'Jesus Painter' coming to Volm|
|Mike Lewis, known as the Jesus Painter, will make a return appearance to Antigo Wednesday.|
Lewis will create giant portraits of Christ, very quickly, in a non-denominational free program beginning at 7 p.m. in Antigo High School’s Volm Theater.
He last visited Antigo in 2007 for Ash Wednesday services at Peace Lutheran Church.
“That performance was very popular and we really expect to fill the Volm Theater for this return,” Gary Kieper of Thrivent Financial Mid-Wisconsin-Chapter, the host of the event, said.
Lewis’ ministry began in 1998 when friend, Christian songwriter Seth Haines, asked him to paint a portrait of Christ on stage during the performance of his new song, "Intimate Portrait.” Haines wanted a portrait large enough for an entire audience to see and also a likeness to Christ painted in seven minutes.
After several months of thought and preparation, the night arrived. Lewis did not have the cash to do a practice painting so the first try was live on stage.
Lewis said that immediately everything disappeared except the canvas. He began to swirl colors from the entire spectrum into the face of Christ, then at the end of the painting when the image was recognizable, he began to throw “blood” (red paint) into the face.
Since then, he has traveled across the nation and internationally and his single-person performance has grown into Jesus Painter Ministries, a collective of artists who visually present the life of Christ in a dramatic presentation at events worldwide.
“I paint a story,” Lewis said. “What I’m trying to do is tell a little part of a story through painting. My hope is afterwards, the story will stay with the viewer.”
Lewis’ paintings will be available for sale through a silent auction following the event.
The artist is also painting Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Prairie River Middle School - Merrill.
Through its chapter programs, Thrivent Financial members come together in service to help their communities and congregations.
"This project is just one example of the real difference we're making in people's lives," Kevin Kamps , president of the Mid-Wisconsin Chapter, said.
The chapter provided a $5,000 contribution to bring Lewis and his ministry to the area.
Mike Lewis, “The Jesus Painter,” at work.
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