Frank Lewis Inducted into Oak Bay Fine Arts Hall of Fame

Frank Lewis poses before a mural he painted in an underpass where the Galloping Goose trail crosses Gorge Road.— Image Credit: Photo By Raymond St. Arnaud
Posted: Thu, 2017-02-16 13:03

Frank Lewis (posthumous) was one of four inductees into the Oak Bay Fine Arts Hall of Fame in February 2017.

Mr. Lewis was born in Winnipeg in 1932, but moved to Victoria at the age of 14. He attended the Vancouver School of Art, during which time he learned from artists such as Jack Shadbolt, Gordon Smith, Arthur Erickson and Donald Jarvis.

He earned acclaim for his professional illustration work and was featured in the prestigious New York Society of Illustrators Show in 1963. In the late sixties his painting began to change and evolve on a larger scale, as witnessed on the construction fence of the Vancouver Court House.

He took some time off from the visual arts to act in The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, in a tour which ended in Ottawa for the opening of the National Arts Centre in 1969. He returned to Vancouver to freelance and work for the CBC. Later he moved back to Vancouver Island, and began to take on big projects. He painted the first two murals in Chemainus, BC. Some of his other major local works were for the Maritime Museum in Vancouver, the XV Commonwealth Games in 1994 and two murals on the Galloping Goose Trail at Cecilia Park. Of his many murals, one is in Kenora, Ontario, and another in the entrance to the Canadian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

He was a proud Métis artist and unveiled his last public painting, which is full of Métis symbolism, Honouring Creation, at the Royal Jubilee Hospital’s All Nations’ Healing Room. The room provides a culturally safe, quiet and peaceful space that is welcoming and open to Aboriginal people.

Frank Lewis passed away in 2013.