Amani Lewis is an artist based in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2016, they graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a BFA in General Fine Arts and Illustration.
“I grew up in Columbia, Maryland, a predominantly white new-suburban town. Once I attended the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, for the first time, Black people made up most of my community. The drastic differences between these two experiences challenged my self-identity. At quick glances, it’s easy to allow the stereotypes associated with Baltimore (drugs, alcohol, homelessness, poverty, and crime) to skew one’s understanding of individual personal experiences. I am constantly challenging these perceptions, and digging into the root causes by asking questions such as: How have these issues been ignored over time? What can we do to change these realities? In my work, I draw viewers into my compositions, and aim to reveal a missing, but, vital element in these conversations: the people.
“ What a blessing it has been working directly with the Founder of ArtLeadHer, Mashonda Tifrère. Mashonda has created a plethora of opportunities for female artists such as: gallery exhibition, networking and selling opportunities, commissions and collaborations and more.
This composition for LIBRE was inspired by my beautiful, artistic friends. Murjoni Merriweather is a Sculptor from Baltimore who is also my best friend and my muse for many of my works. Her light and ambition has always been something that has intrigued me, she symbolizes freedom. Baltimore based Photographer, Devin Allen, who is also a friend/collaborator helped me make this YSL vision come to life.”