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Great State: Enid’s Portrait in Pencil

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ENID, OKLAHOMA -- A duplex in northeast Enid isn't the kind of place where you would expect to find an art treasure.

Duron Lewis is currently working on a portrait of the city's mayor, Bill Shewey.

He's still considering what to do with his other Enid project, a huge, historical retrospect in pencil that took him two years to complete.

"Did you every figure to get so wrapped up in Enid," asks a visitor?

"No," he chuckles. "That was a new one, but I like Enid."

He lived in California for a while.

Before that forms a list of location long enough to dull a pencil.

Duron works for the City of Enid as a handy-man.

He's a carpenter.

He's a guy who's good at fixing things.

Lewis moved to northwest Oklahoma because he had family here, but the city's Cherokee Strip history drew him in further.

"When I first moved here I heard someone mention the Land Run," he recalls.

"I didn't know what the Land Run was. I was just fascinated with the old structures of the town and then I started sketching them."

Duron identified with the people of more than a century ago who moved to the prairie from their own long list of places.

Settlers built Enid. Lewis rebuilt it with a graphite pencil on paper.

"It probably wouldn't have taken me that long if I had just sat down," he says.

"But you had to eat," suggests his visitor.

"Yeah," he laughs. "I had to buy groceries."

He's been an artist for a long time.

Duron Lewis has sold his sketches before.

But from his small, mostly unfurnished flat no one really expected something like this to spring forth.

Lewis says, "I was just glad it did."

From the mind of a restless settler and the hands of a builder, the artist in Lewis found inspiration, and maybe a place he can call home too.

Lewis finished his sketching project in time for the annual Cherokee Strip Land Run celebration in September.

It stood on display at a local library but is now back at his place awaiting a buyer.

If you're interested in Lewis's art he gave permission to pass his phone number along.

It's (580) 747-0667.