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Paul Tyrone Lewis was an American artist who is remembered for the realism of his landscape paintings. In a career that spanned six decades beginning in the 1950s, Lewis created compositions that were skillfully executed and sought after throughout the United States and internationally.
Tyrone Lewis, as he was known, was born on November 29, 1938, in Mena (Polk County) to Paul Goodwin Lewis and Wynogene Hubbard Lewis. He had one sister. Lewis’s parents met during the Great Depression while Paul was employed on a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) project near Mena. Wynogene’s family had migrated to that area from Fort Worth, Texas, where her father, Hans Heron Hubbard, was a well-known and respected artist in the 1920s.
Painting was always an important part of Lewis’s life. He venerated his grandfather Hans, a colorful man who always welcomed Lewis into his studio. Lewis would sit for hours watching his grandfather paint. Eventually, Lewis had his own easel there, and the two would paint together.
Lewis attended Mena’s public schools. In high school, he served as an artist for school publications. Following graduation in 1957, Lewis attended the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) before transferring to the Memphis College of Art in Tennessee. There, he received a BFA in painting in 1965.
While in Memphis, Lewis met fellow art student Barbara Sutherland. They married on November 18, 1961. They had two daughters and later adopted and raised a granddaughter.
For several years following Lewis’s college graduation, he worked as a commercial interior designer on projects such as the Red Apple Inn in Arkansas and the Williamsburg Inn in Williamsburg, Virginia. Shortly thereafter, however, his father convinced him to return to Mena and the family business, Lewis Lumber and Manufacturing Company.
Lewis’s art was featured in many national and regional juried art shows. Between 1958 and 2003, Lewis’s paintings were selected an unparalleled seven times for inclusion in the Delta Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture at the Arkansas Arts Center. As Arkansas’s preeminent annual art event, the Delta Exhibition features contemporary work of artists from Arkansas and surrounding states selected by nationally prominent jurors.
In 2003, a Lewis painting was selected for the Arts for the Parks Exhibition in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. In 2005, he won the Juror’s Choice award at the Maryland Federation of Art’s 5th Annual National Landscape Exhibition.
Between 2007 and 2009, Lewis had three paintings chosen for the respected PaintAmerica show at the Coutts Museum of Art in El Dorado, Kansas. He was the only artist with winning compositions to represent two different states: Arkansas and New Mexico.
In 2011, Lewis was picked for Salon International, an annual art show in San Antonio, Texas. Each year, Salon International attracts hundreds of entries from talented painters from across the United States and abroad. Lewis won an Honorable Mention award for Artistic Excellence. He was selected for the International Contemporary Masters of Fine Art Exhibition five times.
Lewis’s art was displayed throughout the southern and southwestern United States. He was represented by galleries in Hot Springs (Garland County); Scottsdale, Arizona; Desert Springs and La Jolla, California; Atlanta, Georgia; and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Lewis’s paintings can be found in many Arkansas public and corporate collections, including those of Stephens Inc., Regions Insurance (which bought Rebsamen Inc.), J. B. Hunt Transport, the Statehouse Convention Center, and the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. His art is also held in countless private collections throughout the United States and internationally in England, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Egypt, and Kuwait.
Lewis’s art was featured in Desert Heritage Magazine, Southern Accents Magazine, and The Collectors Guide of New Mexico. He and his wife, Barbara, were awarded lifetime membership in SouthWest Artists, Inc., in recognition of their service to the arts community.
Tyrone Lewis produced and exhibited his art work continuously through 2011. He was diagnosed with renal cancer in 2012 and did not show his art again. He died on October 28, 2013, in Mena.
For additional information:“Tyrone Lewis.” Desert Heritage Magazine. http://www.desertheritagemagazine.com/NEW/articles/gallery/22_tyrone lewis art.pdf (accessed June 3, 2016).
“Tyrone Lewis.” Digital Consciousness Artist Database. http://digitalconsciousness.com/fns.php3?pageurl=TyroneLewis (accessed June 3, 2016).
“Tyrone Lewis, Painter. Mena Art Gallery/SouthWest Artists, Inc. http://www.menaartgallery.org/in_memorium.php (accessed June 3, 2016).
Thomas A. Teeter Little Rock, Arkansas
Last Updated 6/8/2016
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