Teacher, Street Artist Builds Images Of Tulsa

Tuesday, June 26th 2012, 6:08 pm
By: News On 6

Occasionally you'll see an artist on a street corner. He or she will be on that same corner, day after day for weeks on end.

Have you ever stopped to see or to ask what they're doing?

Artist Mark Lewis is cutting small strips and bits of paper, gluing them to large board to re-create the scene looking south along Boston Avenue.

"I'm making a collage," said artist Mark Lewis. "I like the idea of building an image."

He's been at the location downtown for the past several mornings, and the image he's building has begun to take real shape.

It would be so much easier to come out and snap a few photographs and then do it in his studio, but he says the experience of being out here is important.

He's often in the same location for weeks, and he develops relationships with the neighbors.

Lewis has been working like this for a long time.

"I've worked on 11th Street, on Brookside, on Boston Avenue," he said.

Over the past few years I've seen him working in all those places, and never stopped. Photojournalist Ty Lewis saw him on the way to work and suggested we talk to him.

We found out he teaches painting and drawing at the University of Tulsa. We also found out he rubs different intensities of graphite onto white paper to create his palate.

He has a box full of scraps and pieces he can pull from.

Rick Wells, News On 6: "How do you know when you are finished?"
Mark Lewis: "That's a good question."

He didn't really have an answer, except he'd know it when the time came. Meantime, it's ok to stop by and have a look.