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Columbus Museum of Art Presents Time Made Real: The Carvings of Tim Lewis

COLUMBUS, OH.- The Columbus Museum of Art presents an exhibition of stone carvings by the self-taught Kentucky sculptor Tim Lewis on view November 14, 2008 through February 22, 2009. Time Made Real features more than a dozen works selected from the Tim Lewis retrospective organized by The Customs House Museum and Cultural Center in Clarksville, Tennessee. A fully illustrated catalog with essays by several well known authorities on folk art will accompany the exhibition.

Tim Lewis was born in 1952. He began carving stone after he was involved in a 1988 accident. The coal truck he was driving down a narrow eastern Kentucky mountain road crashed. Determined to find a less hazardous profession he decided to become an artist. Nearly two decades later, the Folk Art Society of America selected Lewis as its “Artist of the Year” in 2007. His carvings are included in many important public and private collections. In 2002, the Columbus Museum acquired Lewis’ work, The Catcher.

Working in the grey limestone indigenous to his Appalachian region, Lewis views his art as “a give and take dialogue” with his medium. Both his imagination and his hands guide his chisels, Lewis “finds” his way intuitively to the image he believes is cocooned within each block of stone. His subjects include angels, devils, animals, sports heroes, Biblical patriarchs and politicians. He also creates narrative works telling stories derived from the religious and secular culture around him in his mountain environment.

“The ambitious and inventive stone carvings of Tim Lewis convincingly prove that folk art is alive and well in the United States today,” said Michel D. Hall, CMA Adjunct Curator of Folk Art.

The Tim Lewis exhibition is the first of a new series of installations at CMA intended to introduce museum visitors to the work of self-taught artists and the relationship between folk art and works created by trained sculptors and painters in the Museum’s collection of American modernist and contemporary art.

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