The work David Carmack Lewis created during his 2013 PLAYA residency, and the entire experience of being at Playa, sitting around the fireplace in the evenings and contemplating the remnants of the Toolbox Complex wildfire along the slopes of Winter Ridge, was the beginnings of a four year project, a visual essay called “A God in the Hearth”. The work explores humanity’s deep connection to fire and the implications of our dependence on fossil fuels, including the increasing risks of wildfire in the American West. The project was presented in different forms as a solo exhibition at Portland Community College (2015), BlueMountain Community College (2016) and finally at the Art Center in Corvallis OR (2017). A catalog of the exhibition was made possible through a grant from The Ford Family Foundation and The Oregon Arts Commission. In 2019, some of this work was also included in a solo exhibition at the Coos Art Museum, which was supported by a Professional Development Grant from Regional Arts and Culture Council.
David Carmack Lewis is a contemporary American painter and muralist based in Portland, Oregon. Born and raised in Virginia, his professional art career began as a staff artist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch while still in college, but his fine art career began after moving to Arizona in the 1990s. He has also lived briefly in Wales, New York City, Maine and Namibia, but for the last two decades has called Oregon home. His work explores narratives and metaphors to tell both true stories and tall tales at the confluence of the real and the imagined, exploring both the wondrous and the haunting inherent in ordinary places. His most recent work explores landscapes and of the American West reimagined as night scenes lit up from somewhere in the foreground, as if from the point of view of the observer, engaging the viewer in the act of imagining. His work has been exhibited in numerous juried and curated shows, including a solo exhibition at the Coos Art Museum, and has been supported by grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, The Regional Arts & Culture Council and The Ford Family Foundation.