With this artist spotlight, we are talking with Anthony Lewis (Alewisproject). Anthony has been apart of ArtLinc from the beginning, most of the time bringing along his daughters to take part in the festival as well. Over the last few years Anthony has grown into one of Columbia’s finest emerging artists. We recently chatted with him to learn about his journey.
Where are you from?
I am originally from Camden, New Jersey, but have been living in South Carolina off and on since 1996.
Tell us your journey, with got you into the arts?
Art has always been something I enjoyed doing even as a young teenager. I used to draw action figures in my notebooks and doodle on school desks which got me in a lot of trouble, lol. I just loved the arts and all it represented.
In 2013, my admiration for art is what helped me expression through drawing/painting and this was only because I was dealing with mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I have used and I am currently using art as a form of therapy to help me reduce my mental health issues and add balance to my life so I can be a better person, father, brother, and son.
How would you describe your style and what or who are some of your influences?
Great question, I would consider my style to be abstract figurative, with an afro-centric urban vibe that incorporates the use of bold colors that complements each other and that allows me to engage the viewers visual senses. Some of my influences are but not limited to; Kehinde Wiley, Frank Morrison, Ernie Barnes, Kerry James Marshall, and Charles White.
Every year at Artlinc you seem to come with a theme or a cultural message, is that the case or is it more of a feel in that moment?
We all know that chalk can be less forgiving than other mediums, so I try to already have an idea of what I want to create. I have been spontaneous and added other elements to my piece that enhances the cultural message.
What are some of the projects you are working on now, and do you have any up and coming projects that people should be looking out for?
I am currently working on an ongoing project along with Tina Torres of, She Did That Events, called Artistik Vibrationz that uses the arts, such as painting, spoken word, and live entertainment from local artists to help de-stigmatize and normalize the conversations of mental health issues in our communities. The next event for Artistik Vibrationz, “Suicide Preventions Month”, is First Thursday on Main, September 5, 2019, 7:30pm-10:00pm at the Arcade Building, 1332 Main St. Columbia, SC 29201
In November 2019 date TBD, I will have some of my pieces at the Tapps Art Center in one of their outside display windows.
You can also catch me out and about in the city painting live at various event.
How can people find out more about you, and can we find you on social media? People can find out more about me and my art on, Facebook and Instagram at alewisproject.