Originally from Omaha, NE, Lisa currently lives in Harrisonburg, VA. Lisa received a Bachelors of Arts from Macalester College, a Master in Fine Arts from Michigan State University, and a certificate in digital video production from New York University. Lisa holds the position of Associate Professor/ Associate Director of the School of Art, Design and Art History at James Madison University, teaching in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Lisa has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions in a number of locations including Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Missouri, Ohio, Georgia, Virginia, Alaska, Tokyo and Paris.
"My creative work explores the intricacies of our natural world, with a particular dedication to marine environments. I am interested in amplifying the spaces beneath the surface—contemplating coral and microbial communities with equal weight. My paintings have become landscapes of environmental narrative, driven by the love of a space that is constantly in motion, and an urgency about its future.
Much of my work over the years has concentrated on dichotomies: micro versus macro; beauty versus threat; health versus illness. The pieces have specifically addressed environmental issues of unchecked chemical use, migration interruption, and disease. The current work also includes this balance of opposing forces, with vitality and dynamism poised against obfuscated danger.
In the spirit of the 19thc Naturalists, and such intrepid explorers as Jacques Cousteau and Sylvia Earle, my creative process has embraced the scientific notion of field work as a medium of experiential immediacy. My experience has included the participation in surveys of coral and related fish populations (Eleuthera Institute, Bahamas); invertebrate collection (Friday Harbor Labs, Washington State); and coral "garden" assistance (Gates Coral Lab, Hawaii). In July 2019, I will be joining a team to work on shark and manta-ray conservation around the Belize Barrier Reef.
These opportunities not only provide me with authentic visual data, but I regard the field work as a key component to my creative practice. It is a performance of sorts: a vital ritual, to document and assess.
Most of these experiences involve work that is conducted underwater or within intertidal areas, with a water-resistant notepad and camera in hand. The subsequent labor in the studio tackles not only the science but related emotional quandaries, with images exploring the line between representation and abstraction. They are simultaneously factual and inventive, to symbolize our shifting sense of knowledge and perception—and, ultimately, our confusion about solutions.
My work is intended as a form of documentation of what we are losing and what we need to fight to preserve. They are quiet calls to action."