Lisa M. Shimko enjoyed her childhood in York County, PA, where she spent most of her time collecting rocks and exploring the terrain of forests and farms. Colors, forms, and textures from nature and the simple designs of Pennsylvania German folk art infused the foundation of her artistic aesthetic. In 1990, she earned a BFA in Painting with a minor in Art Therapy from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. The urban landscapes of the Northeast supplied a different kind
of nature for her to explore, from architecture, social issues to history and all the music in between. Hilton Head Island became Lisa’s home in 2000 where the terrain of the coastal south added a new chapter to her aesthetic book.
Childhood memories intertwined with the urban to Low Country experiences initiated her call to explore environmental issues. Seeing the strip malls, sprawling housing developments and general destruction of natural eco-systems of not only her childhood “home” but also the unhealthy encroachment of people on wetlands of her current South Carolina home struck an activistic chord in Lisa’s art. She has researched topics ranging from endangered birds, the plastic garbage island in the North Pacific Gyre, the Appalachian Mountains and the affects of the coal industry to agri-business. Her paintings reflect the influence of new research and old memories. The idea of activism inspires Lisa to “see unlimited possibilities in art. It can be a catalyst for more than aesthetic pleasure and a great tool for education on so many levels,” (The Post and Courier, Feb. 25, 2010).
Lisa’s paintings in the past few years have been imbued with an allegorical curiosity. Animals are the common subject, and the painter uses them symbolically to create a visual language of storytelling. She has a personal mantra that “absurdity shocks you into freedom”, and takes pleasure in letting the irrational nature of daydreaming be the guide. She has called Charleston her home since 2006, where she creates in her downtown studio and shows her work at Michael Mitchell Gallery. For more information, visit www.shimkoart.com and www.michaelmitchellcharleston.com.
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DISCLAIMER: The images of artist’s work shown here represent the style and quality of her work, but do not necessarily depict the works she produces for her seasonal share.