Lewis Williams, OFS, a student of master iconographer Br. Robert Lentz, OFM since 1999, feels blessed by the calling that has led him to ‘write’ icons. Art has been a lifelong interest for Lewis, obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Northern Arizona University in 1983, and a Masters of Fine Arts degree in painting from Utah State University in 1991. Years spent in search of ways to integrate his interest in history, faith and art found fruition in a workshop with noted iconographer Peter Pearson. Another workshop with Br. Lentz eventually led to his being accepted as his student, and launched him into his new vocation.
With the support of his wife Denita and his two children, Sean and Tiahna, he was able to end full time employment serving people with special needs and commence study to become an iconographer. Living in the beautiful high deserts and inspiring mountains of Western Colorado feeds his soul and supports his work.
Travels to Nicaragua and Africa during this initial period of study added to his conviction that social issues would be a focus of his future icons. Individuals who sought and cared for the small and forgotten; who served and honored those with no voice in a world that prefers the loud and powerful; and where greed reigns supreme, those who are Christ’s words and hands among the poor: these are the personalities and images to reverence in an icon. Children, nature and those with a Franciscan spirit were to be fed by and represented in his images. These are and will be his priorities.
His early art career saw success in many national and international shows, but he is a relative newcomer to iconography. In 2002, his Our Mother of Sorrows icon was purchased for the 9/11 memorial bell tower at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Father Solanus Casey icon can be found at St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church in Detroit, Michigan. Several other icons are located in private collections.