Lecturers debut work in Waco, a first for both

Curtis Callaway, senior lecturer of journalism, public relations and new media, is displaying 19 photographs of his nature and desert ecology photographs. Photo credit: Richard Hirst

By Matt Dotson, Reporter

Today, the Art Center of Waco will open a new exhibit featuring the work of two Baylor lecturers. The nature art show displays the drawings of Greg Lewallen, art lecturer, and the environmental photographs of Curtis Callaway, senior lecturer of journalism, public relations and new media.

The exhibition opening runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. today at the Art Center of Waco at 1300 College Drive. The show, deemed a “Modern Exploration of Nature in Photography and Ink,” will remain in the gallery until Dec. 20.

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Greg Lewallen, lecturer of art, is displaying upwards of 30 hand-drawn pieces, featuring insects and nature themes. Photo credit: Lariat File Photo

“The art center promotes fine art in the local area,” Lewallen said. “They also feature a lot of original artists from the past from surrounding communities. This gives us an opportunity to show our artwork to the greater public. Most of my artwork has never been seen because they end up in my flat files at home. “

Lewallen said this is the first time he has displayed his work at a show, which features about 30 of his hand-drawn pieces.

“I’m really excited,” Lewallen said “I was born and raised here in Waco. Friends and family know me as an artist, but most have not seen much of my artwork — especially recently since most of the stuff I’ve done is at school. It will be the first time my art has ever been shown to the public, especially of this kind of magnitude.”

Callaway shares this experience with Lewallen. While environmental photography spans several years of his life, he said he’s never had the opportunity to display it to the public before. Now, 19 of his photographs will be exhibited.

“I was nervous at first,” Callaway said. “I just wasn’t sure what to expect. But after seeing them on the wall, I got really excited about it.”

Setting up the gallery was something new for both of them, considering neither had displayed work before.

“I had a lot of preliminary preparation going into it because all of the pieces having just been drawn on paper. I accumulated over two and a half years of work,” Lewallen said. “None of them were framed, matted or properly prepared to present in an art gallery. Once I got word that they wanted me to be in the show, I got to work and started putting frames together to put on to display.”

Callaway, who was a photography lecturer at McLennan Community College before his time at Baylor, said he’s most pleased with the proximity the gallery has to his students.

“It’s different than when students are in my classes,” Callaway said. “I’ve shown them all my website and work in classes, but here they’ll be able to see my work displayed. That’s important to me.”

Lewallen said his work allows him to get creative — an outlet he values practicing for himself.

“I don’t do it to sell; I do it for my own pleasure,” Lewallen said. “Beyond Waco, I’ve always had my own support group. When I move out beyond this arena, I hope to get feedback from people, whether reception is good or bad. Right now I am just excited to show my artwork and have people critique it.”

The gallery will be open to view during normal art center hours, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The center will be closed Nov. 25-27 for the Thanksgiving holiday.