Artist vows to protect nature through art |

Artist vows to protect nature through art

Lew Wilson poses by the Colorado River in No Name with a collection of his painted black and white photographs.

As a child in Florida, painter and nature photographer Lew Wilson would fish on a lake every day, even throwing out a few lines on his way to school. I used to be an avid fisherman. I grew up on the water and lived most my life in south Florida, but most recently in north Florida, said Wilson, who has returned to Glenwood Springs to paint and photograph Western Slope rivers and landscapes. My sisters and I had parents who fostered their kids to love the outdoors and pursue their talents. I gravitated to the applied arts of painting and photography.Today Wilson continues his respect for lakes, rivers and oceans through art. He is applying his affection for the countrys waterways with a national series of works titled Two Rivers-Two Lands: An American Passage.I follow the rivers, the movements and sounds. The river constantly changes in color and hue, said Wilson, who started Two Rivers-Two Lands in the fall of 2002 by photographing the Aucilla and Apalachicola rivers in north Florida. Our rivers … have been sustaining us since the time of the ancients, and they will continue to do so.Along with featuring Colorado, north Florida and Mississippi rivers in his work, Wilson has devoted much of his environmental and artistic efforts to honoring and saving the Florida Everglades.People didnt understand the beauty of the Everglades. They wanted to know why we wanted to save a swamp, said Wilson, whose works have been exhibited at the Denver Art Museum, the Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers University and the Tampa Museum of Art, among others. The environment in the Everglades is very soft, subtle and fragile, like an orchid in a very delicate state of being.Wilson said his and other artists photography helped the public see the beauty of the Everglades area.The people in Miami only thought of the open water, the beach, he said. It was our work with the lens that helped people understand the Everglades, and that brought about political change.Through Two Rivers-Two Lands, which will be exhibited in five national formal shows in Colorado (at Colorado Mountain College), Texas, Florida, Kansas and Georgia in 2006, Wilson hopes to inspire young and old to take care of the earth.Places like the Florida Everglades, the Florida Keys, Maroon Lake and Hanging Lake, theyre timeless, he said. I want to teach the youth not to be passive about things like oil drilling next to their rivers and to actually voice their opinions. That is how the Everglades were saved if people hadnt come together, there would be an airport in the middle of the Everglades.As Wilson sat next to the Colorado River near No Name with his watercolor-painted photographic images, he also reflected on the power of the river.The river can get out of control, like a persons life, he said. Its always moving. We have a life like the river.Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext.

To contact Lew Wilson, contemporary minimalist painter and nature photographer, send him an e-mail at

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