Artist of the Issue: Megan Lewer

From water color paintings to short films, Megan Lewer uses art as a way to express herself.

by Alexandra Frisch and Violet Cowdin

Through paintings, reproductions and videography junior Megan Lewer uses art as a form of self expression. According to Lewer, a common theme throughout her work is “teen angst” and she uses her art to enable people to see her perspective, whether it’s through a water color painting or the lens of an old DV camcorder.

Lewer was accepted into painting I at STA this year without taking the typically pre-requisite class. Instead of taking the year-long Drawing I course, Lewer compiled a portfolio to show visual arts teacher Theresa Wallerstedt.

“I brought in a portfolio to show Mrs. Wallerstedt and she told me some little things I needed to improve on over the summer and then she said I‘d be ready for painting I,” Lewer said.

Although Lewer hasn’t been involved in art classes at STA before this year, she has been involved in KC’s art community outside of school, which gave her the confidence to try it out at school.

“Originally, going into STA, I didn’t take drawing I because I didn’t think I was a very good artist,” Lewer said.  “I didn’t think I would fit in that area of STA, but I really enjoyed doing it in my free time, so with some practice, my free time and my classes at the Kansas City Art Institute, I became more confident with my drawings and I wanted to become a better painter. “

Lewer says she has always had an interest in art, but she always felt there was a stereotype she needed to fit that she didn’t meet. For her, sophomore year brought a turning point in which she finally realized she wanted to pursue art.

“I realized I needed to start pursuing these things now because something along the lines of this is going to keep me happy in the future,” Lewer said. “So whether it’s just a hobby or a career, it’s something I want to do, instead of just sitting around regretting not taking painting.”  

photos by Violet Cowdin

Lewer’s  interest in painting began when her mom surprised her with her own set of watercolors and paintbrushes for Christmas. She enjoyed practicing and realized she wanted to improve, so she began taking classes the Kansas City Art Institute.

Painting has helped her become more patient, according to Lewer.

“It takes a lot of time,” Lewer said. “ When we do reproductions for class, I thought I could throw it together and get it done last minute, but it takes a lot of time and patience to get it to turn out right.”

Lewer spent the summer documenting her life with her dad’s old mini DV camcorder. After years of making short iMovies on her computer and videos with her camera, Lewer was finally ready to start showing off her work.  At the end of the summer, Lewer set up a projector in her backyard and invited everyone who had been featured in her video to her house to see her work for the first time.

“I like using my dad’s mini DV camcorder because I think it has such a cool effect,” Lewer said. “My dad dug [the camera] out recently and just thought, ‘Oh my god I have to do something with this.”

Lewer says  may even want to go into videography as a career when she’s older, making short films or audio visual art. She has made several short videos that she is considering entering in short film contests in the future.

Lewer says that a common theme throughout her artwork and videography is showing her different perspectives and feelings.

“People were telling me when they some my summer video that they could see my emotions in it,” Lewer said. “It was really nice. I got some good feedback. I feel like it’s something I’m good at, which was nice because it’s hard to find things like that.”

Lewer’s advice to anyone considering taking up art is, “If you feel like expressing yourself through art is something that helps you, take it up even if you feel like you’re not very good at it do it in your freetime, whether it’s painting music or making videos. It’s definitely a good outlet.”