ELLEN LEWIS WATSON: Biography
Ellen Lewis received a BFA in painting from the University of New Hampshire and an MFA in sculpture from the University of Georgia in 1978. She has been a visiting lecturer in drawing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth since 1996. Prior to coming to UMass, she worked as a mold-maker and chaser at the Paul King Foundry, taught drawing and painting at the College of Charleston, and was a visiting artist in the North Carolina Visiting Artist Program, which is a residency of up to four years for visual and performing artists and poets to give workshops and presentations throughout the state. She also worked for a natural history museum, the Owensboro Area Museum, building life-sized fiberglass Indians for their dioramas!
She is a past recipient of a Massachusetts Arts Lottery Grant and a Ford Foundation Materials Grant. Her work has been exhibited extensively on the east coast in group and solo exhibitions. Selected exhibitions include the Mint Museum of Art in North Carolina, Hunter Museum in Tennessee, Anton Gallery in Washington DC, the Spoleto Festival in Charleston SC, Massachusetts College of Art, the Brockton Art Museum in MA and Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston, MA.
Her training was very classical in drawing, painting and sculpture with an emphasis on clay and mold-making. Because of an early interest in botany, taxonomy, and native cultures, her work evolved into installations often using grass and native materials. Although still working with indigenous materials, her work has recently gone full circle, focusing on drawings and sculpture, often cast in bronze.