Motorcycle madness is roaring down the halls of Chroma Studios.

The Downtown art center, which opened in May, will exhibit contemporary motorcycle prints until Saturday in a show called “Keeping it Shiny Side Up.”

Jacqui Lewnes, a printmaker featured in the show, said she has always loved motorcycles.
“I love riding, especially through open mountains,” Lewnes said. “It’s a spiritual sensation for me. It empties my mind. I feel more open, alert and ageless. I also feel one with the bike.”

Aaron Lewis, co-owner of the studio, said sharing Lewnes’ art with the community makes more meaningful the freedom a motorcycle represents. Lewnes’ prints have a simple and provocative style thanks to her use of bright colors and no-frills images: It’s just a bike on a background.

Lewnes also does prints of animals, and all her print subjects are based on actual motorcycles and pets, she said.

Lewnes uses a type of printmaking called monotype, in which the artist applies water-based ink to Mylar, a thin polyester film, and shapes the desired image. When the image is completed, the Mylar is placed into a printing machine and pressed into a material such as paper, Lewnes said.

Lewnes said art is a deciding factor in her life, and it helps her discover herself wherever she is. She said she wants to share that feeling with everyone.

“The spirit of art brings out the kid in you, something we tend to forget,” Lewnes said. “I recommend taking advantage of museums, galleries, anything having to do with art. They’re thought-provoking, especially when you bring a friend to see them or even a date.”

Paula Manning-Lewis, co-owner of Chroma Studios, said she’s thrilled to have Lewnes display her art in the new gallery.

“We met (Lewnes) in the middle of last year on,” Manning-Lewis said. “We were chatting, and when I saw her artwork, I asked if she could put on some of her work at our gallery.”

Chroma Studios offers not only studios and a gallery. They also have events, classes and performance space, Manning-Lewis said.

Lewnes said the art in Albuquerque attracted her even on her first visit to the Land of Enchantment.

After graduating from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, Lewnes was invited on a road trip to Albuquerque.

“As we traveled throughout Albuquerque, I fell in love with the city,” she said. “I liked the diversity, the freedom, the history, the community of artists and the family spirit here.”