Friday, December 27, 2013

Please follow to my new Google+ blog -> click: +RiverLewis.
This page is now discontinued. Thanks, River

Sunday, April 1, 2012

U8 Exhibition at SOPA Fine Arts in Kelowna

Very pleased to be selected to exhibit in the group show U8 at SOPA Fine Arts Gallery in Kelowna BC! Deborah Boileau runs a beautiful contemporary gallery in the Mission on SOuth PAndosy Street, hence the name SOPA. Come check out the artwork, meet some incredible people, and enjoy some beautiful contemporary art in the heart of the Okanagan. The exhibition runs from April 5 to April 15 2012.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

SMALL WORKS on Display at Brew Gallery Fireside Room

EXHIBITIONS DURATION: March 14 to April 12, 2012

in the Fireside Room, Brew Gallery presents Small Works by River Lewis, a mini exhibition of drawings and paintings. The artworks represent mental landscapes influenced by local landscape. Often working strictly from memory and the feeling of place and time, Lewis follows internal conversation to realize art mark-making externally.

Small Works is also on display at the Brew Gallery from March 14th to April 12th 2012.

The Brew Gallery is located in Downtown Vernon inside the Bean To Brew Coffee House, next door to the Vernon Public Art Gallery and exhibits artwork in the Main Gallery and the Fireside Room.

Brew Gallery hours are 7:30am to 4:00pm Monday to Thursday and 7:30am to 3:00pm Fridays. For more information please visit the Brew Gallery at 3202 - 31st Avenue, email or visit the website at .

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Small Works for end of year shows

been working small the last few months
Getting ready for end of year shows at Artsolutely, the Vernon community arts centre's fund raising art sale, and the Lake Country Art Gallery's Under 100 exhibition and fund raising art sale! Great places to get one-of-a-kind original xmas gifts!

Here are a couple examples of what I've been doing when I didn't answer that phone call.

Dark Predator Pool is acrylic on canvas measuring 8x10 inches, thus 'under 100' square inches in size!

Not sure the title of the second one yet... Any suggestions?

The third pic was a lot of fun to do and I think it looks fun! It's upside down tho... must have held phone the wrong way when taken.

Come out to the sales and have fun looking at all the incredible Art! Will try to have some pieces for Penticton Art gallery too, in December, hope to see you in Vernon, Lake Country, or Penticton!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Twins Begin Journey

Coincidental to the travelling roadside garbage, the twins are also setting out on a journey - destination unknown. The story of discovery will unfold for the artist as well as the characters. This side of my current work is more intuitive. I don't know where the twins are going, what or who they will encounter. Visit the okanagan artists website for more drawings as they develop.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Drawing from the car

Spent a few hours gesturing pencil drawings from the car. An early start to the season for sure - would have been too cold to draw outside, but maybe the results would have been interesting too. The North Okanagan sky from the Commonage was incredible and a few good drawings happened before long.

The intense red here is no exaggeration! It was really this red, check out more on the web: Okanagan Artists Drawings.

The webpage shows a time-lapse series as the red colours came up and disappeared. In contrast to that stunning glow, my perception of the ground seems to have changed with the differences in light.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Roadside Trash Blog

Welcoming all to participate with comments, a new blog has started with the purpose of non-judgemental education surrounding roadside trash. Ultimately, if we take part as consumers, some of our trash will inevitably end up scattered around the region, maybe even in the lakes!

check it out, leave a comment. If interested to work on the okanagan trash blog in partnership, please contact through:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

SKIES and PEOPLE 1, Intervention Evolving

A series I've continued to work on over the past few months,inspired by the Commonage, the image is a screen capture from my reformed local history series 'SKIES and PEOPLE 1'. Text throughout the images of this series is deliberately cut off drawing the viewer in to particpate with the reformation. The character interaction describes the ability and dignity of all things in the context of the artist/patron/administration-owned hierarchy within the gallery experience. As the outsider, the people depicted in images choose their own destiny and belonging inside the Gallery.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Okanagan Artists Trading Cards

Had a great time talking about artist trading cards on Wednesday to the Vernon Hi-Noon Toastmasters. I had given this impromptu speech last month to the Monday Night Club and new I had enough material to talk about at length. I decided to change it up a bit because the Vernon Public Art Gallery has an artist trading card exhibition on right now, and the Hi-Noon club meets in the next building over at the Bean to Cup. I encouraged those thinking about making some art to consider trading cards because the cost is not prohibitive, and every artist is appreciated in this non-hierarchical community of artists.

View this Okanagan Artists website for more images.

My experience making artists trading cards for the Richmond Art Gallery exhibition was quite funny and resulted in my first set being published in the ATC Quarterly Magazine. Basically I was playing around with ink blot figures and out popped some conjoined twins. Many times when I begin to make a two-dimensional art piece I will play with shapes and materials, allowing the piece to reveal itself. View my artists trading cards. When I found the Richmond Art Gallery's call for submissions to the artists trading card show I only had four days to get them in.

I decided to just go with this theme because it was immediately fascinating and also because of the time restraint. Don't be afraid of making any art!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Skies and People Series I (Photo Essay) and Series II (3-Dimensional)

Polyon I, Digital Media Art, 2010,  in progress
Series I the Photo Essay is well under way, with a sample image here on the right. Polyon is the piece of plastic you see in this photo. He is a person trying to find his rightful place. The series is our adventure of getting there, along with several other characters we have encountered along the journey. You can view more beginnings of the photo essay Skies and People I here:

Series II has been bumping around in my head for months. A lot of prep work went down in October and November, mostly raw photography and some accumulation of garbage materials, and natural materials. Yesterday I finally had the right energy to attempt build the 3-Dimensional prototype for a person. I had collected dryish grass at the site where I realized for the first time that i had discovered a spirit that had joined into physical existence. Because it was not a balanced existence, the spirit was having a very difficult time coordinating itself. I had been studying these manifestations of static and dynamic existence since 2006 but did not understand what it was about. I sensed something real there, but it wasn't tangible, and since our society is preoccupied with mostly the tangible, I'm afraid it took me several years to get through the plastic of our lives. to be continued...

Friday, December 3, 2010

New Poems, Digital Art

I've been working on a digital art series titled DOMINANCE and PEOPLE. The works are grid-based with a bold flag-like motif of five dominant squares within the larger square format. These five dominant squares are the four corners and the centre. The work utilizes words related to dominant behaviour, which can be read several different ways since it is all grid-based.

Two pieces are posted on my artist website:

Naturally, the five dominant squares outnumber the four non-dominant squares. The non-dominant squares contain words and it is clear which dominant square the words came from. All the viewer needs is a single word and many dominant phrases can be construed. Dominant behaviour, akin to bullying (without getting into reasons or relationships), can occur as a continual grind, barrage, or onslaught. Dominant behaviour can be alternated with non-dominant behaviour and the overall themes of behaviour are processed by recipients in many different ways. Whether dominant behaviours are perceived or real they create a response in the recipient, for which the single word titles of these works reflect a loss or inability.

Poems have been extracted with several different versions. See my Writing Catalogue here:

River Lewis is an Okanagan artist working and living in Vernon BC Canada. As a contemporary Canadian artist, my themes are influenced by life in Canada within and without. Inter-personal perception, belonging, and value in all things drives my art-making practice.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wow That Speech Went Really Well.

I have to say all the discussion panelists at Monday Night Toastmasters were very well prepared, Cindy Masters, Karen Truesdale, myself, as well as the Discussion Panel Coordinator James Quigg. It was a great pleasure to present along side these excellent presenters and I feel the audience was positive and receptive to this 38 minute presentation of speeches and question and answer.

James Q opened by introducing the concept of his constructed discussion panel, which was to provide solutions to his question "How can we nurture a more vibrant community." Cindy Masters opened the discussion with her speech defining community and applying a mandate to be fully inclusive of all people in the community including those marginalized and disadvantaged.

I followed by explaining how contemporary art can be used to actively educate toward change.

To do this I felt it was first necessary to give a brief definition of art. I did this by breaking down the art-viewer experience into two parts: the things you see, such as color, shape and craftsmanship; and the things you don't see, including that art triggers emotion, symbolizes a bigger picture and creates benefits to a community. Contemporary art in Canada can facilitate the visibility of those marginalized. Visibility demands consideration and mutual respect.

Karen Truesdale anchored with her speech on the topic of creating a living wage for all citizens, that offers an ability to realistically provide for families and stop companies from passing the burden of subsistence onto the community when those companies employ for minimum wage.

The three speeches were followed by a question and answer period allowing audience members to seek additional clarification on the speakers' topics. The night was a truly educational experience for audience and panelists alike, in the context of a caring community.

I had coined a new word recently, 'glossiship', and grammarian Lacey Irwin challenged me to include it in my speech at the last minute, which I did! You can see my word and three definitions thereof here:

I find the word historically appropriate to our time and trends in contemporary society to produce large amounts of production line artwork quickly. See if you can use it sometime in a conversation!

Friday, November 26, 2010

BC Government Not Pulling Weight

Through my research for the panel discussion taking place this coming Monday @7PM, I've found some disturbing inverse proportions in culture funding in British Columbia. The Arts Research Monitor (public distribution supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council) November 2010 issue shows that in British Columbia, municipal spending on culture is 2nd among all provinces. Notice that is MUNICIPAL SPENDING, those are our cities, towns, villages etc. who value culture, of which "the arts" makes up approximately 8%. Municipal spending on culture throughout BC averaged $79 per capita in 2007.

Now let's look at actual Provincial spending by the Province of BC: The Arts Research Monitor reports that among all Canadian provinces, BC spends the second least on culture. Interpreting this can be complicated, but clearly the Province of British Columbia does not have the same regard for the value of culture as do local participants and municipalities in arts and culture. The Government of British Columbia only spent $76 per capita on arts and culture in 2007. Compare this with the leading province, Manitoba, that was able to spend $144 per capita on arts and culture in the same year, and Alberta, that has no provincial sales tax, was still able to spend $93 per capita on arts and culture.

I feel the Government of British Columbia has the resources to spend on arts and culture, considering increased provincial sales taxes and gaming revenues. But the province chooses to let municipalities and local organizations bear the greater burden of fundraising for culture in general.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Discussion Panel @ Monday Night Vernon Toastmasters

Next Monday Night, at the Schubert Centre 7:30PM, the Monday Night Toastmasters will host a discussion panel of 3 speeches on the topic " Nurturing a More Vibrant Community". I'm happy to be part of this panel and will be giving a 5-7 minute speech as a contemporary Canadian artist. My speech will involve highlighting the benefits of the arts in our community, and point out areas where contemporary art can address certain challenges that face Canadian communities in general with regards to vibrancy and vitality.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Back to Brush and Ink Indoors!

It is just to cold to go out there and make art, -17 today.
So indoors is where its at, brush and ink is a time-honored tradition on drawing. I really think Brush and Ink, Sumi-e, etc. is the missing link between painting and drawing. Not only can you create colorful works of art quickly, brush and ink drawing keeps you loose and fresh to go back to longer duration works. In the Okanagan, artists don't do enough brush and ink drawing although watercolours are very popular. But just like oils or traditional drawing watercolours can lack spontaneity which is exactly what expressive brush and ink drawing brings.

I'll be teaching Drawing with Brush and Ink at the Vernon Community Arts Centre in January, check it out, we'll have a lot of fun!