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About the Artist

Linnea Lieth is an illustrator, artist, and poet from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In May 2017, she will complete her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with minors in German and Creative Writing. She serves as co-president of the Sample Gallery, a student-run art space on the UNC campus. In spring of 2016, she studied Painting and Printmaking at the Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow, Scotland.

Artist Statement

I create images, texts, and combinations of the two that tilt and twist unremarkable happenings and circumstances into the universally accessible format of a story.

I am interested in the ways in which people tell and retell stories to make them more attractive and entertaining, bend them to explain the unintuitive or excuse the unmentionable. I am interested in the ways in which this practice helps and hurts the tellers and the told. The illustrations, poems, essays and graphic essays I produce are aware of their own ability -- and my own tendency, as an artist and a person -- to fit details of life into boxes to make them more beautiful, or create a truth that is concealed by a filter of fiction. My work is informed by fine art and literature, particularly movements such as Art Nouveau and Magical Realism, which have sought to form idealized pictures of the world and therefore enable more truthful perceptions of it. I am inspired by the ways that people simultaneously beautify and challenge the world through film, fashion, design, fine art, graphic noveling, and writing.

Working in both digital and traditional mediums means that the artwork will exist, at any given time, as a combination of real and non-existant elements. I begin drawing and writing with a physical pencil and paper, and later work with digital programs. An image pieced together digitally from photographs of physical objects and drawings becomes a virtual artifact, a series of code, in the same way that a story is an invented version of a truth. An illustration constructed within the layers of a digital drawing program is imaginary, and may have been sourced solely from pictures in the imagination, but when it is printed onto paper, it is returned to the physical world that originally informed it.

A book is a personal experience. Reading a book, whether it is hand-drawn on handmade paper or digitally designed on the screen of an iPhone, is an experience to be had in a library or at the bus stop, on a bedroom floor or at the beach. Just as a ten-foot painting hangs proudly on the wall of a gallery and shouts across the room, and a billboard projects a message to viewers ten blocks away, a hand-held book, conversely, recounts a story to the reader in a clear and intimate voice. The book is privately possessed, forming an individual experience. My work, often dealing with personal and interpersonal themes of identity and relationship, manifests itself most powerfully and truthfully in the form of publication.

She happily accepts commissions and can be reached at linnealieth(at)gmail.com.

Publications

  • 2016: Eno Issue 6.
  • 2016: Eno
    Photo "Sprout" in Issue 5.
  • 2016: Carolina Scientific
    Illustration for "Waking up to rain: A snapshot of field research" by Bri Sikorski in Spring 2016 issue.
  • 2016: The Charles Carter: A Working Anthology
    "a fable" and "August 7"
  • 2015: Cellar Door
    "a fable" (online) and "Digging" (print)
  • 2015: Carolina Arts & Sciences Magazine
    Illustration for "Final Point" in Spring 2015 issue.
  • 2014: The Daily Tar Heel
    Various cartoons. (Can be viewed by searching "Linnea Lieth" in the "Writer/Photographer" field on The Daily Tar Heel's online Archives search tool.)
  • 2014: Cellar Door
    "The Silent Council" (online) and "Tangle" (print)
  • 2013: Cellar Door
    "Prayers" (online) and "Aftershock" (print)
  • 2010: TREE: A Community of Artists Explores the Meaning of Nature, Paintbrush Forest.
    "A Tree Means Life to All"

Shows

  • 2016: Undrgraduate Art Awards show, University of North Carolina Art Department, Chapel Hill NC.
  • 2016: PAT Tested (Third-Year Painting and Printmaking End-of-Year Show), MacLellan Galleries, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland.
  • 2015: Undergraduate Art Awards Show, University of North Carolina Art Department, Chapel Hill NC.
  • 2015: Banned Books Trading Card Contest Show, Chapel Hill Public Library, Chapel Hill NC.
  • 2015: Summer Children's Art Project (as Art Director)
    Community Church of Chapel Hill, Unitarian Universalist, Chapel Hill NC.
  • 2014: Undergraduate Art Awards Show, University of North Carolina Art Department, Chapel Hill NC.
  • 2014: Rubbish2Runway II
    Frank Gallery, Chapel Hill NC.
  • 2014: Summer Children's Art Project (as Art Director)
    Community Church of Chapel Hill, Unitarian Universalist, Chapel Hill NC.
  • 2014: 40 Under 40
    Alamance Arts Council, Graham NC.
  • 2012: Solo Show
    Johnny's Gone Fishing, Carrboro NC.
  • 2011: Annual Student Exhibit
    The ArtsCenter, Carrboro NC.
  • 2011: Members and Friends Show
    Binkley Baptist Church, Chapel Hill NC.
  • 2010: TREE: A Community of Artists Explores the Meaning of Nature
    The ArtsCenter, Carrboro NC.
  • 2010: Members and Friends Show
    Community Church of Chapel Hill, Unitarian Universalist, Chapel Hill NC.

Awards & Honors

  • 2016: Recipient of the Gadsen Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 2015: Winner, Banned Books Trading Card Contest, Chapel Hill Public Library
  • 2013: Jaguar Pride Award for Visual Art
  • 2013: Silver Key in Drawing, Silver Key in Art Portfolio, Honorable Mention in Drawing, Scholastic Art Awards
  • 2010: Silver Key in Drawing, Scholastic Art Awards