Roosevelt Lewis - Creating art since childhood from various materials
retrieved from a garbage dump. With no access to public libraries in
his small segregated town, he had no ideal why art was so important
in his life. Yet, it was as a child, when he often accompanied his
godmother to work for a prominent white family, while she performed
domestic work, the expensive library collection in the home occupied
his mind and introduced him to the works of the likes of Monet,
Rembrandt, and Picasso.
While in the U.S. Army, he traveled to France. One day while
strolling the street, he wandered into an art gallery filled with
narrative African art which revealed stories of the motherland.
This inspired Lewis to tell the stories through his art about the
people he remembered growing up on Cane River in Central Louisiana.
His paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in some of the most
prestigious galleries throughout the Pacific Northwest, such as,
Matter of Colors, Pratt Fine Arts Show, Northwest African American
Fine Arts show, Sundiata African American Art Show and the African
As life would have it, he went on to find his place. In college,
his studies of Graphic Arts, Industrial Photography, proved to be a
catalysis in developing his artistic focus. He was commissioned to
develop, design and implement site-specific installations for a
water theme park in Seattle.
As a literary artist, he has written dialog for a theatre group, and
has written a choreographed dance drama, performed locally. He has
written numerous articles for local newspapers, while his poems were
turned into staged drama.
Never forgetting his roots, the Black, Cajun and Creole people of
Central Louisiana remain the back drop for each of his pieces,
whether painting or sculpting,
his work defines their pain, joys and their struggles.