Guest post by Peggy Helmick-Richardson, History Educator and our textile expert
Last April, Old City Park opened its doors to the arts in a whole new way. Three rooms in Brent Place were converted to studio spaces for local artists who found themselves displaced when the Continental Gin Building sold. Today we offer the second of three articles on our resident artists.
As manager of marketing and programming of our neighbor and non-profit arts incubator The Cedars Union, Adrienne Lichliter aids their juried artists in best expressing their creations. As one of the tenants in Old City Park’s Brent Place studios, this printmaking and paper artist creates to express herself.
Growing up in the Lakewood neighborhood of Dallas, Adrienne and her husband Ben Hines now live in Deep Ellum.
Although she enjoyed art and art classes in school, Adrienne opted not to apply to Dallas’s Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts because she also wanted to be involved in school activities such as student council and track not offered at the magnet school. “Plus, I just didn’t think it was something I could make a living off of,” she admits.
Adrienne went on to SMU to earn her degree in art history with the intent of working for a museum or art gallery. “That somehow felt a little bit more realistic,” she recounts. “And I had ambitions of being a professor.” A few years later she opted to return to school and earned her MFA from Clemson and soon found herself becoming more involved with her own creations.
Her early art career included three years as an adjunct professor at Navarro College in Corsicana and the University of North Texas and then as manager of studio art education for the Crow Collection of Asian Art.
Then Adrienne suddenly found herself in a whirlwind of transitions.
Before the Continental Gin closed its doors, she was one of the artists subleasing studio space there. While there, she shared an area with Sarah Theobald-Hall, one of our other Brent Place artists. And if losing her studio space wasn’t bad enough, she also found herself out of work after The Crow Collection was donated to the University of Texas at Dallas.
Through a chance meeting of Sarah at a coffee shop, Adrienne learned about the studios at Old City Park. Seeing this space as an opportunity to focus on her own creations, last spring she moved into the third and last available room in Brent Place.
“I fell in love with Old City Park and having this park right in front of my space,” Adrienne notes. “It’s nice to take a break from what you are working on and take a walk. It is a really special setting.”
Brent Place also proved to be a perfect match for her artistic style. “I’ve always been into sort of old, worn, quiet moments in the world, …a reason this space suits me so well,” she explains. “Whether that is a scratched up piece of copper or cracks in the sidewalk, things that are naturally occurring without human hand.”
I’ve always been into sort of old, worn, quiet moments…
Defining her art as non-objective, she explains, “The aim is for things to look like they are sort of naturally occurring.”
“Where I have been moving lately with this is taking pieces of my work and iPhone photography and collaging them together,” she shares. This multi-process involves creating art, tearing that art into pieces, arranging them with other pieces, photographing these and then creating a lithograph from the resulting photo. “Through these steps, it seems like my hand gets further and further away from what I am doing, and it feels more natural and less contrived,” she continues.
“Funny thing about the work I am making now is I still call it non-objective despite that there are literal photographs in it,” she points out. “I’ve photographed it, digitally manipulated it, torn it up and printed it through ink lithography, so it’s really hard to see that it is anything at all. So it’s photo real and completely non-objective at the same time.”
This Dallas artist has also developed a unique style of wood lithography, a challenging art form on its own, that she occasionally teaches in workshops.
Some of the most significant influences on Adrienne’s artistic processes include the works of non-objective artists Cy Twombly and Richard Tuttle and mentorship from Sydney Cross, her graduate school advisor at Clemson.
To get a glimpse at some of Adrienne’s other works, got to www.adriennelichliter.com
We have started a blog post series about the whole OCP family so you can get to know all the people that are a part of what we do here. See the last article here: The OCP Family: Sarah Theobald-Hall