Bigalke Headshot
Photography: Camela Langendorf, Varitay Studios
INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST
GALLERY OF WORK
VISIT THE ARTIST’S WEBSITE

Lisa Bigalke, Kenosha

2016 RAM Artist Fellowship Award Recipient

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.

Artist Statement

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.

Lisa Bigalke, Kenosha

2016 RAM Artist Fellowship Award Recipient
Bigalke Headshot
Photography: Camela Langendorf, Varitay Studios
INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST
GALLERY OF WORK
VISIT THE ARTIST’S WEBSITE

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.

Artist Statement

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.

Interview with the Artist, January 2017

Would you please describe your work—what materials you use; what subject matters you explore?

My work is an exploration of self through a collage of landscape with macro and micro elements.

I am a relief printmaker, preferring the slick clean graphic quality of the ink. Mostly I use linoleum, wood, paper, ink, speedball cutting tools, a Takatch press, and a 1940s Showcard poster proofing press. Occasionally I add silkscreen, lithography, embroidery, and handmade paper to add variety in the mark-making.

How often are you in your studio? Do you work outside of your studio much or at all?

My art practice includes either the making of or the business side of art daily. My time is spent printing larger work at Carthage College or in my studio at home. Usually, I document places through drawing and photos. Then come back to my studio and start to collage together an image from the drawing, photos, and other source materials like maps, fossils, and nature patterns. I draw the composition out on linoleum and begin to cut the first color out. Print then cut again. Repeat until print is completed.

I spend an average of 36 hours each week on art. Reading, thinking, creating, business time, organizing, inventory, commissions, binding, construction and writing don’t leave much time outside my studio… however my sister claims I need time out of my studio so I don’t forget how to talk to people. And, I love teaching. The combination of these two things means I usually teach 1–2 classes a semester at Carthage and, periodically, a bookbinding workshop elsewhere.

What inspires you most these days? But also what do you go to bed thinking about most nights?

Inspires:
Wisconsin, fossils, extinction, climate change, people who work really hard, my studio

Thinking about at night…
Art and the end of the world… not kidding. Although, I usually wake up thinking about the specific project I am working on or my need to go outside for a walk or work in my garden.

Why the RAM Artist Fellowship? Since we are midway through the process, can you assess how you are feeling at this point? Are you where you thought you would be? Have your plans changed since the fellowship year started?

With 18 months between the award and the exhibition, there is time to create a new body of work for this specific space [in the galleries at Wustum]. I am enjoying the challenge. And this fellowship is one of the few ways the professional artists who live locally can participate in the local arts community.

I am working on several bucket list celebration projects to wrap up a significant portion of my work with the Wisconsin landscape. These feature a panorama print that is in ten panels. It will ultimately cover a 20 inch by 33 foot space. It is thematically based on a trip my family took to Marionette County in 2015. We hiked every waterfall in the county! I just finished cutting my largest woodcut at two x four feet. In contrast, I am also working on a series of miniature landscape prints. All are under six inches square.

Gallery of Work

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