Jennifer Lewis draws upon the past

Jennifer Lewis draws upon the past

St Nornert - Jennifer Lewis
St Norbert student Jennifer Lewis’ artwork If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When? is on display at the META exhibition at Gallery Central.

Jennifer Lewis has been looking into the past at great leaders of the world and drawing them on a large scale as part of visual art and design for year 11.

The talented St Norbert College student entered her artwork If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When? into the META exhibition at North Metro TAFE.

Of 167 entries from 54 schools, her graphite pencil drawing of US president John F Kennedy was accepted and is now on display in the city.

The META exhibition at Gallery Central, Aberdeen St, features art, design and photography from the next generation – providing an insight into the hearts and minds, dreams and fears of current Year 11 and 12 students from WA schools.

“When asked to create a propaganda piece, I thought about the great leaders of the past that had a powerful impact on their people during difficult times,’’ she said.

“Now, more than ever, powerful leaders such as John F. Kennedy are the type of leaders we need to see.

The younger generation need to have the passion JFK had as we are the future generation- we are the change.’’

Jennifer also completed a similar work, True Education, depicting the late civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr, which has been entered in the upcoming Catholic Arts Angelico Exhibition.

“I wanted this piece to reflect on current times with the Black Lives Matter movement,’’ she said.

“I’ve encountered many differing opinions on this movement; however, I believe whatever your position is, we can all agree on how education is vital.

“Being educated on past events, educated on how to fix the problems, educated on the root causes of these problems – possess great power and influence.

“Martin Luther King Jr was an educated man who knew exactly what he wanted and how to achieve it, which made him so influential and inspired me to create this piece.”

As a student in Mr Craig Mecham’s Art and Design class, Jennifer created both works using Photoshop, then sketched out a layout of the portrait and measured out the letters, adding the final touches with graphite pencil.

“I create the mood and try to layer text, symbolism in graphite pencil,’’ she said. “Close observation and engagement of the subject is my process.

“I like the works of American painter, artist and photographer, Chuck Close, album cover art and propaganda art.

My goal is to inspire those who see my work to look more carefully at the messages from great leaders.

“I’d hope through these artworks, people are able to understand how history begins to repeat itself.

These great leaders of the past, advocated and fought for human rights, in order for the future generations to live a life with freedom.

“However, time and time again we see bits of history reoccur in our society- neglecting the compelling thoughts and actions from these leaders.’’

META exhibitions runs until August 22, Monday to Friday from 10am-4.30pm and Saturday from 12pm to 2.30pm at Gallery Central, Perth.

To visit Anegelico’s virtual exhibition visit

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