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Rising Stars: Meet Lisa York

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa York.

Hi Lisa, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
Hi, I am Lisa York, and I make pottery, charcuterie boards, and more. My work is inspired by the great outdoors and travel.

My artwork is organic, and the colors are inspired by the earth tones of nature. Some of the work includes circle and line motifs that echo wax-resist designs of boutique fabrics from my year of volunteering in Tanzania. I find a lot of joy in discovering all the possibilities of making beautiful objects within the realm of function, and the constant problem-solving to improve either the aesthetic or function of a piece.

I have been formally trained in art at the University of North Dakota where I got my Master of Fine Arts, apprenticeships, and international art residencies in China, Hungary, and Germany. I have also learned so much through international volunteer work in Tanzania, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Do any artists have a smooth road? None that I know of…haha. We pursue art not because it is an easy path, but because we cannot be content not making art.

I will admit I have spent a lot of years of my life pursuing education in the arts through formal study at colleges, art residencies, and volunteer work. During those times I worked many odd jobs to survive. I have had a short career as a college art professor. In recent years, since marrying my partner, I have had many cross-country moves for his job and have pursued a full-time studio artist career. Diverse streams of income are the key. Some teach regular classes, workshops, and in-person and online sales.

All that said, I have not regretted my journey of being an artist.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
As I mentioned before I make functional artwork.

Mostly pottery and wooden forms such as charcuterie boards and wooden vases. I would say I am most proud of my ceramic and wood sets. I will sometimes select my favorite pieces of pottery to make into a set with a wooden base.

They range from teapot sets to serving sets. My work has an organic earthy aesthetic that is unique to my style of making.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and are any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
The necessity for being able to do things virtually and online, and to say more on top of inventory of raw materials with supply chain issues.

I did do a couple of virtual workshops and switched to almost exclusive online sales of work. Thankfully, the galleries that carry my art did not stay closed that long. I was also very impressed by how the community really stepped up its game to support local businesses.

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