Do Politically Charged Times Make For Better Art? Artist Ann Lewis Says Yes

Courtesy of Ann Lewis

Artist Ann Lewis works in a wide range of mediums often with a political bent.

Click the audio player above to listen to the full conversation. CultureShift airs weekdays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit Public Radio.

Artist Ann Lewis made a name for herself in New York, but now she calls Detroit home.

Lewis works in a wide range of mediums often with a political bent but large-scale murals have been her focus lately.

Last year, she was commissioned to paint a mural during the annual Murals in the Market Festival in Eastern Market.

While Lewis painted, she had organizations on-hand including the ACLU of Michigan registering people to vote. 

WDET’s Ryan Patrick Hooper speaks with Lewis about the politics behind her artwork.

I’ve really seen the shift in our political situation in this country as a means where people are really, really hungry for dialogue,” says Lewis. “They’re really hungry to understand what’s going on and to have culture help enlighten or help perpetuate conversations in ways that, maybe, we don’t have without it. Being able to do that in public and being able to give people the talking point to maybe start that conversation is something that we can all…grow from.”

Lewis’ mural in Eastern Market is called “I Vote Because.”

I really wanted to be able to harness the draw that Murals in the Market has to engage more people in our democratic process,” she says. 

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation with artist Ann Lewis talk about the politics behind her work and her mural in Eastern Market. 

Image credit: 1xRun / Murals in the Market

Aired on: CultureShift
About the Author

Ryan Patrick Hooper

Host, CultureShift

Ryan Patrick Hooper has worked as an arts and culture journalist in Detroit for over a decade.   Follow @hoopingtonpost

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