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For Campbell River artist Adam Lewis, lifelong passion became living the dream

40-year-old artist has several murals around Campbell River, including local skate park

There is an age old adage that life for some, begins at 40.

Many individuals come at a cross roads in life at that critical age, in some cases, regretting prior decisions; and in others, forging a new path and following what their passion entails.

For Adam Lewis, that passion was art. Growing up in the We Wai Kai First Nation, he was always enchanted by artwork, from graffiti to sign painting.

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“This has been pretty much a lifelong thing for me,” said the soon to be 41-year-old. “I was 14 years old. I was always using aerosol spray cans and acrylic paint. I grew up on the reserves and with it in the community, but I never practiced it myself.”

Lewis said that while doodling cartoons and graffiti growing up, he only looked at art as an escape from the pressures of life. But as he got older, working in heavy machinery, the idea of being a full-time artist encompassed his mind.

“I worked in forestry and things like that,” Lewis said. “I worked in heavy machinery. I made a realization — maybe not a mid-life crisis — but a realization, subconsciously, that we aren’t here forever. You really need to take advantage of your passions, and the little time you are actually here for.”

With that in mind, he made the decision last summer to fully invest in his passion. He has made several murals around the city, including on garage doors around town, the mural at Nunns Creek Park, and a collaboration with Jubilee Heights to create a tree during last year’s festival of trees at the Campbell River Museum.

He feels being of Indigenous heritage, it is important how the community reacts to his works.

“It feels fantastic,” Lewis said. “I’m doing it in sort of a contemporary way. People tell me you’re bringing form line to this generation. The styles and mediums in which I’m doing it. There’s a history there that I’m really honoured to be able to continue to work on. To shed a new light on it, I am really proud to have the skill set to do that.

As he continues in his passion, Lewis says there are several projects on the horizon, including in town in Campbell River, down-Island and beyond.

“I have some works happening in Parksville and Nanaimo,” Lewis said. “How much love and dedication I put into art from since I was a teenager. I think this is something I’ll practice for the rest of my days.”

To see more of Lewis’ artwork, visit

Edward Hitchins

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