Lake memories live on through local artist


She was known and loved by all at Indian Lake and beyond. “She was a wonderful and very talented woman who touched many lives in her 88 years,” said friend and owner of the local A Robbins Nest antique and gift shop Connie Cathcart.

Lea Lewis, Indian Lake artist, passed away in 2016, but her life and the many memories of lake residents, tourists and visitors will live on through her many splendid paintings of Indian Lake.

A community event titled ‘A Lifetime of Love and Art at Indian Lake’ will take place Saturday, Aug. 19, from noon to 9 p.m. at the Fion Wine Room in Huntsville to celebrate the life and works of Lewis. The event was organized by local community leaders: Julia Schrader, Connie Cathcart, Rick Fuller and Nancy Bassitt.

“This open house exhibit is a one-time event for our community to celebrate Lea’s life, who was dear to everyone’s heart, and was such a sweet giving person and artist,” said Cathcart. “Framed and unframed prints plus originals will be on display and available for purchase. There are only limited originals of her works remaining and this event may be a last chance opportunity to own one, actually.”

All proceeds will go to The Lea Lewis Memorial Art Scholarship Fund, which benefits an Indian Lake High School student annually.

Lewis began her art career in Pennsylvania, where she studied at the Pittsburgh Art Institute. From there she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Ohio Wesleyan University.

She continued her education at the University of Cincinnati, Wittenberg University, Ohio Northern University and the University of Utah. For 10 years she taught in the Logan County school system. She also operated her own art business, Drift Inn Studio, in Lakeview, Ohio from 1972 to 1979 where she taught art classes and sold art supplies, according to her daughter Sharon Shultz.

After closing her studio in 1979, she devoted much of her time to painting and related projects and continued to study art nationally and locally. Her works appear in collections throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, Texas, Tennessee and Japan. She won numerous awards including juried shows both locally and nationally, including several best “Best of Show” awards also.

She was a past president of the Logan County Art League, Western Ohio Water Color Society, and a member of many local and regional painting societies and groups. Lewis was also very active with the Landmark Preservation For Holland Theater since its beginning in 1997.

She had three children, Sharon, Web and Christy who all live at the lake today. Her husband Bill Lewis was an engineer and founder/owner of the local Lewis Construction Company at Indian Lake.

“My mom was a sweet upbeat person who everyone loved. She a had a way with colors in her paintings that would just uplift you and make you feel good,” recalled daughter Sharon. “My mom and dad made their life here at Indian Lake and we really loved our parents very much.” One of my favorite paintings of my mom’s is a large abstract collage that is currently displayed at the ‘A Robbins Nest’ antique shop here in town.”

Actually, many Lea Lewis paintings are on display at the ‘A Robbins Nest’ in Russells Point. “I love her paintings. I own a large original watercolor she did that was shown in a gallery in New York,” said Indian Lake resident Beverly Sekella who was shopping at the Robbins Nest this past Saturday. It’s a beautiful sailing scene I have hung in my master bedroom. I also own another water color she did of the Sandy Beach Bridge – it is stunning,” added Sekella. “It brings back so many wonderful memories of my mom and dad who met at the Sandy Beach Amusement Park and married just months later after that.” That bridge connected both ends of the park and was known for hundreds of marriage proposals occurring yearly at the top of the bridge.

Anyone who loves Indian Lake or who has had family or friends who remember those wonderful days at Sandy Beach Amusement Park should attend this event and view these paintings. They capture the heart and soul of the lake.

Her love and passion for Indian Lake is captured and illuminated in her paintings. Viewing a Lea Lewis Indian Lake original triggers individual memories and inspirations for its viewer. It’s just something very special that a old photograph just can’t capture in the same way.

If you love Indian Lake like many do, then do yourself a favor and don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime event. It’s a wonderful charitable event for such a great cause, and if you’re lucky, you just might walk away with a Lea Lewis original and a lifetime of memories.

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Here is a Lea Lewis watercolor of Sandy Beach Bridge and tour boat entering the harbor at the Sandy Beach Amusement Park.
http://www.weeklycurrents.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2017/08/web1_Lewis1.jpgHere is a Lea Lewis watercolor of Sandy Beach Bridge and tour boat entering the harbor at the Sandy Beach Amusement Park.

Indian Lake artist Lea Lewis touched many lives.
http://www.weeklycurrents.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2017/08/web1_Lewis2.jpgIndian Lake artist Lea Lewis touched many lives.

This Lea Lewis watercolor captures the fun days of dancing at the Sandy Beach Amusement Park.
http://www.weeklycurrents.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2017/08/web1_Lewis3.jpgThis Lea Lewis watercolor captures the fun days of dancing at the Sandy Beach Amusement Park.

Indian Lake resident Beverly Sekella proudly displays a Lea Lewis painting at the Robbins Nest antique and gift shop. She owns two of her paintings.
http://www.weeklycurrents.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2017/08/web1_Lewis4.jpgIndian Lake resident Beverly Sekella proudly displays a Lea Lewis painting at the Robbins Nest antique and gift shop. She owns two of her paintings.

The Fion Wine Room in Huntsville will host a celebration of the life and works of Indian Lake artist Lea Lewis on Saturday, Aug. 19.
http://www.weeklycurrents.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2017/08/web1_Lewis5.jpgThe Fion Wine Room in Huntsville will host a celebration of the life and works of Indian Lake artist Lea Lewis on Saturday, Aug. 19.
Event to celebrate life and works of Lea Lewis

By Ron Brohm

Contributing writer

Ron Brohm is a regular contributor to this newspaper.