Levi Selway is a figurative sculptor who revels in creating works that celebrate a life well-lived.
Levi’s mother, who sadly passed away when he was a child, loved art. She was a painter whose works filled Levi’s childhood home. And her creative spirit lives on in Levi. He uses his artwork to inspire others to chase their dreams and live their passions.
He acknowledges that a life well-lived looks different for us all, and so he creates works capturing the joy of everyone from exuberant children to artists and athletes at the height of their careers and physical prowess.
Levi shares his own artistic journey and why the Celebration of Fine Art is such a meaningful home for so many artists.
How did you get started in art?
My mom loved to paint. We had a lot of her paintings around the house and she had this sensitivity for beauty –– that’s where I definitely got my artistic voice from. Unfortunately, she passed away when I was seven, and art became a vehicle for self-expression and a way to manage a lot of those feelings. I studied art all the way through secondary school, and the only reason I didn’t go on to pursue art as a career at that time was that I didn’t know any artists. I didn’t see art as a viable profession.
Fast-forward 10 years, I was sitting in the lecture hall at medical school in England, and I just had this growing feeling that I didn’t really belong there. Shortly after leaving medical school, my wife bought me my first clay and tools. I went to scope out this open studio session and I felt like I was home.
How has your art evolved?
From that point, I began sculpting with professional sculptors at a weekly open studio session, sculpting from life. After a couple of years, I decided I wanted to get more technical training. My wife is from France, so we decided to go back to Europe. I attended the Florence Academy of Art in Italy to study classical figurative sculpture. After training there, we lived for a number of years in Europe. So, I’ve always had the privilege of being around a treasure trove of European public and museum art and sculpture. About a year and a half ago, my wife and I decided to come back to the States. Since then, I’ve been working on a body of work that is contemporary bronze figure sculpture, in the theme of a life well-lived.
What is your mission as an artist?
My mission as an artist is to empower people to live and pursue their most beautifully authentic and ambitious lives and to celebrate that journey. I choose to sculpt what “a life well-lived” means to me, whether that’s the boundless nature of childhood and children, bringing children joyfully to the world, or even in celebrating sports and music. It’s wherever I find inspiration.
What makes the Celebration of Fine Art unique?
I’ve been reading this biography of Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. As I read the chapter on 15th-century Florence, I drew a lot of parallels between the city at that time and Celebration. The city was flourishing in art due to such incredible collaborative energy within the city. And there were patrons –– the Medici family, the bankers –– that were supporting these artists, along with the city’s leadership, which was helping to push the creation of such masterpieces from these craftsmen.
I’ve found similar aspects in Celebration. There’s such talent here. There’s such industry and positive energy to create beauty. The leadership of Celebration fosters that collaborative spirit. And we have the opportunity to have so many patrons come through our doors to support our work. These three aspects of the show make it such a unique place.