As an artist with disabilities caused from Ataxia, a rare neurological disease that is progressive, affecting my ability to walk, talk, balance myself and use fine motor skills, my artwork not only considers the essential structure of skeletal or embryonic animal references but has become a vehicle to interpret transformative changes occurring in my body caused from the progression of the disease. My objective is to conjure the past, present and future in order to invoke the contemplation of our existence. My work has always been concerned with the wonder of origin and amending society’s exploitation and waste. Recently, I was diagnosed with an inherited autosomal dominant disease called Spinocerebellar Ataxia 5. This disease runs in my father’s family and has moved my work to investigate genetics, too. Specifically, this form of ataxia was found in one branch of Abraham Lincoln’s family and I am Lincoln’s cousin 7 generations removed. My work researches and brings awareness people living with disabilities while pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. My work discusses these concepts by focusing on movement's copious flow, a manner of passage of the living body to one’s gait and gesture. This work drives examination and permits curiosity uncovering aspects of human nature and wonder of origin. These juxtaposed ideas reveal blurred distinctions between connections and dysfunction exhibited in multivalent invocations of the body. _____________________________________________________________________________ Lisa Merida-Paytes holds a M.F.A. from the University of Cincinnati 1997 and B.F.A. from the Art Academy of Cincinnati 1991. Her work has been featured in exhibitions and publications nationally and internationally for 23 years. During that time, she has taught at all levels throughout the Midwest and served in various professional positions which include, Gallery Director at FUNKe FIRED ARTS 2007-11 and Art Director / Founder of the Kennedy Heights Art Center in 2004. She was appointed Co-Liaison for the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), Cincinnati, Ohio Conference held in March 2021 and served as a NCECA Board Member 2020 - 2021. Currently, her work can be viewed in a feature, authored international article in Ceramics Ireland Magazine, Issue 45, 2021. In June, Merida-Paytes was awarded a National Artist Relief Grant thanks to a generous lead gift from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation that was matched by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, The Willem de Kooning Foundation, DeWitt Stern, a division of Risk Strategies Company, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation COVID-19 Relief Effort, Imperfect Family Foundation, Kinkade Family Foundation, Carolee Schneemann Foundation, Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, and Teiger Foundation. Also, she was awarded an Artprize Equity Grant for her site-specific work at the AC Hotel by Marriott Grand Rapids Downtown in Artprize 2021. She will have works published in Artwalk Magazine, Issue 02, September 2021. In June – October 2021, she has work featured at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana. Also, her work with be included in the Ohio Arts Council’s 2021 Biennial Juried Exhibition at the Riffe Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, October 28, 2021 – January 8, 2022 and an international review and interview published in 7th Review Me’s Artstonish and Observica Magazines. Recently, a solo exhibition of her work was at Cincinnati Learning Collaborative and showcased in NCECA’s Virtual Conference in March 2021. This show debuted her new Flux Series which is created from sculpting, weaving and casting paper, along with various mixed media materials. This new series moved on to the Lois and Richard Rosenthal’s Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio in March 2021. Merida-Paytes served as a moderator and panelist for a 2019 NCECA Discussion she organized entitled, FOCUS: Inspiration Matters held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2016-17, she was awarded an AIA Summer Residency at Watershed, organized a group exhibition of that work in Portland, Oregon and wrote an article about the Residency and Exhibition that was published in Ceramics Ireland Magazine. She was awarded an AIA Summerfair Cincinnati Grant for the third time in her career (2018, 2006 & 2001). She published her own curriculum, Special Studio Teaching Manual Series: Preserving Memories with Paperclay, an Art-to Art Palette Books publication. Her work is included in 500 Figures in Clay Volume II, 2014 and The Best of 500 Ceramics: Celebrating a Decade in Clay, 2012 Lark Book’s publications. Additionally, she has feature articles published in Studio Ceramics: Advanced Techniques, (cover artist), The American Ceramics Society’s book in 2010, Pottery Making Illustrated, July / August 2009 issue (cover artist), Art-to Art Palette Journal 2008, Raku, Pit & Barrel, The American Ceramics Society’s book, In 2007, Ceramics Monthly’s October 2006 issue, 500 Raku 2010 and 500 Animals 2006, Lark Book’s publications.
Lisa's ArtPrize Entries
These are Lisa's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.
Lisa's Past Work
These are images of past work that Lisa has done.