Lisa Bigalke, Kenosha
2016 RAM Artist Fellowship Award Recipient
Photography: Camela Langendorf, Varitay Studios
Lisa Bigalke currently teaches art at Carthage College in Kenosha. Bigalke received her BA in Art from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in 1996 and her MFA in Studio Art,
with a concentration in printmaking, from Louisiana State University in 2000. Since then, her work has been featured in over 15 solo exhibitions. Bigalke’s artwork is also regularly shown in regional and national group shows.
Bigalke formed Rudbeckia Press, an artist bookbinding business, with her sister Rebecca in 2007. They create hand-bound journals and sketchbooks from archival and eco-friendly materials. In addition to printing services, Rudbeckia Press prints a series of travel images inspired by recent vacations to Alaska, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Mexico.
Most people have a place that makes them feel alive. For me, this is being outside with my feet in the grass. The bulk of my imagery has come from places explored with friends. This body of work began on a trip with my sister and mother exploring places found in my father’s notebooks. He died on a hunting expedition when we were children and this was a way to feel close to him.
Traveling through these places, being able to document through photos, drawings, and notes, gives me the opportunity to reinterpret and organize. I include maps, statistical information, and personal letters in my final work to indicate reality, the actuality of these places, and my relationship to them.
The spirit of the place comes through in the color and texture. Abstracting from nature allows me to create decorative patterns and visual texture in both the macro and micro of the landscape. I include a readable landscape with an enlarged abstracted fossil, flower, or water pattern. The overlapping and concentrated use of the pattern puts the viewer into the realm of my journey.