In the dark, via ambulance back in November of 2022. Kate Lewis was admitted to the rehabilitation center at WCBR. In the short time she spent here. Kate found a community and new home she had not anticipated. She told her daughter how much she enjoyed the environment and asked about any potential openings. Serendipitously, an apartment in the Monticello wing was available and Kate realized this move could be a great fit for her next step. She went from rehab to resident in just four months’ time. While she knew this would be a transition, what Kate did not realize was how she would be able to return to her roots as a painter.
Kate took no time in transforming her apartment to what she affectionately refers to as the “Studio at Blue Ridge”, creating a gallery that magically exhibits over 60 of her works and hosts a private studio to paint. Prior to moving in, Kate had not painted in over three years and did not anticipate doing so again. With her newfound freedom at WCBR. Kate’s passion is now readily accessible. She has returned to taking on commissioned works and loves to share her majestic pieces with those that have an interest.
Kate’s painting career began after graduating from Endicott College as a fashion Illustration major. She studied with Frank Mason at the Art Students League in NYC. Later, she and her late husband. Dave, and their four daughters resided in New Jersey. Her principal instructor was Arthur Maynard at the Ridgewood Art Institute in N.J. Maynard and Mason shared the same classic training that is traceable back to the Paris Academy. Through their influence, light became the primary condition surrounding all objects for Kate’s painting.
Kate has been a member of prestigious art associations. She was voted in 2001, as an Honorary Member of the Ridgewood Art Institute where she had been an instructor for 21 years. She conducted annual workshops in John Constable’s country in England where she encouraged plein air painting and the study of America’s predecessors in Europe.
After her husband’s retirement. Kate took a break to concentrate on her own growth as a painter at their new home in North Carolina. Drawing from her earlier experiences she also authored a book on landscape painting. Following her husband’s passing and prior to moving to Virginia, Kate gifted 67 of her paintings to a small art league in North Carolina. The paintings were sold at auction to help enhance their program offerings. As a gesture of sincere gratitude, their newly constructed painting studio will bear her name.
Today, November 7th we will be hosting a “Meet the Artist” reception and viewing Kate’s paintings. This is an exciting new journey for Kate and for WCBR as we welcome her to the community while enjoying her life’s passion.