The Heroine’s Journey of Erika Lizee

What is the best thing that I love about my work?  I love that with the illusions in my installations, I can create an experience for viewers that plays with their perceptions. In the creation of this work, I love that it challenges me in a variety of ways. With each project I try to push myself technically, learning new materials, methods and increasing the levels of complexity of the designs. With the content of my work being focused on creating a sense of wonder at the world around me, it continuously feeds me positive messages both mentally and emotionally.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Knowing that my loved ones are happy and healthy; painting in my studio with a hot cup of chai.

What is my greatest fear? Getting hurt.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I am a harsh critic.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? So hard to pick just a few: James Turrell, Yayoi, Kusama, Andy Goldsworthy, Swoon, Inka Essenhigh, Sharon Ellis

What is my greatest extravagance? Spending time in my studio.

On what occasion would I lie? To protect the feelings of someone else.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? How much time it takes to create it.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I was really happy with the very first installation I created for my MFA thesis show. I had an experience with a fellow non-art student where he really got what I was going for and his reaction was priceless. I love the engagement with the viewers of my work.

If I could, what would I change about myself? Be less of an introvert.

What is my greatest achievement in work? I suppose so far, my greatest achievement has been my installation within the International Terminal at LAX. I created a site-specific piece that was 7’ x 43’ x 5’, and it was a wonderful experience installing it and being in contact with the general public during that process.

Where would I most like to live? I would like to live in the woods, near a river, in the middle of nowhere, but with the ability to teleport into the city for art openings.

What is my most treasured possession? This is really hard—I wouldn’t say I treasure many possessions. If my house were on fire, I’d grab my old photo albums. I treasure those memories.

What is my most marked characteristic? My ability to teleport—that, and I’m a bit of a smart ass.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? The Hammer Museum

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? I’m a hermit, so…my house.

What books influenced my life and how? Be Here Now by Ram Dass, Woolgathering by Patti Smith and The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell were all formative books for me early on.

Who are my favorite writers? Reading for pleasure, I have always been a fan of self-help/psychology type books; so favorite authors include Dr. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Brene Brown, Malcolm Gladwell.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Foo Fighters, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Well, I’ve always been a fan of crime solving geniuses, so it’s a toss up between Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Georgia O’Keeffe, Friday Kahlo, Artemisia Gentileschi

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? “Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time”. For TV, “Cosmos” with Neil de Grasse Tyson.

What role plays art in my life and work? Art is both my life and work. In addition to being an artist, I’m an Art Professor at Moorpark College, and Director of the campus Art Gallery, so it’s pretty much art all the time.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My husband, Ted, has always been immensely supportive of my art career. In the studio, he is my editor, critic, and installation assistant. In our home life, he is my partner in the parenting of our two kiddos, and fully supports my drive to work be a crazy busy working mother.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017? In the future, I’d love to work with Ali Subotnick, Andrew and Shawn Hosner, Jan Corey Helford, Shannon Currie Holmes, Kristin Farr.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017? Jerry Saltz seems like he’d be fun to have a cup of coffee with.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I am currently working on a new installation for my solo show at Gallery 825 in October. I am looking forward to filling the gallery with this site-specific piece, so that it encompasses viewers.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017? I will be in a group show at Launch LA in September, and will be having a solo show at Gallery 825 in October in West Hollywood.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? It falls along the same lines of the adage that says “If you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life.” I am passionate about making art and being a part of the art community. I doubt I would ever retire from it.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
Terry Arena, Cynthia Minet, Holly Boruck, Julie Hughes

How can you contact me?

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