Amy Lewis: Architect, Artist, Entrepreneur

Amy Lewis welding

Amy Lewis working in her AGRISCULPTURE studio. photo / provided

AAP Connect Professional Development Series

AGRISCULPTURE: Farm Equipment - Lovingly Rethought is a practice owned by architect, artist, and welder Amy Lewis (B.Arch. '08). Lewis rescues abandoned farm equipment from forests and fields, to restore the environment and to collage antique American farm heritage for public education and enrichment.

From her Hudson Valley studio on the Sweetman Dairy Farm in Warwick, New York, Lewis works alongside her husband, farmer-welder Douglas Sweetman. AGRISCULPTURE started with a commission through her architectural practice, Architectural Stylist, to create an outdoor metal fountain for the entrance of the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Sullivan County office in the summer of 2012. The sculpture, GROW Agrisculpture: Harrow Discs - Lovingly Rethought, arose from the need to innovatively serve CCE while speaking the language of their guests (a largely agricultural community), and spark dialogues across disciplines.

While an architecture student at AAP, Lewis spent summers interning for the Cape Cod firm Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders, as well as the Manhattan firm Sciame Construction. After graduation, she accepted a professional architectural position with Burt Hill in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and became the youngest female project coordinator within the global firm to manage a team of 10 for the royal family's Al Mafraq Hospital of Abu Dhabi.

Lewis pioneered a number of design-build projects in the United States when Burt Hill closed, including film sets in Los Angeles and her Burning Man 2010 Art Installation based on passive cooling, DESERTROPOLIS. That project was filmed by Japanese public television as a documentary and aired throughout Japan in September 2010. She founded her own practice, Architectural Stylist, in 2011.

Since AGRISCULPTURE's inception in 2012, Lewis has been commissioned by Storm King Art Center for two AGRISCULPTURE-based children and families workshops. She was featured at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair 2014, and had an exhibition commission by Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. She has won sculpture competitions in New York and Pennsylvania, has shown in select galleries, and AGRISCULPTURE has been featured in magazines, radio, newspapers, blogs, and websites. Lewis received an award from America in Bloom for Heritage Preservation in the Business Sector, and she is a four-time return lecturer at Cornell's Introduction to Architecture Summer Program for high school and college students. In 2015, Lewis introduced outdoor sculpture to the Albert Wisner Public Library of Warwick, New York, with an AGRISULPTURE exhibition, and in 2016, she was named their curator for outdoor sculpture.

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