February 10, 2021

Meet Shaunt’e Lewis, the Artist Behind Our Local Black Church Designs

Meet Shaunt’e Lewis, the Artist Behind Our Local Black Church Designs

For our local celebration of The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song, WFYI partnered with Fishers-based visual artist and illustrator, Shaunt’e Lewis. She created a series of graphic icons to give life to our four engagement programs: Sunday Suppers, Sacred Spaces, Sunday Best and Church Chats. We envisioned a few small designs, but what she delivered delighted us: a nuanced representation of the Black church and its many elements. Peek behind her process — and why she chose to take on this project, in our Q&A with this talented artist. 

Why did you decide to take on this project? What did you find exciting about the opportunity?

I decided to take this project because the team at WFYI was very excited about my work and the opportunity to work with me. It makes it so much easier when a company is just as passionate about my work as I am. Also, the project was such a great fit with my art style: bold, colorful, clean lines!

Which icon is your favorite and why?

My favorite icon is the dove design. The dove represents hope and peace, something we can all use in our lives, especially at this time. 

What inspirations, life experiences or other sources did you draw on for these designs?

Some of my inspiration for these pieces were my own artistic style of course, as well as my religious background. Growing up, my grandmother worked in a church so I could relate and bring images from my past into some of the designs such as suits and church hats, robes and, of course, a food design because Sunday dinners are always a staple in the Black church!

What WFYI, PBS or NPR program would you recommend to others and why?

I recently came across a documentary “American Black Journal. Black Art” online. It speaks about the importance and impact of Black art on the American economy and culture. This topic is very important and relevant to my work and brings awareness to Black artists and businesses that make an impact to the community.

In three words, how would you describe your work?

Bold, Colorful, Femininity!

What's your hometown? And were you a PBS kid growing up?

I was born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, and I was a PBS kid growing up! My favorite show was The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. This was my introduction to art, and I would imagine myself painting for the world one day!

Check out more of Shaunt’e Lewis’s work on her website or in WFYI’s local Black Church activities designed to bring a local perspective alongside the Henry Louis Gates-produced documentary.