Tag Archives: Lancaster

NATE LEWIS featured in Lancaster Online

2 Nov

November 2, 2017
Mosaic Project artist Nate Lewis uses his experience as a nurse in his art

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Most artists know from the time they are little kids that they will become artists.

Nate Lewis, one of this year’s mosaic artists at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, knew from the time he was a child that he wanted to be a nurse, like his dad.

He had no idea that his nursing career would become the foundation of his art career.

I was planning to be a nurse since sixth grade,” says Lewis, who grew up in Beaver Falls in western Pennsylvania. “I got good grades, and I played lots of basketball. I didn’t grow up making art at all.”

Lewis will talk about his nontraditional journey as an artist Friday at 2 p.m. And from 6 to 7 p.m., the public can meet Lewis during a First Friday event.

And his exhibit will be on display through Dec. 8, along with one by fellow mosaic artist Amber Robles Gordon.

Music was the first foray into art for Lewis.

“Coming out of college and into my mid-20s was a time where I listened to everything,” he says. “The music spoke to me so much in so many different ways.”

He started playing violin, taking about 8 or 9 lessons and then teaching himself.

“I played two or three hours a day,” Lewis says. “The way I am, when I really like something, I dive in.”

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He moved to Virginia and started working in the intensive care unit of a hospital. Required to take some classes, he started doodling when class got too dull.

This wasn’t actually a breakthrough for him. It was just doodling.

But then his sister, who is a visual artist, saw something in those doodles and for Christmas 2010, she bought him some art supplies and a book about drawing.

“My sister told me to draw what was in front of me, but I found it boring. I knew that I wanted to draw organs and instruments, red blood cells, images from an electronic microscope. That was my world.”

He drew lungs coming out of a trumpet, red blood cells coming out of a pipe.

“I loved it. This is exactly what I wanted to draw.”

His sister loved the images, too, and suggested they make T-shirts.

While he spent his spare time working on the T-shirts, he missed drawing his unique images. So he quit the T-shirt business and began working on his drawings. Two cross-sections of brains that looked like headphones. A bagpipe sitting on top of a stomach.

He was still working in the hospital, where he moved from neuroscience-surgical intensive care to medical-surgical intensive care and to a stroke unit, where he was involved in rehab.

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And his work evolved from the basics of anatomy to a deeper, more intense kind of work.

He began exploring and working with layers of paper, specifically paper from MRIs and CAT scans.

“I was thinking of the rhythms and records of people’s lives. I thought about vulnerability, empathy and care. You’ve got such an intimate relationship with patients and family members. I don’t think I will have a more intimate relationship. These are vulnerable and tragic times for people.”

As art took over his life, Lewis stopped working as a nurse and now devotes himself to exploring new ideas and expanding on older ideas.

“I wanted to add life to my work, not just the hospital,” Lewis says, noting that he has been influenced by his brother-in-law, who is also a visual artist.

Lewis is now thinking about history and African-American figures and narratives.

“I’ve started using African-American figures and thinking about empathy and what is empathy outside of the hospital. Empathy is not a passive thing. It is very active. So I am educating myself on unknown histories, with things I have been unaware of.

“I’m adding life to movement and then I am thinking about textures in bodies. Tensions past, present and future.”

He will keep evolving.

“As time goes on, I try to understand more and more by using empathy, understanding and caring,” Lewis says. “My work was physically taking care of people, and I see everybody with this lens.”¶

 

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AMBER ROBLES GORDON and NATE LEWIS at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design

8 Jun

The Mosaic Project: Amber Robles Gordon and Nathaniel Lewis

The 9th annual Mosaic Project:

Amber Robles Gordon and Nathaniel Lewis

Oct 2ndDec 8th

First Friday receptions October 6, Nov 3 and Dec 1

Amber Robles Gordon

“My artwork is a visual representation of my hybridism: a fusion of my gender, ethnicity, cultural, and social experiences. I impose colors, imagery, and materials that evoke femininity and tranquility with the intent of transcending or balancing a specific form. I associate working with light, color, and energy as a positive means to focus on the healing power found in the creative process and within us all. It is my belief that colors have both feminine and masculine energies and each color represents a specific aspect of nature.”

Amber Robles-Gordon, is a mixed media visual artist.  She primarily works and is known for her use of found objects and textile to create assemblages, large-scale sculptures and installations.  Her work is representational of her experiences and the paradoxes within the female experience.

Robles-Gordon has over fifteen years of exhibiting, art education, and exhibition coordinating experience.  She completed her Masters of Fine Arts from Howard University in November 2011, where she has received annual awards and accolades for her artwork. Since, her exhibitions and artwork has been reviewed and/or featured in the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Washington Informer, Examiner, WAMU American University Radio, WPFW 89.3, MSNBC the grio, Hyperallergeric, Ebony.com, the Miami Herald, Huffington Post, Bmore Art Magazine, and Callaloo Art & Culture in the African Diaspora.

She has exhibited nationally and in Germany, Italy, Malaysia, London, and Spain. In 2010, Robles-Gordon was granted apprenticeship to create a public art installation with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, D.C. Creates Public Arts Program. Robles-Gordon was also commissioned to create temporary and permanent public art installations for numerous art fairs and agencies such as the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DCCAH, Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association (NVFAA), Humanities Council of Washington, D.C., Howard University, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Washington Projects for the Arts.

Throughout her career, she serves as an advocate for the Washington, DC area arts community. As of November 2004 through July 2012, Robles-Gordon has been an active member of the Black Artists DC, (BADC) serving as exhibitions coordinator, Vice President and President. Robles-Gordon is also the Co-Founder of Delusions of Grandeur Artist Collective. In 2012, Robles-Gordon was selected to present for the Under the Influence competition as part of the 30 Americans Exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Additionally, she has been commissioned by the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum, Luther College, WETA Television, Al Jazeera, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, Howard University, David C. Driskell Center, the Phillips Collection, the African American Museum in Philadelphia  and Mc Daniel College  to teach workshops, give commentary, and or present about her artwork. Most recently, Robles-Gordon has been selected for the Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano, Back the Roots, Teaching Residency in Limon, Costa Rica.

 

Nate Lewis

“As a critical care registered nurse I desired to become emotionally porous. I sought for the impersonal experiences of patients and families to become personal and intimate. This resulted in distilling untested qualities of my character and further illuminating areas of my identity. I aim for this work to show the power of freedom within boundaries, and to question to what lengths are we willing to lay aside our pride, comfort, and fear to make room for empathy, within intimate and larger social contexts.”

Born and raised outside of Pittsburgh in the town of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, Nate Lewis is currently living and working in Washington, DC.

Lewis began his working career as a critical care registered nurse, he received a BS in nursing in 2008 and has since worked in a medical-surgical intensive care unit, a stroke unit, and spent most of his time in a neuroscience-surgical intensive care unit. He has been working as a critical care registered nurse for six years. He began pursuing the arts in 2008, first it was music, violin. He then started pursuing the visual arts in 2010. A self-taught artist, drawing inspiration from anatomy, physiology, disease processes and his nursing experience as a care taker of patients and their family members he creates stunning, intricate 2-3d sculptures out of  single sheets of paper that visually combines the aesthetics of drawing, sculpture, etching,  embroidery, and textiles. His approach to his work is often instinctive and free while at the same time surgically precise. Lewis’s work pushes the idea of freedom within boundaries, and seeks to confront perceptions of vulnerability, tragedy, and time.

He has exhibited his work more than 30 times in the past 5 years, most recently at the  Morton Fine Art, Washington DC, Loyola University, Baltimore, MD, 2016 Biological Tapestries 1st Movement, Morton Fine Art, Washington DC,  Art on the Vine, Marthas Vineyard, MA,  GalleryNine5, New York, NY, Joan Hisoka Gallery, Washington, DC, Cordesa Fine Art, San Francisco, Ca, and Brilliant Champions Gallery, Brooklyn NY. His work has been covered in the Houston Chronicle , Strictly Paper   and Scrub Magazine.  He has been a recipient three times of the DC Commission of the Arts & Humanities Visual Artist Fellowship Grant, Artist in Residence by Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY, and Regional Winner of Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series, Washington DC.

The Mosaic Project: The significance of art in the lives of our youth cannot be underestimated. Yet, just when research is finally emerging that supports this, budget cuts and curricular demands are threatening the foundation of creativity in our public schools. In order to fill that gap as well as enrich the community, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design developed The Mosaic Project, a multicultural exhibition and education program for students and families in Lancaster County.

 

– See more at: http://pcad.edu/gallery-exhibit/the-mosaic-project-amber-robles-gordon-and-nathaniel-lewis/#sthash.Yzma5SLf.dpuf

Click HERE to view available artwork by AMBER ROBLES GORDON and NATE LEWIS.