Local artist turns hobby into career

Friday, February 23, 2018
Felix Maxwell at work on a painting. Maxwell, president of the Marshall County Art Guild, is the guild’s artist of the month for February.
Tribune photo by Erin Morris

Tucked away on the square in Lewisburg is where Felix Maxwell, a 69-year-old artist, experiences one of many Marshall County’s ‘hidden gems’.

“A lot of people don’t even realize that we have an art guild,” he said. “It’s a hidden gem here, and I think people just need to discover it.”

An accomplished artist, Maxwell’s self-portrait is currently on display on the square in Lewisburg at the Marshall County Art Guild.
Tribune photo by Scott Pearson

The Marshall County Art Guild was established in 1976, and it displays everything from stained-glass artwork to paintings to drawings. According to Maxwell, the diversity of the guild is what truly unites people and allows people from different backgrounds to come together to explore art.

Maxwell, who serves as president of the Marshall County Art Guild and has been a member for 30 years, is February’s Artist of the Month.

After retiring from Nissan in 2007, he has been able to devote himself full-time to his hobby, making it a career.

His inspiration for his artwork stems from his mother.

“She raised me by herself. I know how hard women work and how important they are in the world today,” he said.

Maxwell was raised by his single mother in Cornersville before moving to Lewisburg in his high school years. At the age of 18, Maxwell sold his first painting.

Maxwell obtained a Fine Arts degree from The Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California. Before getting his degree, he was self taught by attending numerous workshops and painting every single day.

He can’t put his finger on exactly what kindled his passion for art. It’s just always been something he needed to do, he said.

“I want my art to be something much more than what a picture can capture,” he said. “I want it to go beyond that picture to capture the likeness.” He specializes photorealism and pastels.

When he was starting out, Maxwell only used black and white for most of his artwork. From black and white, he started using to color pastels. Then, he transitioned to watercolors. Over the years, he has ventured out to try new things such as various mediums and different subjects.

His work has been selected countless times: The Pastel Society of America in New York City (recipient of the National Arts Club Award); and the Black Creativity Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Technology and Industry in Chicago, IL (awarded first place in drawings and pastels).

For more than 45 years, he has been creating beautiful pieces of art. Last week, an art reception at the Marshall County Art Guild was held in honor of Maxwell. Several people within the community showed up as well as other members from the art guild.

Mike Green, a local potter, said, “Felix is a great guy and a great artist.