Nesto Gallery: Wendy Seligman Lewis Exhibit
by The Milton Measure on Friday, September 30th, 2011
Looking for something fun and exciting to do on the Milton campus? The new exhibit of work by Wendy Seligman Lewis, featured at the Nesto Gallery in the bottom of the Art and Media Center, is sure to please. This exhibit is open from 8:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. weekdays until October 19, and it is well worth your visit.
Wendy Seligman Lewis’s art is well known in the Boston and New England area and was featured at the Newton Free Library in 2008. Lewis studied art at various schools, including the New School of Social Research and the New York studio school, and some of her works have been reproduced in the McLean Review and Art New England. Lewis also won the Thomas Proctor Award in 1998 at the National Academy School of Art’s 173rd Annual Exhibit.
Her works range from landscape paintings to self-portraits and her avant-garde “Dot Series” work.
Lewis’s show in the Nesto Gallery represents nearly 40 years of work. These works, all self-portraits, move in chronological order around the room. There are about 30 paintings and drawings present, only a selection of Lewis’s complete set of self-portraits. The art exhibit is interesting due to the subtleties between each self-portrait. While the exhibit as a whole displays the aging process, each individual portrait is interesting due to the small differences in background, shadows, and outfits that the subject wears.
One student described Lewis’s work, “as if you painted a picture of yourself everyday for 40 years.” Yet with the work and time that goes into the act of painting and drawing, Lewis allows a deeper and more intense image of herself to emerge than might be achieved through a series of photographs.
Lewis’s self-portraits combine both a physical depiction and mental interpretation. Wendy Seligman Lewis shows a strong mastery of drawing and painting faces. Moreover, she is not afraid to show her true self, aging and all.
The collection is simple yet deep, sending the message that time moves on and takes a toll on all of us. Most of her works are painted in oil; however, a few are watercolor, and one or two are charcoal.
Ms. Neely, the Nesto Gallery Director and an art teacher at Milton chose to feature Wendy Seligman Lewis because “Wendy Lewis is an artist in the Boston area whose work I have followed for over 20 years. I saw many of her landscape paintings but only a few self-portraits until recently. In a conversation with her, she mentioned that she had portraits spanning years.”
In addition to Lewis’s local situation and connection, Ms. Neely gave reasons as to why the show would benefit Milton: “I immediately thought it would make not only an interesting show at the Nesto but a remarkable teaching show. Students [in many art classes at milton] do a self-portrait at one time or another.”
All of the students with whom I spoke thoroughly enjoyed the show. Though they felt they were not “experts in art,” they were able to understand the basic theme of the show: how life changes over time. One person expressed amazement over the time commitment and Lewis’s consistency.
Go and enjoy this exhibit for yourself. Even if you aren’t an art connoisseur or student, you will walk away glad that you went.
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