Gina Marie Lewis

Gina Marie Lewis

Associate Professor

Fine and Performing Arts Center

14000 Jericho Park Rd.

Bowie, MD 20744

Phone: 301-860-3715

Research Interests

Using art for impact on social issues, awareness of social issues, personal efficacy in health and wellness, policy change, educational benefits, and community arts, participatory action research for historic and ethnographic, oral history projects utilizing mixed methodology (history, ethnography, photojournalism, creative writing) to engage communities in telling stories of their connections to places, and events, community food ways and food security through gardening - hazardous materials in art studios / green studio practices - sustainable living

Educational Background

  • University of Maryland University College, Adelphi MD, MBA (Expected Completion:  Fall, 2020)
  • American Grantwriter’s Association, Certified Grantwriter (Expected Completion:  Fall 2020)
  • University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, MD, Graduate Certificate in Project Management
  • Howard University, Washington, DC, Master of Fine Arts, Painting / Mixed Media major with a minor concentration in African American Art History
  • Norwich University, Montpelier, Vermont, Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Arts with a concentration in Cultural Studies and Studio Art

Biographical Sketch

Gina Marie Lewis’s most recent artwork focuses on the process of being sustainable, through acts of creativity, and community engagement.  Her current projects seek to employ her artwork in a quest for tangible positive impact in toward innovative resolutions to real world problems.  

Gina was born in Columbus, GA in 1965. She is a mixed media artist with 20+ years of professional experience, holding a Master of Fine Arts degree from Howard University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, with a focus on Cultural Studies and Studio Art, from Norwich University.  She is currently an Associate Professor of Art, and the Studio Arts Coordinator, at Bowie State University in Bowie, MD teaching courses in Painting, Printmaking, Integrated Studios and Digital Media Arts.

Ongoing and Recent CESU Research

She is currently engaged in the C&O Canal National Historic Park Ethnohistories:  African American Communities in Context project, which was awarded through the CHWA CESU.  The project uses a mixed methodology approach that combines history, ethnography, photojournalism, and creative writing in a participatory process to engage community members in telling their stories as it connects to the C&O Canal region.

Other Research

2020  UMBC Drescher Center for the Humanities, Inclusion Imperative, Visiting Faculty Fellow 

Working on the development of a mixed methodology handbook, based on the C&O Canal NHP Ethnohistories project, and continuing research on the power of Visual Rhetoric as it relates to socially engaged art.

2017-2018       Student Undergraduate Research Experiences In Socially Engaged Art & Community Art

The fall semester started out with an exciting opportunity for my Installations and Public Art students to collaborate with the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts, and an Introduction to Art Education course at University of MD College Park.  The resulting project was a “Unity Mural,” which was intended as a response to the experience of race hate crimes, and divisive political actions in recent times.  The mural was both a community art project that invited members of both universities and local communities to participate in painting a mural designed by the students of these classes.  It now hangs in a temporary exhibition at the Maryland House of Delegates where it received media attention for the profound message and action of these students.  In addition to the creative work the students were tasked with conduction research to further their understanding of all phases of the process, and gather visual material, cultural and historical content.

The students in the Installations and Public Art course for the spring semester are engaged in the creation of a project that commemorates the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass, explores his work on democracy and voting rights, and promotes voter awareness, registration and voting in all phases of local, state, and national elections.  This is a large undertaking through which we seek to launch an event that will, again, engage the community in art making, education, and political activism.  The goal for the final tangible project is to find a permanent home for it within a prominent public space where it can receive attention from policy makers, and citizens of the communities in Prince Georges County.  Research areas for this project are art, history, public history, and political science.

2017                Socially Engaged Art & Social Entrepreneurship

This research builds upon and expands the previous socially engaged project.  Social Entrepreneurship is a natural business model for Socially Engaged Art ventures and studios, both having at their core the interest of addressing persistent social issues in sustainable ways.  Designing, implementing, and managing the socially engaged studio in a manner that ensures maximum impact can benefit from project management and other business practices and tools.  Presently, the research examines the use of these tools in monitoring and controlling projects; and using socially engaged venture business plan templates to develop an overall plan and strategic plan.

2016 – 2017    A Community of Gardeners & Take Out Order

Socially engaged art projects that address the issues of food security, food choice, health and wellness.  A Community of Gardeners consists of community members in the DMV area who are committed to the practical and aesthetic experience of organic gardening.  This project promotes growing one’s own food as an option for maintaining access to healthy, high quality food.  Take Out Order (TOO) uses the metaphor of the takeout box to deliver information, recipes, and seeds to promote organic gardening as a proactive option for food security.  TOO is also a crowd funding premium that is used to generate the support needed to carry out these and other socially engaged art projects.

2016 – 2017    Artistic Research Methodology

How do artist construct research within the scope of their work?  What methodology do they use and what is its relationship to that in other fields? How does this allow them to create more meaningful art and experiences that are substantive and can be expanded within the greater field of knowledge?  The goal of this research is to develop a workbook that can be used by undergraduate students as they develop their research, creative problem solving and artistic skills, and move towards the creation of their capstone projects.

2015                My Happiness Project:  What to create, why and how?

Conducted research resulting in a paper which explores “what to make, why and how,” from the vantage point of an artist; The central issue is sustainability, as it relates to one’s spirituality, psychological, emotional and physical well-being; environmental and economic concerns.  It reflects on the forgone path of the artist’s career and work, and plots a course for the future.

2013 – 2014    Green and Sustainable Studio Practices

Continued creative research in drawing, painting and printmaking; research and development of “green” studio practices and art techniques in drawing, painting and printmaking; worked on new body of work in drawing and painting, which incorporates previous painting techniques and lessons learned in printmaking, use of new materials and processes, and exploration of sculptural painting installations.

2010 – 2012    Monoprints:  Mining the Possibilities

Exploring line, texture and color through the mono-printing process.  Continues to incorporate biomorphic forms, calligraphic line and geometric design.  The creation of atmosphere within the environment still remains important and should be evident in the way the art is experienced within a space.

2009                Art in Nature / Nature in Art

A visual study of the art inherent in nature; how artists use natural materials to create art; and nature as an inspiration for art.  This study builds upon previous studies on creating environments, and structural concerns of sculptural form.

Related Experts