Liz Lewis, Sculptor
Liz is a juried member of the National Society of Animal Artists. She exhibits her work every year at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, SC, and Safari Club International in LasVegas, NV. Liz’s work has been featured at the Calgary Stampede, Pheasants Forever and National Wild Turkey Foundation functions, and The Emerson Cultural Center Art Auction. Her bronzes have also been featured in At Home, Virginia Sportsman, Sporting Classics and Shooting Sportsman magazines. She is currently represented by five fine art galleries, in addition to several fine firearm dealer locations across the US.
From a young age, Liz Lewis preferred to be outdoors exploring the world beyond the limits of her small town and neighborhood. The marshy bottoms of adjacent farmland provided early and immersive exposure to the natural world and the wonders of its inhabitants. Being a visual person by nature, she would return home to recreate her experiences with her pencils and paintbrushes, the creative endeavors of an only child.
Early art influences were close at hand, as her stepmother Carol Lueder owned a rare sporting book and collectibles business. The walls of her home were covered with sporting etchings, watercolors and oils, and there were decoys, sculptures and carvings in every corner. Artists who were early influences include Carl Rungius, Leon Danchin, Cecil Aldin, Richard Bishop, William Schaldach and Pierre J. Mene. Joining Carol’s travels to exhibit at high-end sporting conventions also widely expanded her interest in sporting and wildlife art.
Liz was raised in a shooting family, whose recreation was spending the day at the rifle or skeet range. Later when their interests moved to sporting clays, it was not long before Liz was traveling the country as a sponsored member of the National Sporting Clays Association’s All-American Ladies and Junior Teams. She studied wildlife and fisheries biology at the same time, and balanced them both with bird hunting and fishing in her home state of Wisconsin, before moving to Bozeman, Montana. It is Montana where she and her husband began their young marriage, throwing themselves headlong into an all-consuming sporting life, going well beyond passion and lifestyle. Trading competitive shooting for pointing dogs and bird hunting, she was free to explore the west with her gun, dogs and fly rod.
After years spent in the outdoors, she was suddenly inspired to try sculpting by fellow fishing guide and friend Rod Zullo. She had often met frustration with other mediums and the limitations of only two dimensions, but her first block of clay gave her the freedom and renewed artistic inspiration she had been craving. Hanging up her guide license and her oars at the time, she could not yet see that her return to art would become her new vocation and pursuit.
Calling Bozeman home now for 20 years, artist Liz Lewis continues to draw on her life of sporting experience as a fly fishing guide, outdoor photographer, shooting instructor, avid bird and big game hunter and equestrienne. Liz earned a bachelor’s in Fish & Wildlife Biology from MSU, but jokingly admits holding an “advanced degree” earned from the prairies, rivers and mountains of Montana. Her subjects include trout fishing, horses, bird dogs, wildlife and various other subjects whose form she admires. Liz prides herself in attention to proportion and scientific accuracy, while still interpreting the finer elements of the subject, which stir the emotions of the viewer. Liz ‘s bronzes often tell a story. Sometimes it’s a scene frozen in her memory that she shares from life as a guide, as a hunter or even just as a dog owner. The “situational bronze” shows that particular moment of truth, and leaves the rest for your imagination.