BY ALEXANDRA LOUKERIS
Professor Nathan Lewis of Art and Design is exhibiting his own art work at Western Connecticut State University’s art exhibit, ‘The Real Unreal: Realism Now,’ that is running from Sep. 4 to Oct. 14.
The exhibit was put together by curator Jane Rainwater. Rainwater is an artist, designer and educator, and she holds an M.F.A. from the Art Institute of Boston.
“She told me about a year before that she was putting a show together and wanted my work in it,” said Lewis.
As a professor in the department of art and design, art has been part of Lewis’s life for a long time. He talked about how he grew up in California and had a background in BMX, which led him to make a BMX magazine.
He was creative during the process of making the magazine, but it was not until after that he decided to go further with art. After making this magazine, he began to take art classes at a local junior college.
“I was hooked after taking a few classes and started pushing all my efforts towards that . . . I enjoyed the process and what happened to my mind while drawing,” said Lewis.
This exhibit, like most, has a central theme for the artwork. In this case, the theme is realism.
Lewis talked about how this theme gives each artist an opportunity to tell a story through the art. He mentioned that all the artists show elements of realism, but focus their work on something unique to them.
“I think it’s important to get out and see art and artists in person,” said Lewis.
Lewis is showing five different pieces of artwork at the exhibit. While they all represent realism, they all have different stories behind them.
“All of them are narrative driven, some are inspired by film, some inspired by poems and one by the refugee crisis,” said Lewis.
The other artists whose work is exhibited next to Lewis’s are Mia Brownell, Leeah Joo, and Jennifer Knaus. All four artists help bring the world of realism to life throughout this exhibit.
While Lewis has never submitted his works to an exhibit put together by Rainwater before, he mentions that he frequently enters his works into other exhibitions.
He shows his art about four to five times a year, one being a solo exhibition. Lewis’s next showcase will be a solo show in Stamford at FLA Gallery. He will also have a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, Florida.
Lewis also likes to enter his students’ artwork into exhibits throughout the year. He mentioned that he will have four students submitting their work to City Wide Open Studios in New Haven, which is a month long exhibition.
“Art is a way to engage with the world in a meaningful way. There are a lot of artists in our community, if you look for them,” said Lewis.
This exhibit is a free event that is open to the public. It is open Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday from 1–4 p.m. You can make a reservation to attend the reception on the WCSU Visual and Peforming Arts Center’s events webpage at www.wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com.