Rick Lewis, Artist

Sculptor of the John King Memorial at Cornmarket, Ballinrobe

By Averil Staunton

Irishman and Ballinrobe dweller Rick Lewis A.R.A. is a unique and talented artist who lives and works just outside the town, where both his indoor and outdoor studios are located.

John King Sculpture

Rick’s recent bronze sculpture of Ballinrobe man John King, who was one of only 19 awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour twice in the US. adorns the Cornmarket.

Early career

Rick was initially a professional soccer player for Birmingham City and Oxford United but unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately for us!) an injury put an end to his sporting career.

Royal Worcester

After his injury Rick returned to the UK and jointed Royal Worcester in 1961.   He studied under Harry Davis, universally recognised as the world’s premier ceramic artist of the 20th century.   Rick became his only apprentice with whom Harry shared his talent and artistic secrets. Rick’s skills, apart for painting developed, and he became renowned for his sculpting and designs in porcelain and bronze.   His work is found all over the world.

Early commissions

A commission from President Richard Nixon’s administration resulted in Nixon’s gift of one of three life size “Peace Swans” being donated to the American people, which is on display in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.   The second “Swan” was donated to Chairman Mao and the third, to Pope Paul, which is on display at the Vatican Museum.

New Zealand

While living in New Zealand for some years, Rick sculpted a “Kingfisher” for Lady Diana and Prince Charles in 1983.   His most notable work for the people of New Zealand was his “Kiwi” which is on display at the Government Buildings in Wellington.   Now known as the “Proud Kiwi,” an image of this piece adorns gold coins produced by the New Zealand’s Mint.


Rick was presented with an M.B.E and A.R.A. for his contribution to fine art in New Zealand.

Other Collectors

Queen Elizabeth 11 holds eight pieces of Rick’s work, and the Queen Mother commissioned him to sculpt her grandson, the future King, Prince Charles, on his inauguration to the Royal Order of the Bath.    The Queen wrote to Rick expressing her personal admiration for his work which she holds in her personal collection.


Being a proud Irishman, Rick is pleased that both President Mary Robinson and Mary McAlleese together with former Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds have some of his work, including a sculpture of that famous racehorse Arkle.

A beautiful mosaic of Rick’s adorns the Church of Reconciliation, together with other works in Knock.

Current work

Rick is currently working on an enormous and stunning mosaic of the Gates of Heaven for another Church in Ireland.

This very talented and skilled artist welcomes visitors to his studio but please contact him first at rickylewis@eircom.net or call 094-9545800.

Photo:Rick Lewis M.B.E. & A.R.A.

Rick Lewis M.B.E. & A.R.A.

Rick Lewis

Photo:Early stage of the John King creation

Early stage of the John King creation

Rick Lewis

Photo:Next stage of creating sclpture

Next stage of creating sclpture

Rick Lewis

Photo:Final stage of the cast bronze sculpture of John King

Final stage of the cast bronze sculpture of John King

Rick Lewis

Photo:Rick in his studio near Ballinrobe

Rick in his studio near Ballinrobe

Averil Staunton

This page was added by Averil Staunton on 19/03/2011.
Comments about this page

Well done Averil...a wonderful article about a great artist, the images added to the piece...especially the creation of John King's statue..

By Noelene Beckett Crowe
On 05/08/2017

I was really confused, and this answered all my questions.

By Sharleena
On 31/07/2011