Lisa Arnold is an interdisciplinary mosaic artist, creating elegant bead-mosaic sculptures in her home studio along the beautiful Mississippi River Gorge in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Though inspired by nature, her pieces tend toward the magical and fanciful. It should be no surprise to learn that her favorite places as a child were Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, the Land of Make Believe, Oz, and the Island of Misfit Toys. Her creatures call to mind such playful places and invite you to imagine a world of mysterious possibilities.
As a life-long collector of gems, stones, trinkets, glass, and other sparkling treasures, she considers it a joyful practice to combine such unique and special pieces in her work. As an avid traveler, she brings together glittering bits from around the world to adorn her sculptures. In this way, the creatures are otherworldly, but still so very much tied to specific times, places, and events. The bases for her mosaics come from a number of sources. Some she builds herself out of a mix of materials, others she finds at estate sales, antique shops, and art spaces. Often working organically, Lisa pours through the pieces, letting the tesserae for each being find her, allowing the creature to collaborate in its own creation. Her hope is that the tess she uses will invoke memory, imagination, and emotion in the viewer.
While employing a variety of materials, you’ll frequently find such things as precious stones, water glass, Van Gogh glass, millefiori, vintage jewelry, stained glass, buttons, Japanese Toho beads, Czech glass, cloisonné beads from Hong Kong, recycled glass, crystals, and international coins in her work.
When not in the studio, you’ll find Lisa in the classroom. She has conducted nearly 100 residencies all around Minnesota, in Wisconsin, North Dakota, Illinois, New York, and Utah, as well as Negril, Jamaica and Shenzhen, China. She creates public art for schools, libraries, businesses, and museums, specializing in community mosaic murals. Some of her biggest collaborations have been with the Public Library System of Minnesota, Target, and the Minnesota Children’s Museum.