Painting the Town with Megan Lewis

BALTIMORE — “My dad was the first person who introduced me to art. He tells the story of you know, I was really active when I was younger. And what could I do. Or what activity could he watch me do what I would do’ I didn’t hurt myself. He literally sat me down and gave me a pencil and paper, and I was really good at it.

Megan Lewis knew from the young age of six that she wanted to be an artist.

“I make mirrors. I make furniture. I paint. I do everything…I love color,” Lewis said.

You’ve probably seen Lewis’s work without realizing it, as his studio on West Baltimore Street is filled with brightly colored paintings…it’s the city of Baltimore that’s his biggest canvas.

“You literally walk out and see my work,” she said. “Can you imagine wanting to be an artist since I was six and the first mural I did was inside the Blacks and Wax Museum, I used to go to Shake and Bake all the time when I was small, to have a mural there. It’s like, I can’t believe it.”

One of Lewis’s first murals was the Black Statue of Liberty at Baker and McKean.

She was 26 at the time, with every piece of art the Ringling College of Art and Design graduate says she evolves her work at the Tube station is proof of that.

She is 33 years old with 15 murals, several paintings and a “Doritos” bag in her portfolio.

“So Doritos reached out to me in 2020. They were doing murals in certain cities and Baltimore was one of the places and I did a mural to protect black women. And they texted me. I got a text from Doritos, and they said you know we have this opportunity for you when can we get in touch with you and when are you available to talk more about it and it was to design a Doritos bag ?”

Her “bag” is just one of many opportunities for this bright young artist, she has also done stuff for Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods and HBO to name a few.

The wings she designed at Camden Yards will have you flying high at an Orioles game. But it was her works in the schools of the city that moved her the most.

“I have to make sure the quality of my images, skin, especially black women, is top notch here. Because I did murals in school, so like I said, s making sure the hair is right, the skin tone, making sure these young black girls have these pictures that they can look up… I haven’t seen that. Like imagining going to school and see this beautiful drawing of yourself…I didn’t see that in school,” she explained.

During the pandemic, Lewis painted extensively when opportunities for murals dried up.

Although she enjoys painting on canvas and is good at it, she admits that the magic that comes from a mural is a work of art that she is always happy to share with Baltimore.

“It’s like painting like anything. It’s just that the people looking at it are part of the community. You have to be very careful because the art is very, very powerful.”

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