Linda Lewis

Artist Linda Lewis is known for creating figurative sculptures from clay. Linda's narrative sculptures explore various themes : parenthood, love, family, and the search for fulfillment. Instead of focusing on the figure she tells the story through the use of facial expressions, the tilt of the head , the shifting of the stance, as well as the texture of the surface & the use of symbols. Titles are added to each piece to support the narrative of each piece: anything from 'The harassed housewife' to 'Daydreaming' to 'Just between us'.  Her inspiration comes not only from her own life but from the stories of those she listens to in her everyday life.
    The pieces are coilbuilt from clay with a combination of surface applications of glazes, slips, terra sigillatta, oxides and overglazes and multi fired to cone 04. Her unique glazing techniques causes crazing (or crackling) on the surface of the glaze.  The overglaze is applied and sprayed off allowing the black colorant settle into the cracks and  crevices giving the piece a raku-fired appearance.
   Like many artists, Linda got a bachelors degree in art and also something more practical i.e. teaching.   For the next 34 years she worked as an educator in the Des Moines Schools until she took a workshop given by a narrative sculptor in Santa Fe, New Mexico that reignited her passion for creating objects.  She now works full time as an artist creating figurative sculptures from clay. Over the last 4 years Linda has exhibited her sculptures at nationally recognized juried art festivals, galleries, exhibitions and most recently at SOFA Chicago.  She has received several awards including best of show, first place in sculpture as well as recognition in national print media.
Linda offered some thoughts concerning her work, saying, "I believe storytelling connects us to one another and explains who we are. Working for several decades as an educator, being a parent and working with adults strengthened my desire to express common threads of the human experience and honed my use of imagery and gesture as powerful narrative tools." She adds, "Working with clay allows me to create a world in which a story can unfold. I work with the human form because while the figure can be approachable, the presentation of its inner psyche is infinitely complex."
Art critic Brian Sherwin commented on Linda's sculptures, stating, "Viewers will note the playful nature of sculptures created by artist Linda Lewis. Linda explores serious themes based on a range of emotions and situations -- but her work is intentionally approachable. She beckons viewers to establish their own narrative while viewing her creations."

 Solo Exhibitions

2013     Dreams for our children, Scottish Rite Park, Des Moines, Ia.
2013    Mother's and their dreams, Lanesboro Art Center, Lanesboro, MN
2012    Mother's and their dreams, Charles City Art Center, Charles City, MN
2011    Finding Voice, Graceland University, Lamoni, Ia

Juried Exhibitions
2013     Cup Exhibition, LUX Center, Lincoln, NE
2013    Des Moines Arts Festival, Des Moines, Ia.
2013    Faculty Art Exhibit, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Ia
2012    Lakefront Festival, Milwaukee, WI; Brookside Festival, Kanas City, MO; Des Moines Festival; On the square, Madison WI
2011   Des Moines Art Festival, Marian Art Festival, Iowa City AF, Krasl AF, Loveland Sculpture Festival, SOFA Chicago
2010   Cherry Creek Art Festival, Denver, Co. Des Moines Art Festival, Loveland Invitational Sculpture Festival, Iowa Art       Festival,  Krasal Art Festival, St. Joseph, Ia.
2009   Plaza Art Festival, Kansas City, Des Moines Art Festival, Loring Park Art Festival, Minneapolis, Krasl ArtFestival, St. Joseph, MI, Crested Butte Art Festival, Crested Butte, Co,  Iowa Arts Festival, Iowa City, Ia.
2008  Metro Arts, Two Rivers Festival, Des Moines, Ia.Marion Arts Festival, Marion, Ia., Iowa Arts Festival, Iowa City, Ia., Iowa Sculpture Festival, Newton, Ia., Krasl Art Festival, St. Joseph, MI, Uptown Art Festival, Minneapolis, MN.
2007    Greater Des Moines Exhibited 14; Polk County Heritage Gallery, Iowa Exhibited 21; Polk County Heritage Gallery, Uptown Arts Festival, Minneapolis, Mn.,  Iowa Arts Festival; Iowa City, Ia., Iowa Sculpture Festival; Newton, Ia., Uptown Art Festival, Minneapolis, Mn.
2006    Iowa Sculpture Festival; Newton, Ia, Iowa Exhibited 21; Polk County Heritage Art Gallery , Des Moines, Ia.
Group Exhibitions
2013       Heritage Art Gallery, Des Moines, Ia
2009-13  SOFA Chicago, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
2012, 13  Art Palm Beach, Palm Beach, FL
2011-2012  National Clay, paper, wood, glass metal, textile exhibition, Octagon Center, Ames, Ia.
2011    Lovers, Mothers & their Dreams; Polk County Heritage Gallery

 2011    Lovers, Mothers & their Dreams; Octagon Center, Ames, Ia
 2011    Finding Voice, Graceland University, Lamoni, Ia
2010   The Figure; Burlington Art Center, Burlington, Ia.
2009    Small Works; Chait Gallery, Downtown; Iowa City, Ia.
2009    Exhibit XIV; Heritage Gallery; Des Moines, Ia
2008   Linda Lewis & Jane Chukas; Outside the Lines Gallery, Dubuque, Ia.
2008   Life from mud; Charles City ARt museum, Charles City, Ia
2008    Exhibit XX1; Heritage Gallery; Des Moines, Ia
2007    The haunting and the hilarious; The Downtown Chait Gallery, Iowa City, Ia.
2007    Exhibit XV; Heritage Gallery; Des Moines, Ia
2007    Plays well with others:a collaboration between artists, From Our Hands, Des Moines, Ia.
2007    New Works from Linda Lewis, Diane Mattern & N. Briggs; From Our Hands, Des Moines, Ia.
2006       Earthen Treasures; From Our Hands, Des Moines, Ia.
2006    Galleries in the Gallery; Polk County Heritage Gallery, Des Moines, Ia.

2013  Best of Show, It's good to be small, Chair Gallery Downtown, Iowa City, Ia.
2011   Best of Show, National Clay, paper, textile, wood, glass metal exhibition;  Octagon Center, Ames, Ia
2009   Merit Award, Exhibit XIV; Heritage Gallery; Des Moines, Ia
2009   Best of Sculpture, Krasl Art Festival, St. Joseph, MI.
2009   First place, Iowa Art Festival, Iowa City, Ia
2008   Honorable mention, Iowa Sculpture Festival, Newton, Ia.
2007    First Place, Clay: Artbuzz, 2008 Collection
2007    Finalist, Uptown Arts Festival, Minneapolis, Mn.
2007    3rd Place, Sculpture Competition, Sculptural Pursuit
2007    3rd Place, Iowa Arts Festival, Iowa City, Ia.
2006    2nd Place, Iowa Sculpture Festival, Newton, Iowa

2010   Western Art Collector, Review of Loveland Sculpture Festivals
2009   Des Moines Register, Artist Review
2009   Spotlight Art, Linda Lewis, DSM magazine
2008    Artbuzz; 2008 Collection
2007    "Linda Lewis, Narrative Sculpture", Sculptural Pursuit ,Fall,
2006     "Thou art the best"-art category,  Jim Duncan, Cityview, Des Moines, Ia.
2006    “The bearable likeness of being,”Jim Duncan, City View, Des Moines, Ia.
2006    “Clay’s the thing,” Michael Morain, Des Moines Register, Des Moines,Ia.

Gallery Representation
Mowen Solensky Gallery, Nevada City, Ca.
Terzaian Gallery, Park City, Ut.
From Our Hands; East Village , Des Moines, Ia.
The Downtown Chait Gallery; Iowa City, Ia
Maria Elena Karvetz Gallery, Cordoba, Argentina
Outside the Lines, Dubuque, Ia.
Lux Center, Lincoln, NE
2014  Akio Takamori, Anderson Ranch, Aspen, Co
2014  Adrian Arleo, Santa Fe, NM
2013   Kelly Garrett-Rathbone, Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, NM
2012  Making the figure from clay, Claudia Olds Goldie, Santa Fe Clay, NM.
2011    Large Scale Figures; Lisa Reinertson; Santa Fe Clay, NM
2010    Pottery Personas,  Esther Shimazu; Santa Fe Clay, NM
2009    Imaginative figures in clay, Janis Mars Wunderlich; Mudfire, Atlanta, Ga
2007    The figure; Judy Fox, Santa Fe Clay, NM
2006        Figure-Form-Surface-Vessel; Andy Nacisse, Santa Fe Clay, NM
2006        Sculpting the Figure; Rick Stewart, Des Moines Art Center , RDG  Dahlquist Clayworks
2006        Handbuilding; Chris Rodi, DSM Art Center , RDG Dahlquist Clayworks
2006        Mold Making; Rick Stewart, DSM Art Center , RDG Dahlquist Clayworks
2005        Storytelling, narrative sculpture; Debra Fritz; Santa Fe, NM .
2003-2006 Various ceramics classes through the DSM Art center, Des Moines, Ia.
1989    Drake University , MSE
1975    Graceland University, BA; education and art

Lives in West Des Moines, Ia with her husband Vincent.  Her studio is in her home.

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