Linda Lewis

West Des Moines, IA


Like many artists, Linda got a Bachelor’s degree in art and also something more practical i.e. teaching. For the next 34 years she worked as an educator in the Des Moines Schools until she took a workshop given by a narrative sculptor in Santa Fe, New Mexico that reignited her passion for creating objects. Since that first experience she has worked with many outstanding figurative clay artists including Akio Takamori, Cristina Cordova, Adrian Arleo, Ester Shimazu, Judy Fox, Kensuka Yamada as well as others. She now works full time as an artist creating figurative sculptures from clay. Over the last 4 years Linda has exhibited her sculptures at nationally recognized juried art festivals, galleries, exhibitions and most recently at SOFA Chicago. She has received several awards including best of show, first place in sculpture as well as recognition in national print media.

Linda can be found working in her studio at Mainframe Studios in Des Moines and occasionally in her home studio where she lives with her Husband Vincent. They have four grown children and 7 grandchildren.


Artist Statement

I love to use clay to tell stories about the people around me because it connects us to one another and helps explain who we are. With the pieces I create, my desire is to express common threads of the human experience by using the figure, imagery and gesture as powerful narrative tools. Working with a material as simple as clay to create something as complex as a person is the perfect juxtapose that allows me to create a world in which a story can unfold.

For this piece ‘Growth depends on strong roots’ I had been thinking about what makes some people happy or successful or at peace with themselves while others seem to struggle. Caring daily for my infant granddaughter strengthened my desire to represent the importance of how strong beginnings and positive interactions are to the growth of well adjusted, happy people and I wanted to represent that concept in the figure I created. This figurative sculpture is slab built using stoneware clay. Slips and underglazes are added initially then a sgraffito method was used to scratch the roots into the surface. The top was painted with underglazes, oxides were added to add depth into the textures then multi-fired at low temperatures in a kiln.

Linda Lewis, Growth Depends on Strong Roots, 2021, Stoneware,
22" x 12" x 16"