Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jeffrey Scott Lewis, "As I AM" ~ Photography of Marvin Weiner and Dog DIVA Charlene Ewen

Join Arts for ACT Gallery, located at 2265 First Street in downtown Fort Myers on Friday, April 6, 2012 from 6 to 10 pm for the opening reception and art walk for April 2012.  This month, ACT Gallery will feature local artist and designer Jeffery Scott Lewis in the main gallery.  Also exhibiting this month, in the office gallery is Dog Art Diva artist, Charlene Ewen. The photography of Marvin Weiner will be exhibited in the middle gallery room.  Three creative exhibits you will not want to miss!

Jeffrey Scott Lewis was recently featured in Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs new “Culture Builds Florida” campaign, Jeffrey Scott is known as an artist with a message.  Using characteristically bold color palettes and abstract compositions, Lewis attempts to convey messages through emotional responses to color, line, texture and scale. Always experimenting and pushing boundaries, his newest series explores self-acceptance and the process of shedding layers of false identity in pursuit of the love of self and the sense of relief that is experienced in that discovery.  Abstraction in photography is something new for the artist, known primarily for mixed media painting and sculpture. 

"I am not a photographer" states artist Jeffrey Scott Lewis in regards to his new body of work, "As I Am".  "I have always been a mixed media artist incorporating various media into most of my work", he explains.  "This series is no different.  Just because the final result is a photographic print, does not make me a photographer.  The works incorporate body painting, elements of performance, digital technology, and photography." continues the artist.  "As I Am" celebrates self-acceptance and the process of learning to love oneself.  "Being who we were born to be and learning to love ourselves for who we truly are is one of life's most challenging issues." says Lewis.  "Family pressures, societal influences and prejudices all influence who we become as we all want to be accepted.  Overcoming those influences in the process of becoming our true selves is the key to reaching our potential and ultimately our happiness.  Acceptance may be comforting, but it does not assure happiness.  Only when we learn to accept ourselves can we be truly happy."  says the artist about the abstract images.  

Though the works are predominately abstract, they convey a sense of freedom, release, and individuality through the use of color, implied motion, and brief glimpses of raw skin. They are meant to make one feel free, to see what one sees, and hopefully to find their own passion in mine.  

Charlene Ewen really can’t remember when she was not creating something, painting, crafts, jewelry, ceramics, you name it she tried it!  As a child going through so many coloring books and crayon boxes. She was the kid who “did” stay inside the lines in fact she would actually create shading around the edges and use more than one color crayon in a space.  Her biggest fan was her Dad who spent weekends driving Charlene to Downtown Chicago so she could attend the Art Institute of Chicago and the American Academy of Fine Arts for art classes. Her favorite place was the Field Museum and the animal displays, she was never without a sketchbook and her love of animals grew over the years.

Ewen enjoyed a career in lithograph printing when everything done by hand and with an artist eye, specializing in color correction of film for the printing press. Her hands are always doing something creative. Charlene was an artist for Pelicans in Paradise Gala and Auction, Annual Island Celebration of the Arts and others.  For the last 19 years, she enjoyed showing her dogs in Conformation showing. It is there that Charlene was inspired to start painting again, this time it was not just paint but mixed media that gave her inspiration to create one of a kind art using her favorite subject “Animals”, especially dogs and cats.
Her dog “Leo” who is a Cesky Terrier is her MUSE and is always at her side while she is working in the studio.  Charlene says, “I’ve found once you are used to a creative life, an ordinary life is blank and plain.”  Come see Charlene’s wonderful array of animals!

Marvin Weiner is a retired teacher, principal,and area superintendent from the Miami Dade County School System.  Upon retiring, he began visiting many parts of the United States, as well as, taking various trips abroad.  Thus began his interest in photography as a hobby, and, ultimately, as a second profession.  As he states, “His photography is a means of interpreting the beauty, history and moments in time for the purpose of sharing this pure joy with others.”  He has shown his photography, as well as, participated in art festivals where his work has won awards.  He spent several years as a managing partner at Harbour View Gallery in Cape Coral, Florida.  As a means of artistic expression, he chooses to photograph a variety of subject matter while utilizing various techniques and digital manipulations.  Although Marv is basically self taught, he continues to improve his skills through participation in a variety of photography and Photoshop courses. 
He is a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals and the Lee County Alliance for the Arts. 

These exhibits continue through Monday, April 30, 2012.