Nowhere is artist Ross Lewis' commitment to establishing a dialogue with the public more apparent than in his involvement in children's art education. A frequent guest at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Mr. Lewis has been invited to perform numerous demonstrations of Chinese calligraphy for children in A First Look, the Met's Family Program. He has lectured and conducted workshops on Chinese calligraphy and landscape painting at the American Museum of Natural History, The New School, Brooklyn College and many other cultural institutions. Under the aegis of ArtsConnection, Young Audiences, Symphony Space, Studio In A School, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, the New York Chinese Cultural Center and the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum he has developed and led classroom programs in public schools in the tri-state area.

In conjunction with his installation of fanscapes, wind-activated sculptures, at Central Park's Belvedere Castle, he held a workshop for children, ages 5-11, in which they made their own mixed media collage fans. For the Children's Museum of the Arts 1992 Halloween Benefit, Mr. Lewis created a 15' interactive skeleton with moveable strings attached to the limbs. Recently, he collaborated with 2nd and 5th graders at PS 38 on a painted acrylic mobile, In Our World, inspired by their community. Individual shapes were scanned in the computer, laser-cut out of acrylic and then painted. At P.S. 78Q , P.S. 83, and P.S. 30 Lewis worked with 4th, 5th and 3rd graders, respectively, to create 21' painted banners for the 1999, 2000 & 2001 New York City Marathons.

In 1991, he organized and led a mural project at P.S. 75 in Manhattan, for children in kindergarten through 8th grade. The composition of this 52' long outdoor work emerged from drawings which the students themselves had done during classroom art sessions. Keeping faithful to the students' own work and artistic sense, Mr. Lewis sketched out the student's animal figures in larger form. Mr. Lewis, faculty and parents all supervised as the children painted the final product.

Perhaps the most telling indication of Mr. Lewis' commitment to helping children to express themselves through art is the method which he uses to teach them: encouraging them to explore various artistic media and experience their own sense of artistic expression. Mr. Lewis' methods and success are clearly expressed in the following paragraph of a thank-you letter sent to him from the Education Division of the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

"Your respect and love for the art of calligraphy shines through your wonderfully honest and direct approach with children. They were enraptured with you and with the ritual of Chinese brushwork, not to mention all of your "props," or "toys" as you call them.
You had a good balance between showing and explaining, and by letting the children touch the brushes and prepare the ink, you let them feel involved with what you were doing. You have a way of communicating with children that speaks on their level, so that concepts about calligraphy we might think too difficult to grasp became readily available and usable to them - just recall the fine drawings the children produced with brush pens after your demonstration.

Please continue working with children."