A Chat with the Noted Tulsa-Based Artist Mark Lewis

Jul 6, 2012

Our guest is Mark Lewis, the well-regarded Tulsa-based artist, and member of the University of Tulsa art faculty, whose paintings, drawings, and collage works have been shown in galleries nationwide. He's also been a longtime fixture on the sidewalks of 11th Street, Cherry Street, Brookside, and downtown, where he's been making paintings (and, more recently, collages) of this community's cityscapes for more than a dozen years. (You can view several examples of Mark's work here.) On Tuesday of next week (the 10th), a Mark Lewis exhibition entitled "Tulsa Streets: Collages and Paintings" will go on view at the Bowery Gallery in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood. This exhibit will run through the 28th; it's a "Bowery Gallery Invitational Show." Lewis, a graduate of the Yale University School of Art as well as the Kansas City Art Institute, tells us that he has to feel personally if not intimately connected to the streets, sidewalks, skies, and buildings that he chooses to render: he has to be able to utilize them --- as one would employ tools --- in his work. "It's not just [a matter of] making a picture of it," Lewis explains, "it's making a painting or a collage with it." Also on today's show, our commentator Ian Shoales reacts to a piece that he read at Slate.com called "The Crisis in American Walking."