Hartwell Davis, Jr.

Mr. Hartwell Davis is Chairman of the Board of Metalplate Galvanizing, Inc., a provider of hot dip galvanizing service for the steel industry throughout the South.  For the past 45 years he has been President or Chairman of Metalplate. He holds a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia University.  After college Hartwell served in the United States Navy as a commissioned officer.

Hartwell is past president of Rotary Club of Birmingham, past president of Crippled Children’s Foundation, former Captain of Monday Morning Quarterback Club, past chairman of EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, former vice chairman of Alabama Ear Institute, and former trustee of Birmingham-Southern College.  He is a member of Canterbury United Methodist Church, where he served as Chairman of the Church Council among other roles.

A native Alabamian from Montgomery, Hartwell lives in Birmingham with his wife, Martha Pollard Davis.  They have seven children and 12 grandchildren. 

Hartwell has been an advocate for children’s eye care throughout his quarter-century tenure on the Board of EyeSight Foundation of Alabama and 18-years’ service with Crippled Children’s Foundation.  As a board member of both organizations, he continues support of Sight Savers America.  Hartwell was involved with efforts leading to funding from the State of Alabama for Sight Savers America’s statewide K/2/4 follow-up eye-care program.  These efforts enabled the expansion of Sight Savers America from 22 Alabama counties to the current statewide service.

Artist:  Allan Eddy

Allan Eddy is an award-winning 1988 graduate of the Atlanta College of Art.  He is the winner of the prestigious 1987 Forward Arts Foundation Scholarship and many other awards.  In 2000, Allan contracted meningitis and spent six long weeks at Emory University Hospital fighting the disease.  After 2 days in the hospital Allan went totally blind, caused by optic nerve atrophy.

Allan’s family brought 15 of Allan’s paintings to the hospital.  They hung his art all around.  They wanted the medical staff to see Allan’s art to constantly remind them that this currently blind patient was an artist.  His family hoped that everyone would make a deeper connection with Allan through his art.  Maybe there would be some magic and healing power from surrounding Allan with his art.  And if Allan could possibly see again, they wanted the art to be the first thing that he saw.

The consensus of 5 Emory Eye Doctors was that he would be totally blind for life or at the most have very slight light and dark distinction.  When Allan had a little vision starting to return, they said he would just see some light, no more.  After a little more vision returned, they said he wouldn’t be able to distinguish anything.  When Allan told a doctor he could see the pattern of the doctor’s tie, they said he would be totally color blind.  Then Allan started seeing colors.

After 6 weeks the meningitis was under control and Allan left the hospital extremely weak and severely vision impaired.  But over the following three years and to the surprise of his doctors, Allan’s vision still kept improving a little bit at a time.  His color vision continued to improve.

Now, years later, with a little sliver of vision in one eye and some color distinction, Allan has returned to his passion of painting.  Since early 2008 Allan is painting mostly abstract surreal through pointillism.  He also dabbles in other styles and in sculpture.  His work is compared to Kandinsky, Matta, and Miro.  He has shown his art in galleries, museums and juried shows.  Purchasers of his paintings include Elton John and many private and corporate collectors.

Allan is more inspired; painting with more determination than ever.  His palette is much brighter and his work has even more sculptural elements, reflecting the changes in his vision.  Allan feels that his work is even better than before his vision impairment.  Allan says “I’m a lot slower now, which is frustrating, but my impairment made me jump to the next stage in my work.  I feel like this is exactly where I should be.”