Monday, 23 June 2014

The Closing Reception Opened New Exhibition Possiblilities

Visitors at the Westbesuch 2014 in front Westwerk- Plagwitz, Leipzig

The "Meta-Triptychs" closing reception was a great success.  Hundreds of people poured into the Webervogel from 11 AM to 9 PM.  They made their way back to Catherine Chalk's newly opened weaving factory during their stroll through the Westbesuch event or were purposefully seeking out the lady who is bringing the textile industry back to Leipzig's cultural centre- Plagwitz.  Having my paintings exhibited there during this event was perfect.  So many people came and saw the work.  It was wonderful to talk to them and hear their reactions to the work.  Some shared their interpretations, opinions and even memories that the images conjured up.

 It was amazing how the flow of people followed a constant pattern.  It seemed there would be five walking in and then they would be followed by 20 or 30 rushing behind.  This went on all day.  After 6 PM the reception started and many that I invited came to celebrate with me. 

 The best part was speaking with people about exhibition possibilities later this year.  One in a language school, one in a soon to be opening arts centre outside Leipzig, and one in an art gallery in Plagwitz, Leipzig.  I was excited with the first, by the third I just wanted to jump for joy!  It has been a long time working without showing.  This has been such a great year so far.

The success of this show, the reaction to my work, and three exhibition proposals make my trip home to America so much more exciting.  I have already been planning ideas for new paintings and trying to figure out all the studies I would like to do while back in the States.  Now there is a new surge of energy making me want to take full advantage of my stay.  What stories can I tell, which locations and people can I include, what small details can I hide around the corners or behind the trees.  The beaches and shore spots are on my list.  Philadelphia, Jersey City or Hoboken, a trip to Rutgers in New Brunswick, a ride around my home town of Dividing Creek, I can not wait to get out, sketch and record places that I can use in the paintings.  I want to get in touch with my former art teachers to go out sketching and talk to them about my new work and plans for the next pieces.

I need to do more research on Edward Hopper.  Several people have mentioned his work while looking at mine.  The Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC has the largest collection of his paintings and drawings.  I want to go study his painted surfaces and the brush techniques that are not apparent in reproductions or online.  I want to note his use of light and dark and the soft edges of the forms.  I read that he had his first break at the age of 42, so perhaps this shows it is not too late for me.  It has been quite intense over the

 (Many thanks go out to a dear friend for the photos & videos.)

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Writing a Press Release for "Meta-triptychs"

I decided to try again to have an exhibition written about in my home-town paper.  I will let you know how it goes this time.


STEVE LEWIS art exhibition, "Meta-Triptychs"

Organized by: Webervogel
Exhibition at : Karl-Heine-Str. 93b (Westwerk)
  Leipzig, Germany

June 5 - 25,  2014
Opening Times:  9:00 AM-5:00 PM weekdays
Reception: June 21, 2014
Opening Times:  6:00-9:00 PM

In Leipzig, Germany on June 21, 2014 the Reception of "Meta-Triptychs" by Steve Lewis will be held at Webervogel from 6-9PM.

Steve Lewis, who was born and raised in Dividing Creek, New Jersey and now resides in Leipzig, has been invited to exhibit paintings during the grand opening of a new weaving factory in the art district of Leipzig, which was formerly known for the textile industry in East Germany.   Lewis first moved to Leipzig in 1994 after graduating from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.  He was under the tutorage of Judy Scull at Bridgeton High until he graduated in 1990 and studied oil painting with Elsie Donaghay in Cedarville as a child.  The show opened on June 5 and runs until June 25.

Lewis had been invited to display his work after previously exhibiting three paintings in a 24 hour group exhibition in April called "Optimaler Schnitt." The paintings are the first of a series of what he is calling meta-triptychs.  Each painted composition focuses on 3 visual elements or narratives within one scene. The paintings are planned in a manner whereby the viewer feels as though they are part of the environment or could easily imagine stepping into the scene – where they become part of the narrative for that moment and begin to contemplate what to do next.

More information can be found at:

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Reflecting on the Year After the Artist Teacher Workshop

Back in May 2013, for professional development, the Leipzig International School sent me on a course called "Artist Teacher Workshop" at La Vigna Art Studios in Pisa, Italy.  The course was designed and run by Heather McReynolds, an IB Visual Arts Examiner.  The main focus of the workshop was to rejuvenate the artist within art teachers and help them realize the benefits of being an artist teacher who teaches by example in the classroom.  The course was wonderful.  Heather was so inspiring, encouraging, and generous with her knowledge.  It has changed how I see myself as a teacher but more importantly it has made me realize I need to rediscover myself as an artist.

After returning to LIS and starting the school year of 2013/14, I thought about ways of making good on the professional development and keeping the energy felt while on the workshop alive.  How could making art more regularly help my students?  My grade 11 IB Art class has been a great encouragement.  By meeting their deadlines for critiques and sketchbook entries I was able to grow artistically along with the group and lead by example.  Grade 9 IGCSE used my new work to practice written analysis and we traded linoleum prints.  I collaboratively worked with grade 10 and 12 students on their ideas and created work that demonstrated possible solutions.  I even attended drawing classes with a few grade 12 IB Art students.  Becoming an artist teacher has been very positive in the classroom.

The blog I started,, allows me to record the steps taken to stay artistically productive and to share images of the art works when they are completed.  Producing my own art again has been vital to me feeling complete and has strengthened my teaching.  The highlights of the year have been working on a series of new paintings exhibited at a 24 hour group exhibition called Optimaler Schnitt in April and exhibiting  at Webervogel and Linguarama in June.  I can not thank LIS enough for supporting me as a teacher and valuing me as an artist.  This year, I have undergone a great transformation and I am looking forward to being an artist teacher next year, sharing all the benefits that may come in and outside the classroom.

Exhibition view at Webervogel, Leipzig.  Running June 5 - 25, 2014