July’s featured member is none other than the fabulous Lisa Tuttle. Lisa is a wonderful person and I am honored to call her a colleague. Lisa participated in C4 Atlanta’s Ignite class several months ago. She brought so much to the seminar in terms of experience, insight and encouragement. During the day, Lisa works for the Fulton County Arts Council’s Public Art Program. All day long, Lisa is an artist.
Lisa and project collaborator, Alice Lovelace, just received a very
prestigious nod from Americans for the Arts for their project, Harriet Rising. AFA named Harriet Rising as one of the nation’s top 50 public art projects. Harriet Rising is public art installation located above ground at Underground Atlanta. The project launched during Elevate /Art Above Underground presented by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program and Underground Atlanta. The Tuttle/Lovelace collaboration celebrates women who embody the spirit of Harriet Tubman, abolitionist and humanitarian.
In the United States, there are many women who embody the spirit of Harriet Tubman, working everyday to make life better for women (and therefore entire families) and working for a better world. The lives of these women are not as transparent as Tubman’s. They should be.
I am not the first to feature the work of Lisa and Alice. Google (used here as a verb) Harriet Rising and you will find a wealth of information about these two artists. However, I am personally very proud of their work. I am very proud of Lisa.
Here is a little more about Lisa Tuttle in her own words...
JH: Type of art – description AND what are you currently working on?
LT: Interdisciplinary projects and mixed media works. I’m in a three person show at Kibbee Gallery August and September, where I’m showing some mixed media pieces. Also I am continuing to work on the artist book for Harriet Rising which I hope to have complete by October. Alice Lovelace is also applying for some Elevate support for poetry readings at Harriet Rising during this fall’s presentation of Elevate: Art Above Underground.
JH: Are you originally from the Atlanta area?
LT: No, a child of a journalist, so born in Little Rock, Arkansas, but grew up in Charlotte, NC. My dad was born and raised in Atlanta, though, so although that’s not why I’m here, there have always been some interesting discoveries of how our lives have crossed. I moved to Atlanta in the late 70’s and found it to be a good fit for me at the time – It was Southern and familiar, but more metropolitan, progressive and sophisticated than anywhere else in the South…NYC seemed unmanageable to me at the time. When I moved here, I thought I was just going to try it out for a while…but it has continued to be a really good fit for me…
JH: How long have you been practicing your art?
LT: As a child, I wanted to be a writer. But in college, a professor was really impressed by my painting, and when I committed to that, I went full force.
JH: Who inspired you to create?
LT: Teachers, friends, my creative, brilliant and irreverent father
JH: Who or what inspires you today?
LT: Reading, films, and my fellow artists here in this creative Atlanta community.
JH: What is the greatest challenge facing Atlanta artists today?
LT: Courage. Also, not enough affordable studio spaces. Or opportunities for international travel/collaborations.
JH: What does Atlanta have to offer artists like you?
LT: The possibility to live affordably, but create and collaborate in the most surprising ways. I particularly like working at a place like the Arts Exchange where it is multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary, and inter-generational.
JH: Do you have a local favorite (artist)?
LT: Too many to count. I would like to give a shout-out to MOCA GA…!!!
JH: What advice do you have for a young person thinking about being an artist?
LT: Go for it. Be resourceful. Get to know some working artists. Do some internships and apprenticeships, so you don’t get all of your ideas about artmaking from books and the internet.
JH: Do you have a favorite quote? What is it?
LT: Lots of them but off the top of my head: “Every person is a different kind of artist; an artist is not a different kind of person.” – The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your thoughts with us! Get to know more about this Atlanta treasure.