Lisa Bigalke

"Osmunda's Garden" 2011

Printmaker & Book Artist, Kenosha, WI  


Artist Statement: Most people have a place that makes them feel alive. For me this is being outside with my feet in the grass. Farm, park, garden--it doesn't matter, as long as plants are growing. The bulk of my imagery has come from places explored with friends -- the Chequamegon National Forest, Grant Park in Milwaukee, or even my garden. Traveling through these places, being able to document through photos, drawings, and notes, gives me the opportunity to reinterpret and organize. I include in my final works maps, statistical information, and personal letters 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. The intensity of the color often reflects time of day exaggerated, such as, a mid-morning golden yellow light shimmering through the leaves at Buckhorn State Park. 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 visual texture is followed with actual texture in the build-up of different print media- thick opaque relief ink, thin transparent lithographic ink, the raised or recessed surfaces of silk-screen and intaglio, and the embossed surface of letterpress. This layering of surface texture requires the viewer to interact with the rich surfaces. They are forced to peel back the layers and read it at my pace.

The overlapping and concentrated use of the pattern puts the viewer into the realm of my journey- for they travel on my journey through the image. Those who look once may just find a pretty landscape; those who get lost in the color and pattern find the meaning.

Speaker Bio: Lisa Bigalke graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Parkside cum laude with a BA in art in 1996. She received her MFA in Studio Art, with a concentration in printmaking, from Louisiana State University in 2000.  She taught art at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside from 2000-2012 and currently teaches Art at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Some of her visiting artist lectures and workshops have been conducted at UW- Marshfield, Kenosha Public Art Museum, Charles A. Wustum Museum, Lemon Street Gallery and North Chicago High School. Her artwork has been exhibited in many regional and national exhibitions. Since 2000, she has exhibited her work in over 13 solo exhibitions.
Lisa formed Rudbeckia Press, an artist bookbinding business, with her sister in 2007. They create hand-bound journals and sketchbooks from archival and eco-friendly materials. Some of their recycled projects include Hidden Treasure Books, Tank-top Tote Bags, $1.00 Books, Crocheted and Embroidered Books, and Monster Books. In addition to printing services, Rudbeckia Press prints a series of travel images inspired by recent vacations to Alaska, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Mexico.

Sponsors: thINK Printmaking Club, The Paper Fox Printmaking Workshop, The Fine Arts Colloquium, and The Art & Art History Department