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Antonio "Tone" Davis's passion has always been art. As a young child, he loved drawing and painting, and it shaped his focus at his northwest side Chicago high school, where Tone's creative genius was instantly recognized and encouraged.
He was "in the zone"—until the day his life sustained a crushing blow. A gunshot wound to the chest robbed him of the ability to walk or use his hands. Tone was only 19 years old. Instead of allowing it to cripple his dreams, his mental strength propelled him to a higher level of creativity. He became one of the world's most prolific fine artists, painting with his mouth. In 2006, he was granted a scholarship from the Mouth and Foot Painters Association (MFPA), an organization founded in Europe to help artists who create with their mouths and feet to sell their work.
In 2016, Tone founded the Imagine the Possibilities Studios. His mission is to inspire people to overcome any obstacle without fear or limitations. He teaches at schools, community centers and universities throughout America, sharing his inspiring story of resilience, empowerment and healthy living skills. He also generously works with "Art in Motion," the art therapy and therapeutic recreation program at Chicago's renowned Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. The program encourages persons with spinal injuries to pursue interests and activities they never thought possible. In his home studio, Tone immerses himself in a variety of artistic media—life drawing, color theory and 3D modeling—techniques he learned at the Illinois Institute of Art.
Tone's paintings have received worldwide recognition from high profile art buyers, prominent collectors, corporations and foundations and advocacy organizations. His extraordinary works have been licensed by print, digital and broadcast outlets and agencies globally. His large paintings have been exhibited in galleries and shows internationally, including the Harlem Fine Art Show in Chicago and New York; The American Disability Association's 25th Anniversary; Richard J. Daley College; the Brookfield Art Show; Highland Park Art Focus; BUILD Chicago, Blick Chicago, the Arts and Letters Committee of Chicago, and many others. Tone's most memorable exhibition was hosted by the American embassy in Yerevan, Armenia, where he was honored by the Armenian ambassador for his artistic achievements.
Here in the US, Tone recently was selected by The Obama Foundation as an "Active Citizen," and he is featured in their ongoing digital series. Los Angeles KCBS-TV co-anchor Demarco Morgan profiled Tone in a major segment that ran on the network's "CBS News This Morning." Public television's "Chicago Tonight" show on WTTW-TV has featured Tone’s talent and commitment to community outreach. He also was showcased by WGN-TV 9 on their famed, long-running “Chicago's Very Own” series.
Tone accepts commissions selectively. He resides on the North Side of Chicago with his wife, Juanita, with whom he shares an extraordinary love story.
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