An artist focused on today

By Staff Writer
May 1, 2003

Jenna Lewandowski

Her piercing eyes are visible across the cafeteria. A multitude of faces dangle from the ceiling. A woman is blindfolded by Uncle Sam. Is this a plot for a mystery novel? No, they are all pieces of art that have been created by graduating senior Geronna Lewis.

Her humble demeanor disguises the many layers of her being. Her demure smile and her ready hug is what she is best known for among her close friends.

You would not have guessed that art was not her first love. Lewis actually wanted to pursue engineering and thought that her artistic abilities would be achieved through dancing. She has met several people that have nurtured her talent and helped her find a niche in her fine arts major at Cabrini.

“Lisa Learner has been behind me in my artwork, always pushing me to continue to do my best,” Lewis said. “Rachel Slaughter is my mentor; I go to her for a lot of things. And Ted Blaidsdell has helped me come up with a lot of ideas for Ethic Student Allaince.”

A typical day for her would be to wake up at 7 a.m. and start the hustle and bustle of running around campus without breakfast. She is usually late to class because she has so many people stopping her to chat or to ask about the latest project that she is doing. With so many things on her plate, like being a resident assistant, president of the ESA and thinking about her future, she has kept a cool head with graduation so close by.

Lewis had to give up on writing down a list of things she has to do. One day, she wrote down a “to do” list and it came out four pages long. “I gave up. I just decided to focus on today because I don’t want to worry about tomorrow,” Lewis said.

She recently found that she was so busy that she could not find time to read her Bible. So now she carries it with her almost all the time whenever she has a spare moment to herself. “My mother always had a book in her hand reading, whether it was the Bible or not. It wasn’t always what she told me that made me want to read the Bible for myself,” Lewis said. “It was her prayers and the effect of those prayers that give me renewed hope in life.”

Lewis was raised without her father, so when the chance for her to live with him in California came, she jumped at it. Her relationship with her father has always been special. Smiling while she told stories about her father, Lewis’ tone of voice steeled itself when she mentioned the death of her father before her senior year.

Lewis was planning on not returning to Cabrini because she felt life was so overwhelming. But her father had always encouraged her to “handle her business first” so that she could be rewarded later. She knew that continuing school would have been exactly what her father wanted.

Lewis’ engagement with junior Aking Beverly, resident assistant of the Cabrini Appartment Complex, was a pleasant announcement to the student body. Everyone wants to know if Cabrini College is invited to their wedding. With a laugh, Lewis said, “Only upon invitation.”

Lewis will be pursuing a marketing plan when she graduates this May. The marketing plan will be to sell her pieces to galleries and to try to live off her artwork. “I’m kind of glad I didn’t get into grad school because I wouldn’t have been able to focus on my art,” Lewis said. “If I don’t have a project in mind, I know I wouldn’t have the discipline to keep up with painting or drawing.”

Lewis has donated four of her works of art to Cabrini, which can be seen around campus. Faculty members and staff of the community have bought her artwork. One of her pieces had been showcased at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education forum and found a home at Rosemont College.

“My favorite piece is of the girl standing on the earth with the sun,” Lewis said. “I have no one particular media in which I do my paintings but I like trying new things. I do a lot of my work in oils and pastels.”

“All I really want is for my pieces [at Cabrini] to have plaques that have my name saying that I did them. I put my blood, sweat and tears into the four paintings that are displayed,” Lewis said.

Posted to the Web by Angelina Wagner

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