Artist Spotlight

Molly Wilson

It’s no wonder that Elyse Lucas, a senior studio art and art history major – plus education certification – wound up in art. It started in her home in Woodstock, Ill. with her father, who is also an artist. “I just sort of grew up with it,” said Lucas. In Woodstock, Lucas was involved in community art shows, so it’s not surprising that upon coming to Lawrence she became co-president, with Chris Dorn, of the Wriston Art Collective.
Right now, Lucas’ work can be seen in the Plastic Camera Survey in the Mudd Gallery, until Nov. 2. Lucas’ work focuses on one of her favorite subjects – food. “I think a lot with my tummy,” said Lucas, who cites her Italian roots as an influence along with her studies in Florence last fall, where her host mother taught her how to cook. As Lucas said, “I’m probably the biggest carnivore you’ll ever meet,” and so her work in the show naturally evolved into still lifes of food around Appleton.
Initially solely a studio art major, Lucas took one art history class and fell in love. As Lucas said, “It’s one thing to be able to produce art, but it only makes it stronger when you’re able to understand it. It gives your art purpose.”
Right now, Lucas is going through education certification and “dabbling in all the areas of art,” taking more art classes than you can shake a stick at, including ceramics, printmaking, drawing and sculpture.
Lucas hopes to eventually teach high school art because, in her words, “High school is such an incredibly important time in a student’s life, because they’re starting to understand themselves and their art.” She cites her own high school art teacher as a huge influence on her own art.
Before Lucas begins student teaching next fall, look out for her senior art show in May – it promises to be exciting, plus the refreshments are sure to be delicious.