Artist Statement - 2016
Through my latest multidisciplinary work I explore the ways in which our senses alter our experience and perception of the world. I’m interested in how we use the intersection of our senses to communicate, and I approach this as an individual who is medically, although not culturally, deaf. My long, slow progression into deafness started when I was six years old and culminated in 2003, when I decided to undergo a cochlear implant surgery, which carved away some of my skull bone and muscle and placed a bionic computer-ear into the smallest crevices beyond my eardrum. I find that my definitions of “language” and “communication” are continuously shifting and are directly tied to my own ability to navigate these concepts with my disability.
As an artist who has been a painter and a drawer since 2010, I feel an obvious and welcome shift in my studio practice through the new work I am creating. My art practice has expanded significantly this year, enveloping video performance, interactive performance, and sound manipulation. Parallel to these new genres, I am steadily adding to my body of abstract mixed media. These paintings and drawings result from an intuitive decision-making process, a dialogue between myself and the art forming in front of me. Nothing is planned, and a final “outcome” is not determined as I work; this has motivated me to investigate my relationship to my self and my senses.
During this time of new media and shifting art focus, I search for ways in which these two bodies of work relate to each other. As I made progress in my studio this year, I developed a mental image of myself at the center of these two artistic endeavors. On one side of this balance, I concentrate on my internal life and its subtle manifestations. My hours spent drawing and painting have created room for self-awareness and self-examination, and have literally formed a time and space for me to be present and focused. My hearing loss has also allowed this inner space to be enforced and expand.
On the other side of this balance, I see myself turned outward. How do I, with my rather well formed internal life, interact externally with the world? In this outside existence, my hearing loss has made a mess of things. Awkward social situations, missed communication, and questions about my “accent” have made me want to retreat to the comfort of my internal world. Working with new media (specifically, with interactive components) enhances my experience of this internal/external balance, and it forces me to drag my inner life into sections of my outer life in ways not always comfortable for me.
2019 MFA Canditate - University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
2006 B.A. Fine Art - University of Minnesota
2018 Humanly Possible. Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Milwaukee WI (upcoming Jan.)
2017 Twentieth International Opening Exhibition. Woman Made Gallery, Chicago IL
Solo Show - Interference. Soo VAC, Minneapolis MN
Between the Sky & the Earth. Roots & Culture, Chicago IL
2016 Michael Dandley / Liza Sylvestre. Nahcotta, Portsmouth NH
Art(ists) on the Verge 7 Fellowship Exhibition. Soap Factory, Minneapolis MN
2015 Solo Show - Meridians. Public Functionary, Minneapolis MN
Enormous Tiny Art Show 18. Nahcotta, Portsmouth NH
2014 Enormous Tiny Art Show 16. Nahcotta, Portsmouth NH
Solo Show - Elements Unheard. MacRostie Art Center, Grand Rapids MN
Ned Evans / Carly Glovinski / Liza Sylvestre. Nahcotta, Portsmouth NH
Get Lucky. Soo VAC, Minneapolis MN
2013 Enormous Tiny Art Show 14. Nahcotta, Portsmouth NH
2012 The Collector, Berkeley CA
Natural Curiosities. Miami International Airport, Miami FL
This and That. Art Center of South Florida, Miami FL
2011 Recently Acquired. Audrey Love Gallery, Miami FL
2010 Small Works. The Swenson Gallery, Miami FL
Lucky You. Audrey Love Gallery, Miami FL
COLLECTIONS, COMMISSIONS & AWARDS
2017 Art Works Grant, National Endowment for the Arts (in conjunction with SooVAC)
Travel Grant, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Mary Jane Neer Scholarship, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
2016 University Fellowship, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
2015 Art(ists) on the Verge 7 Fellow (Jerome Foundation)
VSA Jerome Emerging Artist Grantee
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council - Arts Learning Grantee
MN State Arts Board - Artist Initiative Panelist
2014 MN State Arts Board - Artist Initiative Panelist
MN State Arts Board - Artist Initiative Grantee
2012 The James Hotel, Miami FL (Commission)
Rochester Museum of Fine Art. Rochester NH (Permanent Collection)
Guerber, Megan, "5 Senses, 5 Artists", SciArt Magazine, June 2016.
Abbe, Mary, "Abstract Tensions", Star Tribune, December 18 2015.
Regan, Shelia, "Liza Sylvestre's Sensual Investigations at Public Functionary", City Pages Art Blog