Letting the figure speak
Clay narrative sculptures
The clay sculptures Linda Lewis creates deal with common themes between people: love, parenthood, family & 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 can be found working in her studio at her home in West Des Moines where she lives with her Husband Vincent. They have four grown children and 5 grandchildren.
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
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.
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.
2009-present Des Moines Art Center, Narrative Sculpture, Bringing the Figure to Life
Charles City Art Center; It takes a village, Charles City, Ia.
Women's Health Center, Mother and Child, Evanston, Il.
Sculpt Siouxland, Sioux City, Ia
Community of Christ; Dark Night of the Soul; Independence, MO.
Charles City Art Center; Working on Calluses; Charles City, Ia.
Downtown School; The Pied Teacher; 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.
Mowen Solensky Gallery, Nevada City, Ca.
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.
2012 Making the figure from clay, Claudia Olds Goldie, santa Fe, NM.
2011 Large Scale Figures; Lisa Reinertson; Santa Fe, NM
2010 Pottery Personas, Esther Shimazu; Santa Fe, NM
2009 Imaginative figures in clay, Janis Mars Wunderlich; Mudfire, Atlanta, Ga
2007 The figure; Judy Fox, Santa Fe, NM
2006 Figure-Form-Surface-Vessel; Andy Nacisse, Santa Fe, 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
1953 Vassar, Mi.
Lives in West Des Moines, Ia with her husband Vincent. Her studio is in her home.