There is a fabulously interesting Greek word—poema—which means “to make”— with a cascade of nuances, which implies detailed workmanship, a masterpiece or the most special creation of the creator. It is the origin of our English word “poem,” but was used by ancient Greeks to ascribe special status to the work of sculptors, poets and painters with the ability to do more than just describe physiognomy, but who could imbue the spiritual thumbprint of their subjects.
As a lifelong artist, octogenarian Artis Lane’s bronze and painted portraits conflate sculpture and personality in presidents, movie stars and cultural icons. Her installation series titled “Emerging Into Spirit” personifies spiritual development of generic man. After completing a physical representation, Lane lives with her art, continuing to nurture it with minute alterations until she is satisfied that the spirit is expressed. The “poema” of Artis Lane currently can be seen at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale.