Sewell, Gavin


Mixed Media

Mixed-media artist Gavin Sewell makes thoughtful, intricate collages, wall sculptures, and paintings.

Born in Waterville, Maine, in 1980 into a family of Shakespearean actors, he drew and painted from early childhood as a way of compensating for a severe vision impairment. As an adolescent he apprenticed with Maine artist Alan Bray, attended classes at the Portland School of Art and Colby College, and was affiliated with an artist collective in his hometown.

After a brief stint in the theatre he read philosophy and classical languages at St. John’s College at Annapolis, then moved to New York City to pursue visual art professionally.

Stimulated by the city's vibrant creative communities, he studied at the Art Students League of New York and benefitted from the tutelage of artists including Federico Solmi, Jonathan Talbot, and Louise Bourgeois. His work is strongly influenced by canonical artists like Kurt Schwitters, Pieter Bruegel and the Kienholzes as well as by contemporaries including Wangechi Mutu, Vanessa German and Njideka Akunyili Crosby.

He has exhibited extensively in the US and Europe including multiple solo shows in New York, Washington and California.  His work has been recognized and supported by the Durst Organization, Chashama, Kasini House, Kolaj Magazine and NYFA. His ongoing American Flag series has been featured in several publications and has also done large-scale public arts commissions. His pieces are in private collections on five continents.

Today he and his seven-year-old son divide their time between New York, Montreal and Portland, Maine. When he’s not in the studio, Sewell enjoys reading, long distance bicycling, community organizing, and is also an avid home gardener.