photo credit Piper Watson

 

About

b. 1980 Okinawa, Japan

April Danielle Lewis is an artist, visionary, and community cultivator. Her work explores the intersections of history, place, and identity with a social justice and community building lens. Interventions, performances, installations and experiences are vehicles she uses to express these themes.

In her early childhood, she went to work with her mother in her grandparents’ millinery shop. She was often given scrap materials from the hats that were being manufactured to keep her busy while her family worked. She was able to use bits of fabric and trimmings and was given her own space in the back of the shop where she was able to attach things to the walls and create her own unique space and sculptural forms. This introduction to making and materials has rooted the themes of placemaking and the use of found materials that continue to appear in her work. Over the past 20 years Lewis’ daughter has often been a subject, participant or had a hand in her artistic practice allowing motherhood to also play an integral role in creating a lens through which she sees and creates. Derived from a printmaking background, her performances and interventions often involve working in multiples, repetitive actions and building a framework that allows for works and performances to naturally evolve. Her work collaborates and invites her audience to be participants in engaging and building community.

Lewis earned a degree in art and design with a concentration in printmaking from Towson University and an Associate of Arts degree in visual art from Anne Arundel Community College. She serves as the Membership Manager at Open Works, a non-profit makerspace that makes tools, technology and the knowledge to use them accessible to all, volunteers as librarian at the Station North Tool Library and serves on the board of directors at Neighborhood Housing Services Baltimore. April lives and works in Baltimore.