Bio: Lilly was born in Indianapolis Indiana and is a current senior at the University of Evansville studying Art Therapy, with a minor in psychology (23). In the fall of 2023, Lilly will be attending the University of Indianapolis to earn her masters in Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy. During her time at the University of Evansville, Lilly has been a 4-year member of Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity, and served as this year’s Clay Club President. She also held the role of Gallery Assistant for a semester, before leaving to study abroad at Harlaxton College in spring of 2022.

Artist Statement: My identity as an artist has been present for as long as I can remember. Both my parents and grandparents were always encouraging me to create, and I spent much time as a child drawing and crafting for fun. I have many memories with my grandpa in his garage using old paints and random knick-knacks to make something new and sitting at the dining room table with my grandma making cards and drawings for people who had birthdays coming up or needed some positivity in life. My mom stayed home with me up until I went to kindergarten, and we did many crafts and creative projects at home and at the local library. When I went to school my love for art continued and I frequently checked out drawing books from the library to practice and filled all my journals in school with drawings and doodles. I didn’t take my art too seriously growing up, but rather created for the fun and escape. I created more for others than for myself, It wasn’t until college that I really began to discover the personal and expressive aspects of art through my studying of Art Therapy.

As an artist I have worked with a variety of mediums including graphite, colored pencil, charcoal, ink, acrylic paint, stoneware, and other mixed media. I am especially drawn to the art of ceramics because as a student studying art therapy, I enjoy the forgiving aspect of clay that allows for experimentation that speaks to the process of creating as well as the satisfaction of seeing the final product come together. Ceramics is a very fluid art form, and I enjoy letting the clay dictate how my body moves in order to throw a desired form. There are times where I have a specific shape in mind, but others when I allow the stoneware and how I am feeling to direct me towards a new shape. When it comes to glazing, I have always incorporated vibrant colors into my artwork of all mediums because of how they draw the eye and the emotion they elicit both for myself and my audience.

My work is a combination of creating for the process and creating for the product. While I have some works that are created with the purpose of relaying a specific message or to be pleasing to the eye of the viewer, others are more for my own exploration and allowing my thoughts, feelings, and emotions to dictate how I create. To me, the most important thing is using art not as a means of impressing others, but providing a space for people to practice empathy in understanding the creative process of others as well as allowing myself to use art as a means of expression more than trying to make something others find ‘good. I find inspiration in the idea that everyone I have met has influenced who I am as a person and helped me to create my own story. This theme is best represented in my “Suitcase” piece, a mixed media art therapy project in which I used a collection of words, pictures, and symbols to repurpose an old suitcase that had its own story before I found it. The different elements of this piece are reflective of how people often don’t realize the impact of their words or presence in someone else’s life, but ultimately my growth and experiences are reflective of my experiences and interactions with others. I urge the viewer to analyze my work in a way that considers the many steps and feelings that go into the art, and not just the aesthetics of the final work.