In September 2016, I traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for a 40-day self-created artist residency, focused on Gettysburg National Park and surrounding Civil War battlefields and historical sites. While there, I rented a studio from local hosts, whose home was located on a picturesque kiwi berry farm less than one mile from Little Round Top.
I sketched every day, both in my “Before 10am” illustrated journal, and using watercolor and acrylic mixed media. On day twenty-four of my residency, I presented a works-in-progress show and reception for a gathering of Gettysburg residents at my host’s home.
I visited Rolling Acres Elementary School in Littlestown, Pennsylvania, and read my picture book, Too Late For Pie, to a classroom of third graders.
Destination Gettysburg created this video to add to their #MyGettysburg collection of personal stories of visitor experiences.
Upon returning, I created an installation for the Half Moon Bay Library, which included thirteen panels from my “Before 10am” illustrated journal, a yarn and muslin map inspired by the Elliott Map of the Battlefield of Gettysburg, and a community quilt piece entitled, “The Unfinished Work”, prompting viewers to respond to quoted words from Lincoln’s Gettysburg address by writing on painted fabric squares, which will be sewn into a quilt of new quotations. In addition, I delivered an artist talk and an illustrated journaling workshop at the library, both free and open to the public.
The Half Moon Bay Review published this article about the installation and artist talk.
This artist residency was inspired by my interest in bringing my art practice and observations together with my love of National Parks, and to revisit the significance of Gettysburg and the American Civil War in light of the current events of 2016. This project is an evolving body of work continuing to unfold each day!
Most recently, I released a series of eight designs of watercolor and ink sketches created in Gettysburg, offered as 5″x7″ notecards. They are available for purchase at my online store.
Next steps for this project:
- Incorporate content from Gettysburg illustrated journals and observations from my visits to sites in Virginia, including Tredegar Iron Works, the White House of the Confederacy, the American Civil War Museum, Appomattox, the Museum of the Confederacy, and Monticello, into an illustrated book documenting my discoveries and questions from this trip. Pursue publication of this book.
- Create a self-published picture book for the Rolling Acres 3rd grade class by May 2017 (they asked, and I said yes!)
- Pursue additional public library installations of the Gettysburg work
- Plan my return trip to exhibit in Gettysburg
If you would like to support my work by becoming a patron, please visit my Patreon page, where you can pledge $1-$10 per month. Every dollar makes a difference and helps me to continue creating and sharing my projects!
Link to become a patron of my art: http://patreon.com/lisachu