Lewis Cisle is a complex artist whose artistic expression has both depth and range. His subjects reflect the contrasts of a small industrial town with the rural beauty of Southwestern Ohio, where he was born and raised. Equally important to his art are his boyhood experiences growing up in a world at war. His beautiful wildlife paintings and the delightful paintings of his own dogs are in striking contrast to other works, such asMan Mending the Moon, When I Was a Boy the World Was at War andUnleashing the Dogs of War.
Interested in art since he was five, Lewis’s first painting was executed on a basement window using a mayonnaise jar of white enamel and a nail for a brush. Encouraged by his aunt Eula, a competent watercolorist, art became a source of joy and self expression. His formal artistic training began a the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he received a Diploma of Fine Arts. He continued his studies at Miami University (Oxford, OH), where he received a BFA in Printmaking; the Tyler School of Art, Temple University (Philadelphia, PA), receiving an MFA in Printmaking; Penland School of Crafts (Penland, NC), to study ceramics; and the College of Mount Saint Joseph (Cincinnati, OH), where he received his K-12 teaching certification.
While maintaining a career as a fine artist, Lewis has taught in colleges, universities, schools, and art centers throughout the Eastern United States. He has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, including a Ford Foundation Grant for the study of printmaking and the Roger Anliker Award for Drawing. He has exhibited his artwork nationally and internationally and his works can be found in both private collections and museums across the globe.
For the last decade or more, Lewis’s work has focused on the worldwide environmental crisis, often using allegory as a means of expressing the reality of these issues. His work has always included a variety of animals, but most recently the emphasis has been on birds and dogs. Even these subjects have become more allegorical in his recent work. He has exhibited his bird paintings nationally, including several occasions in the prestigious Birds in Art exhibitions at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin.
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