More than a year has passed since Eugene’s beloved storyteller Mark Lewis passed away. The Emmy-winning local performer, author, teacher and voice actor was nationally known for his show Word Pictures and voicing part of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland.
His spirit and influence lives on in the people he mentored, such as Angela Dunham and Lindsey Shields of Flex Studios, a local dance school.
“Mark is someone who you meet and fall in love with immediately,” Dunham tells EW. “He really believed in what we had to offer this community. He was a part of our productions; he would narrate all our end-of-the-year concerts.”
Now Dunham and Shields want to give back “a small portion of what he gave to us.”
Flex Studios is hosting “FLEX*OL*O*GY,” its annual benefit concert that this year will be dedicated to Lewis, 7:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 20, at Lane Community College’s Ragozzino Performance Hall; $15. All proceeds will go to the Mark Lewis Scholarship Foundation “to keep storytelling alive and continue Mark’s giving and generosity in the performing arts here in Eugene and its surrounding areas.”
Dunham says Flex Studios worked closely with Lewis’ wife Colleen Lewis to design the show. The show will have several personal touches, including a performance of a lullaby Lewis sang to his children and channeling the mythology and folklore Lewis loved, Dunham says.
“He said when he died, he felt like he would die and he would open a door and he’d be in the middle of Manhattan and that would be heaven for him,” Dunham recalls. “We want to open that door for people that night.”
Also expect pirates, mermaids and Santas to grace the stage — some of the reoccurring characters in Lewis’ life. Coming to the show in costume is encouraged.
“Come as you are, come in the spirit of Mark,” Dunham says.
“We hope to give our audience a night where they can forget all their worries and let the stories of Mark, our dancers and special guests lead them through a magical night of playful thoughts and images,” Shields adds.
Sketchy: UO Professor Emeritus of art Ken O’Connell is hosting a sketchbook and illustration workshop 1 to 3 pm Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art; $10 students, $20 public. The event pages states: “Working from observation or imagination, O’Connell will lead participants through ways of sketching and developing the sketch using light and dark shading techniques and color.” All materials provided. For more info, visit bit.ly/1onSyj1.
In the zone: New Zone will begin accepting artwork for its annual non-juried Zone 4 All show Feb. 27. Each piece is $10 to enter. The show opens March 4.
Lane Arts Council announced that community art grants funded by the city of Eugene are now available for 2016. The focus this year will be on “accessible, affordable and inclusive projects for communities whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by ethnicity, economics or disability.” Deadline to apply is May 6. There will be an information session on community art grants 4 to 6 pm Tuesday, March 29. For more info, visit lanearts.org/community-arts-grants.