Reconstruction, restoration. These are fascinating ideas and actions in which the past and present collide. Here in the historic city center of Siena there are often a lot of projects underway to maintain, conserve, and restore the historic buildings and streets within the city walls. Restoration scaffolding and street repair projects are often a frustration for those seeking a "picture-perfect" view of the city, but I find them fascinating both visually and conceptually. Street repair projects reveal the hidden layers below the city streets, scaffolding is bolted together with forests of tubes and platforms covered with gauze to surround the historic structures in these temporary outer layers. Often overlooked subjects are much more interesting than more standard or expected views, and for me this is in no place more true than here in Siena. This sketchbook is created with the 8B Staedtler graphite pencil, which combines the fluidity of graphite and the deep black tones of charcoal.
Lisa Nonken is an American-born artist who lives and works in Siena, Italy. She is the current Academic Director at the Siena Art Institute and serves as a Professor of Fine Arts, co-teaching the interdisciplinary Art and Society course. Lisa received her MFA in Studio Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, her Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Sculpture from the Lyme Academy of Fine Art, and her BA from Mount Holyoke College in Studio Art and Art History. Lisa first came to Siena, Italy in 2008 as an instructor for the Siena School for Liberal Arts. In 2010 she returned to Siena to help launch the Siena Art Institute. She is passionate about art education and exploring the intersection of art and civic life.
Lisa’s multi-disciplinary artistic practice includes her work in sculpture, drawing, painting, installation, and photography, and she has exhibited in Europe and the US. In 2012 she exhibited her work in a two-person exhibition at the Museo Archeologico of Murlo, part of the AMACI Giornata del Contemporaneo initiative in collaboration with the Fondazione Musei Senesi. In 2014 she was selected to serve as a representative for Siena for the city's bid for the European Capital of Culture. In the context of the ECoC activities in 2014, she co-organized a multimedia exhibition at the Glashuset of Umea, Sweden including audio and photography work. She collaborated as flautist and vocalist in a performance organized in Colle di Val d'Elsa for the "Territori" symposium as part of the Siena Art Institute's Fall 2014 Fellowship Project. In 2015 she co-organized collaborative exhibitions with her students work at the D'Uva Workshop in Florence and as part of the Group Exhibtiion Verso" at the Santa Maria della Scala Museum, part of Siena's Week of Contemporary Art and Culture. In 2016 she held a solo exhibition of recent photographic work "Wer rastet, der ..." at the hof10architetur space in Rudolstadt (Germany), and in 2017 held an exhibition of photographic work "Ruggine d'Autunno" in Siena. She has an exhibition scheduled in 2018 at the Newbern Library in Alabama (USA).
Lisa has been awarded art residencies at Yaddo, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Blue Sky Project. Awards include the REMET “Shaping the Future” Project Grant, and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, and the 2014 Mary Lyon award from Mount Holyoke College for alumnae achievement.
Lisa also participates in several musical groups in Siena, including the Coro della Cattedrale di Siena "Guido Chigi Saracini", the Coro Polifonici Senesi, and assisting the CHigiana CHildrens' CHoir.
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