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Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


Local Artist Exhibits Paintings in New Margaret S. Sugden Welcome Center

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University announces the inaugural exhibit in the gallery of the new Margaret S. Sugden Welcome Center through Sept. 30 featuring paintings by local artist and FGCU alumnus Jeffrey Scott Lewis.

In "Recycling Children," Lewis uses bold color, words and word fragments, as well as collage elements, to create a series of paintings that poses the question, "How can we have a sustainable society with so many children growing up without permanent families."

As an adoptive parent, Lewis is promoting adoption of the more than 135,000 children in America who are awaiting permanent families.

"I think it is sad that so many Americans believe that adoption is beyond their means, too difficult, or that they won't qualify," Lewis said. "These misconceptions leave thousands of kids to grow up with foster families or in group homes. Either way, nothing can compare to the sense of security that is provided to a child by the permanent commitment of a family to call their own."

"It is a statistical fact that children who grow up in foster care are more likely to grow into social outcasts who ultimately wind up as a burden to society as they enter the judicial system and finally the penal system," Lewis said.

FGCU program leader for Art Morgan T. Paine said, "These paintings reflect authentic concern for a complex and troubling social issue. This work addresses its subject with a contemporary visual vocabulary that incorporates both color and symbols in a manner that is both rich and personal. Jeff has found a way to make works that connect to both the history of painting and are persuasive as devices of social change. He has internalized his liberal arts education and is making powerful, effective, mature works of art."

The 10 paintings in the show are not for sale. They are part of a larger body of work that the artist plans to show in November during National Adoption Awareness Month. As part of the month's events, Lewis plans to show the paintings at the state Capitol and eventually in Washington D.C. He is seeking donations or sponsorships to continue to build the series into at least 25 to 30 paintings.

Admission to the Margaret S. Sugden Welcome Center gallery is free and open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

For more information, contact Lewis at (239) 826-5626.

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