Lewis Pepper is one of 70 artists whose self-portraits will be on display in Washington, D.C. during a special event on September 13 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of ANCOR, the American Network of Community Options and Resources. ANCOR was founded in 1970 as an association of organizations that support community integration for people with disabilities. The artworks will be on display during the invitation-only special event, being held at the Smithsonian’s Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture.
“This exhibit really brings the voices of the people with disabilities we serve into our celebration,” said ANCOR CEO Renee L. Pietrangelo. “The remarkable energy, diversity and creativity of the pieces underscore the value of supporting community integration and self-expression for everyone, including individuals with disabilities.”
Lewis Pepper has been drawing since he was 5 years old. The Arc of Delaware County supports Lewis’ passion for art by encouraging him to try new things and expand his talent, through art classes and collaborating with other artists. Because he prefers drawing scenery and using black and white, it was a step outside of his comfort zone for Lewis, who submitted a colored self-portrait. Lewis explained, “My passion for art has been in drawing scenes from nature, animals and human figures. When I had the opportunity to draw a self-portrait, I was hesitant, but decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did!” He attributes much of his success in art to his mother. Shortly before she passed away, Lewis shared, “She told me not to give up on art. Don’t give up on art, whatever you do. If my mom could only see me now.”
Lewis Pepper pictured with his self-portrait, “Artist at Work.”