By Seth Jones | Reporter
The Art Center of Waco opened a new gallery on Tuesday, that features abstract artist Caroline Camden Lewis.
Meg Gilbert, director of The Art Center of Waco, says she believes that this is an opportunity for Baylor students and Waco residents to see something that is unique.
“This is different from what we’ve shown recently,” Gilbert said. “But it may also be different from what students are seeing on Baylor’s campus.”
Lewis has used unconventional methods in many of her paintings, including adding pieces of glass and guitar strings into the paint. In one of her works, “Tears of Christ,” Lewis added real wool and pumice to the canvas along with acrylic paint. Some of her pieces even include holes where Lewis cut open the canvas to convey various messages.
Gilbert sees these differences as part of what makes Lewis’s art so special.
“She is very spiritually and emotionally invested in her artwork,” Gilbert said. “She sees each piece as a story into itself.”
Lewis says that both nature and her faith play significant roles in her artistic process.
“My art is a way of listening: listening to myself, to the world around me, to God,” Lewis wrote in her artist statement.
The gallery’s title piece, “While I Breathe, I Hope,” “While I Breathe, I Hope,” gives spectators an accurate first look at what Lewis looks to bring to the canvas. She gives lengthy, in-depth descriptions of not only what is on the canvas, but also what the different colors and elements meant to her at the time of its creation.
“Hope does not mean that life turns out as planned, but rather that the One who guides our steps knows His purpose,” reads an excerpt from the description of “While I Breathe, I Hope.”
Her pieces look to tell stories that Lewis hopes admirers of her art can relate to in a way that brings them to a calmer state and serves as an escape from their stressful lives.
“My hope is that when people come and see my art, that they would find that kind of sacred space,” Lewis said.
Lewis’ paintings give people an opportunity to see an artist incorporate religion into her work in a way that is not generic, but rather extremely specific and relevant to her struggles in life.
“A lot of my paintings are about redemption,” Lewis said. “They’re about love, about the beauty of sacrifice and about deeper things.”
Lewis continually gives all of the glory to God and says she could not have been successful without her faith at the center.
“God gave me the art as a gift to help me understand myself, to help me understand the world, to help me understand Him.,” Lewis said.
The exhibit will be open to the public today and will be on display until Oct. 22. The Art Center of Waco is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday.