April 19, 2018
Arts & Entertainment
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  • Pasadena Painter Chris Davenport Colors Life With A Unique Perspective
    Pasadena Painter Chris Davenport Colors Life With A Unique Perspective
  • McGowan Still Undefeated In MMA Professional Ranks
    McGowan Still Undefeated In MMA Professional Ranks

Blast From The Past

Zach Sparks
View Bio
February 22, 2017
Have you ever read a great novel, only to be dismayed at the discovery of a cliffhanger? Have you ever glanced over a news article, only to wonder what happened to the child prodigy with Broadway aspirations or the old lady who lived in a shoe? (OK, maybe that last example wasn’t from a news story).
The Voice staff is looking back at stories covered in past years to bring you an update or reflect on events that shaped the community. This month, we revisited articles on a mixed martial arts fighter and a painter.
McGowan Still Undefeated In MMA Professional Ranks
Print Date: February 24, 2011
Super-heavyweight fighter Ryan McGowan made his mixed martial arts debut in March 2010 as the main event of a Shogun Fights II production in which he beat Deon West by technical knock-out (TKO) in just 30 seconds. He followed his first professional victory with a Shogun III event at 1st Mariner Arena while an audience of 7,000 Comcast SportsNet viewers watched him defeat Bobby Favors in one minute 28 seconds.
For McGowan, who attended Northeast High School for ninth grade and Chesapeake High as a sophomore, junior and senior, the success brought with it hometown pride. He was also a semi-pro defensive lineman for the Arbutus Big Red football team. But after starting his cage fighting career 3-1 and tearing his bicep during the Mason-Dixon Championship Game, he put his fighting career on hold.
“It seems like I’m always getting myself in a situation where I’m tossing around fat guys,” McGowan joked in 2012. “It’s one of the hazards of the job, and it can create a lot of wear and tear on the body.”
McGowan continued to play football, winning a championship with the Arbutus Thundercats indoor football team during in its inaugural season in 2015 and joining the team for its sophomore campaign in 2016. He is now retired from football.
In October 2016, the 6-foot-3-inch, 305-pound McGowan returned to the octagon at Royal Farms Arena (formerly First Mariner Arena) for Shogun Fights 15, not because he missed fighting but because he wanted the extra income so he could provide for his wife and autistic son. To prepare, he focused on getting into shape.
“Conditioning is important,” he said, repeating advice from his coaches. “Fatigue makes a coward out of everyone.”
In his return, McGowan knocked out Rashaun Jackson in 2:54 as his head coach, Henry Smith, yelled instructions.
“I could hear him calling out stuff to do right before the knockout,” McGowan recalled. “He said, ‘March knee right hand.’” As Jackson dropped his hands to protect his knee, McGowan connected with a blow to his opponent’s head.
The 35-year-old has another fight against an unknown opponent in April. Even though he has a day job as a bail bondsman, he will continue to moonlight as an MMA fighter so he can raise money that will afford him and his wife some peace of mind about their son’s wellbeing.
“When we’re old and gone, we don’t know what will happen, so we just want to make sure he’s taken care of,” McGowan said.
Pasadena Painter Chris Davenport Colors Life With A Unique Perspective
Print Date: February 21, 2013
When we last caught up with Chris Davenport, he had just undergone a career change that renewed his enthusiasm for his craft while allowing him to mentor students at Chesapeake Bay Middle School. With his series of unique work called C. Davenport Art, the Pasadena painter depicted beachscapes, sports scenes and still life with vibrant colors, heavy contour lines and splendid use of geometric form.
Four years later, he continues to juggle his art business with his responsibilities as a full-time art teacher, husband and father of four teenagers. His favorite paintings from that time are the ones that are supersized, because they make his work pop. Once he has an idea in place, he collects images and starts the drawing process.
“After the drawing process is complete, than it just becomes a ‘coloring book’ exercise,” he said. “Don't get me wrong, there certainly is a challenge to color placement and selection. I think I've just gotten more and more comfortable and competent with the process over the years.”
With his eighth-grade Digital Palette course at CBMS, where students create projects solely with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, he allows his class to use his images, which offer more challenges, he said, than county-provided ones like Van Gough’s “Starry Night” or Picasso’s “Three Musicians.” The youth complete college-level challenges by the academic year’s midpoint.
“Hopefully, many years down the road, former students will look back on their time here at CBMS, and the project they created, and say, ‘Wow! That guy I just learned about in my college art history class was my middle school art teacher!’”
Davenport currently has artwork on sale at E.L. & Company in Pasadena and Coastal Cottage, across the Bay Bridge in Grasonville. For more information, visit www.cdavenportart.com.

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