"Storylines" Brings Nature's Beauty to Dittmar

How can the mysterious details of our natural environment be captured with something as simple as a line? How can geometric shapes combine to evoke the beauty of nature? How can new works of art be organically crafted from plain black boards?

“Storylines,” a new exhibit by Lisa Goesling, presents a hyper-detailed exploration of botanic elements through line, shape, and color. By utilizing a unique method of scratchboard carving, Goesling creates high-contrast, meticulously crafted works that capture both the stunning beauty and captivating mystery of natural elements.

"Uprooted 2" by Lisa Goesling, part of Dittmar's upcoming "Storylines" exhibit.

"Uprooted 2" by Lisa Goesling, part of Dittmar's upcoming "Storylines" exhibit.

The exhibit includes two distinct series, each etched into black clay scratchboards with an X-acto knife. The first, “Environmental Movement,” focuses on Eco-Psychology, the study of how humans relate to nature. The second, “Spontaneous Combustion,” zeroes in on the details of nature, telling stories through pattern, movement, and texture. Goesling creates her works of art without first sketching or erasing, allowing viewers to gain a firsthand look at her creative process.

Goesling, who got her start as a 12 year old student at the Art Institute of Chicago, ran her own graphic design firm before committing to art full-time. Over the past decade, her work has been showcased extensively across the United States, in cities including Chicago, New York, and Austin. Her art has also been awarded numerous prestigious prizes, including the Critic’s Choice Award at the 2013 Manhattan Arts International Competition and 2015 D&AD Award of Excellence in London.

“Storylines” will be on view October 20 through November 27 at Dittmar Memorial Gallery, located on the first floor of the Norris University Center.