Moving Forward in the process of launching the art included many steps. Our son Peter was living in Israel in May of last year. Peter is a graphic designer. From half way around the world we discussed and he developed our LLR logo. He designed my authentication sticker as well. We planned a Lewis Lanza Rudolph website upon Peter’s return to the USA in 2014.
While Lewis never owned a computer I was using Google search to help with my preparation of his artwork for launch. I found a company online to craft the custom brand. Another company online to supply spools of coated framing wire and hardware.
My husband Bruce in the meantime came up with a simple framing design to protect the edges of Lewis’s paintings. April’s husband Charlie gave us advice on placement of hardware and wiring. Preparing the wood, staining, finishing, customizing each frame for several paintings was begun.
I met with April again in late May 2013 to show her our progress. First, she evaluated Bruce’s framing of the two paintings I brought as examples. Next she spent time going page by page through one of Lewis’s anatomy drawing tablets. Drawn in the early 1970’s, the tablet was from his Anatomy for Artists class. Lewis attended the Art Students League in New York City where he studied under Marshall Glasier and Robert Hale. April marveled over the quality of the drawings. Again, she stated, Lewis was truly gifted.
Lastly, I showed April my brother’s presentation book of pencil abstract drawings which I thought might be of interest. After a few pages she became very excited.
April began noting the dates on the drawings. I explained while this was a formal presentation book Lewis had compiled to show at gallery’s, I have at least 20 additional notebooks filled with dated drawing. April explained that the presentation book sketches were likely taken from his art diaries. Just as I might write in a journal she explained, my brother responded to current events or his personal life through art drawings. She was impressed by his discipline as an artist.
After several hours together, April helped me carry the two framed paintings Lewis’s presentation book to my car. From the back door of Mulberry Art Studio she yelled out to me, “ You are doing a great job Doll!” I got in my car and began to cry. Actually I sobbed! April did not know that my brother always called me by my childhood nick name Doll or Dolly. Rarely did he use my birth name Denise. I cried because for one moment in time it was as if Louie himself was speaking to me cheering me on in this journey. For just one moment, one single moment, my skyward plea “help me Louie” got an answer.
While I had found an open door and a mentor in April Koppenhaver, how to proceed in releasing my brother’s paintings still rested on my shoulders. Through April the journeys direction had changed from selling art to honoring my brother and exhibiting his paintings. I soon realized it would take more than instruction from April to accomplish the goal of seeing Lewis Lanza Rudolph acknowledged as an abstract artist of his time.
April Koppenhaver offered us our first open door and the chance to experience having our first art exhibit to honor Lewis. For this Bruce and I are grateful.