvard Artist of the Year.
Will headline Harvard Cultural Rhythms Festival March 4
iola Davis, the popular actress, producer, director, activist, businesswoman, and philanthropist, has been named the 2017 Artist of the Year. She will be awarded the Harvard Foundation’s arts medal at a ceremony on March 4 during the 32nd annual Cultural Rhythms Festival in Memorial Hall’s Sanders Theatre.
“The students and faculty of the Harvard Foundation are delighted to present the acclaimed television and film artist Viola Davis with the 2017 Artist of the Year award,” said S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation. “Our student committee praised her outstanding contributions to American and international film and theater. She recently received the Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and British Academy of Films and Television Arts awards, as well as an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Rose Maxson in the film adaptation of August Wilson’s play ‘Fences.’”
Davis co-starred in the play’s 2010 Broadway revival opposite Denzel Washington, who also joined her in the film adaptation. Her performance earned her a Tony Award, as well as the Drama Critic’s Circle Award, Outer Critic’s Circle Award, and Drama Desk Award.
On television, Davis currently stars on “How to Get Away with Murder,” for which she received the 2014 and 2015 Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a drama series. In 2015, she also won an Emmy in the same category, becoming the first African-American to do so.
Born in St. Matthews, S.C., Davis grew up in Central Falls, R.I., and has remained active in the community there, raising money for the town’s library and Central Falls High School. She and her husband, Julius Tennon, founded a multiethnic film, television, and theater production company, JuVee Productions, in 2012. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Davis received an honorary doctorate during its 109th Commencement ceremony. She also holds an honorary doctorate of fine arts degree from her alma mater, Rhode Island College.
The Harvard Foundation, the University’s center for intercultural initiatives, honors the nation’s most acclaimed artists and scientists each year. Previous Harvard Foundation awards have been presented to distinguished artists including Shakira, LL Cool J, Quincy Jones, Queen Latifa, Sharon Stone, Andy Garcia, Will Smith, Matt Damon, Halle Berry, Jackie Chan, Denzel Washington, Salma Hayek, Wycelf Jean, Eva Longoria, and Lucy Liu.
The Artist of the Year award will be presented during the 32nd annual Harvard Cultural Rhythms Festival. The program begins at 4 p.m. on March 4 at Sanders Theatre. For ticket information visit the Harvard Foundation website.
Last night Viola & Julius attended the Women In Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party.
Only one more day until the Academy Awards ceremony! Fingers crossed for Viola!
When Oscar Sunday arrives on Feb. 26, no one will be surprised if Viola Davis wins Best Supporting Actress, thanks to her powerful work in Fences. The three-time Oscar nominee is overdue for a win, and her complete embodiment of the character of Rose should be the role that earns her the statue. In an exclusive clip from the Digital HD release of Fences, Davis and her co-stars offer up powerful insights about Rose and the knockout performance Davis delivers in the film.
Based on the Broadway play of the same name, Fences is the story of a marriage, and the performance Davis gives as a woman who devotes her life to a proud man who makes many mistakes is one of her best to date. In the behind-the-scenes clip, Davis’ co-stars Denzel Washington, Jovan Adepo, and Russell Hornsby have nothing but glowing reviews for the actor.
Hornsby, in particular, cuts to the heart of what makes Davis such a stunning performer. When talking about his co-star’s unique ability to bring Rose to life, he says,
“Viola digs deep into the terra firma of our ancestors to find their voice, to find their blood, to find their pain, and bring it to life. And say this is for the people who cannot speak.”
When asked who inspired her portrayal of Rose, Davis is quick to name herself, her mother, and any woman who “ever sacrificed a piece of herself for the greater good.” By focusing in on a pivotal scene from the final moments of the film, the digital extra illuminates what drives Rose to make the most difficult choice of her life. Whether you have seen Fences or it’s still on your to-watch list, the clip is an absolute must-see — and trust me, if you haven’t seen the film it will leave you wanting more.
Come Oscar night, movie fans need to understand why critics cannot stop talking about Davis’ performance. The actor originated the role on stage, but she somehow found a way to bring even more nuances to Rose on film. As a black woman, wife, and mother in 1950s Pittsburgh, Rose struggles to reconcile her various roles in a way Davis is right to point out many women to this day will be able to relate to. Her sacrifices cut deep, and Davis is unafraid to show the scars left behind.
Fences is available for digital download on Friday, Feb. 24 and will be available on Blu-ray March 14.
Thursday Viola presented an award to her co-star Aja Naomi King at the Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards.
Viola Davis Online > 2017 > February 23 | Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards
Viola Davis Online > 2017 > February 23 | Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards – Audience
Viola Davis Online > 2017 > February 23 | Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards – Ceremony
Alfre Woodard and Farfetch Present the 8th Annual Oscar’s Sistahs Soiree which Viola attended earlier this week. I have added images to the gallery.
Stills from the first half of the season three finale of How to Get Away with Murder.
See a promo for next week’s finale of How to Get Away With Murder … be sure to tune in on Thursday night!