Noah Scalin’s latest project: A portrait of Frances Lewis made out of canned food and sundries

Photos by Julia Rendleman, University Marketing.

Noah Scalin isn’t the first artist to create a portrait of Frances Lewis. That distinction belongs to Andy Warhol, who became friends with the art collector and her husband, Sydney, in the 1960s.

But Scalin is the first to create Lewis’ portrait out of canned food and sundries. Part of his “Portrait of Innovation” series, the work is Scalin’s second large pop-up installation at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business. The piece takes on a different look depending where you stand and can only be fully recognized from a specific spot.

Scalin, the VCU School of Business’ first-ever artist-in-residence, has spent the 2016-17 academic year teaching faculty, staff and students how to hone their creative problem-solving skills by thinking differently. After challenging them to leave their comfort zone, he set an example himself with his latest portrait by experimenting with a new medium.

“This is the first time I’ve ever done a portrait of a living person,” he said. “It’s also the first time I’ve done a portrait using these materials. This was an incredibly frightening challenge, overwhelming to me.”

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