Fullerton College held their opening reception of “Allegory for Grief and Grace” on Thursday, Mar. 8, by the new Artist in Residence Lisa Congdon.
Lisa Congdon is a fine artist, author and illustrator based out of Portland, Oregon whose colorful work now decorates the Fullerton College Art Gallery.
“I’m so excited to have Lisa and her work here,” said Carol Henke, Fullerton College Art Gallery Director.
“I’ve known for about a year and a half so I’ve had a lot of time to prepare which is good,” Congdon said of her residency.
“I haven’t had a gallery show in many years so I needed to make a lot of work.”
Congdon is a self-taught artist who didn’t start painting or drawing until she was 32.
“I took a few classes including classes at community colleges, but I didn’t ever get an art degree. I just kept practicing and practicing and practicing until I got better and better at making art.”
Most of the artwork on display is recent work from Congdon. Visitors to the art gallery will find very colorful artwork dotting the walls with a collection of books illustrated by Congdon on display to peruse.
Also on display are Congdon’s own books like “20 Ways To Draw A Tulip,” “The Joy of Swimming,” and “A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives” amongst others.
Much of Congdon’s art on display are colorful drawings of random objects like a pot kettle, an apple, scissors, a bunny, a paintbrush and a pencil on white paper.
“I’m interested in using a really consistent color palette so I use pretty much the same 10 colors on all of my work which is one unifying theme,” Congdon said of her art on display.
“Making art has brought so much joy into my life that I tend to use a lot of bright colors to express that joy.”
Congdon said she wants people to feel happy and inspired when they look at her work.
She hopes people looking at her drawings of everyday items will allow people to appreciate them and think about them differently as well as find beauty in the mundane.
“I use a lot of the same repeating shapes. My work is very simplified. It’s very graphic and flat looking. It’s just a style that I’ve developed.”
The reception made for a great and well-attended event on International Women’s Day.
“I love what she represents as a woman taking initiative and as a woman empowering other women,” Henke said.
During Congdon’s residency she will be giving demonstrations on digital drawing, painting and ceramics.
Her artist lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. in the Wilshire Auditorium where she will talk about her journey as an artist and finding your creative voice.
For more information about this event and times for Congdon’s Artist in Residence demonstrations, please visit the Fullerton College Art Department website.
For more information about Lisa Congdon, visit her website.