Ann Lewis aka gilf!
Ann Lewis is a Detroit-based multidisciplinary artist who uses public space and participatory performances to respond to current social and political issues. As an interdisciplinary activist artist, she incorporates painting, installation, sculpture, and participatory means to explore themes related to American identity, power structures, and justice. Ann's work often includes repetition through graphic elements, and a limited color palette while conveying messages around intersectional social justice issues such as gentrification, women's rights, and police brutality. Her work is informed by engaging affected communities and reflects relevant scientific data through intuitive use of concept-specific materials.
Notable recent works include From Us to Us (2019), a participatory installation in which visitors leave handwritten messages for people detained indefinitely along the border between the US and Mexico on silver emergency blankets, as well as and counting… a chrono-reactive installation detailing every death at the hands of American police officers in 2016 on individual toe tags. Ann's work has been acquired by the New York Historical Society Museum and the US Library of Congress.
In 2017 she was commissioned by Now + There to complete See Her, which won An Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Award. This mural was created in community with local returning women and highlighted the humanity and dignity of women transitioning out of incarceration. Ann has since received several large-scale public art commissions, including Same, Same, but Different a 500' long work at the Pittsburgh International Airport as well as 10,000 square foot mural at the headquarters of Duolingo.
Since receiving her bachelor's degree in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, Ann's art has been reviewed in The Guardian, Hyperallergic, The LA Times, Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, and NPR. She has exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the US and abroad, including exhibitions at Petzel Gallery in New York, the Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit, and Seyhoun Gallery in Tehran, Iran. Through community organizing, participatory performance events, public art, and gallery installations, she continues her dialog of mindful and social evolution.