Art Box Sculptures – Jonathan C. Lewis

November 4 – November 15, 2019

Jonathan C. Lewis.  Washer Women.

Jonathan C. Lewis. Washer Women.

This November we are honored to present Art Box Sculptures, a solo exhibition featuring work by Jonathan C. Lewis that benefits Davis Arts Center.  The exhibit includes approximately two dozen of Jonathan’s “boxes” – mixed media sculptures, most contained within a box and all born of a quote.  The exhibition will also challenge the viewer to write their favorite work and enter a drawing to win one of the unsold pieces at the end of the exhibit.  Davis Art Center members will also be given a 20% discount on all exhibition purchases.  Art Box Sculptures opens Monday, November 4, and runs through Friday, November 15, 2019.  The Second Friday ArtAbout reception is Friday, November 8, from 6 to 8pm.  Jonathan will be present during the free reception.  All ages are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Jonathan is somewhat self-deprecating when asked about his boxes – he states that it’s a misnomer to call him an artist – he considers himself a “glueist.”  Though he has indeed become an expert on the multitude of different glues, what type of glue will affix an object to another or how long a certain glue will take to dry, he is far more than a “glueist.”  Jonathan shares that the art world calls his boxes “mixed media” or “assemblage” and others categorize the work as “outsider” or “folk art.”  His work clearly is well beyond the realm of “outsider” or “folk art” – these boxes have a keen aesthetic, informed by decades of involvement with the arts.  In the 80s, Jonathan opened and curated the City Gallery in downtown Sacramento.  It was also during this period that Jonathan encountered the shadow boxes of Joseph Cornell on display in the Chicago Art Institute.  Work that Jonathan states informed his boxes many decades later.

Each box is born of a statement.  The sources are wide and varied – from Michelle Obama, Paul McCartney and Gabby Douglas to Cassia Leo and Friedrich Nietzsche.  Jonathan uses the statement as the basis of the resulting work.  He starts arranging found objects in and around the base box.  He shares that he has a large collection of “found ephemera, salvage or reclaimed objects which means that many days of the week I can be found rummaging through junkyards, thrift shops, yard sales and the occasional antique collectables fair.”  Many of the boxes are infused with Jonathan’s quick wit and humor – others are somber with the juxtaposition of objects forcing one to question the historic roles played by culture, politics and society.  Jonathan may indeed be a “glueist”, but he is also a master “glueist” of bringing unrelated objects together.

There is yet another level of Jonathan being a “glueist” and that is in his professional life.  Jonathan is a life-long social justice activist and accomplished social entrepreneur who brings together people and ideas to improve the world.  He is the founder of MCE Social Capital, a social venture organization that leverages $110 million of private capital to finance tiny business loans to deeply impoverished people, mostly women, in 46 developing countries.  He is also the co-founder of Copia Global, an Amazon-like consumer catalog serving the base of the economic pyramid in Kenya.  He is also the author of The Unfin sh d Social Entrepreneur.

So as you enjoy the Art Box Sculptures by Jonathan C. Lewis, we hope that you can see that the exhibit is emblematic and intertwined with the life of the artist.  Jonathan is indeed a master “glueist”, but for Jonathan it is far more than merely being able to select the correct glue for a given situation.

Please visit Jonathan’s web site to see and learn more about his work.