Having artwork accepted into a national juried exhibition came as surprise and affirmation to Lili Guzman ’16.
The exhibition is entitled “Gender” and runs through June 19 at the Indiana University East Art Gallery in Whitewater Hall. Guzman’s piece is a black and white photograph entitled Projections. Guzman used a projector to project a female body onto a male body.
“It turned out in such a way that you can’t discern if it is a male or female body,” she says. “It speaks to me about the fluidity of gender, and I like that there are uncertainties in the photo.”
Guzman, an art and French double major, has always been interested in art. Her mother is a photographer, and her grandmother was a painter.
“I got encouragement growing up, and there were always art books around,” she says. In elementary school she and a friend initiated an interesting art exchange.
“We had a book of doodles,” she explains. “She would draw in the book of doodles, and then it would come back to me to draw in it.”
Guzman continued drawing and in high school entered her first art exhibition, the All Wayne County Art Exhibition, and won second place overall in 2010 for a charcoal drawing of a retro microphone entitled Check 1,2. Then in 2012 Guzman again won second place overall in the same exhibition for another charcoal drawing entitled Double-Dare.
In addition to charcoal, she continued to develop her artistic endeavors in different mediums such as watercolor and film photography.
Her interest in photography grew during an Explore-A-College course with Walt Bistline, associate professor of art, and has continued throughout her undergraduate studies as an art major with a focus in photography.
“I discovered how to work in a darkroom and develop film,” she says. “I am always amazed to see the photograph magically appear within the first 30 seconds of placing a blank sheet of photo paper into the developer.”
About a year ago, Guzman started a watercolor and ink card-making business, Cards by Lili. Her collection is made up of one-of-a-kind cards featuring hand-drawn flowers, landscapes and animals along with other personalized requests. The initial design is created using watercolors, and then she outlines with ink to shape and define.
“Cards are special to send and special to receive,” she says. Guzman sells cards and takes custom orders in Runyan during holidays. Her cards are $4.50, which includes an envelope, and $6.50 for a custom card.
Although Guzman’s portfolio was accepted into The Art Institute of Chicago, she chose to attend Earlham because she wanted to take courses that not only focused on the arts but also the humanities.
“I wanted to explore other fields,” she says. “Growing up in a bilingual family, English and Spanish, learning French was a way I could continue my appreciation and love of languages. Earlham’s program abroad in France really helped me develop my language skills and inspired other creative projects such as the French Fridays radio show on WECI, 91.5 FM””
After graduation, Guzman will continue creating her art and may pursue graduate school. She is also interested in returning to France to continue studying French.
“I love design and illustration,” she says. “I would like to illustrate short stories, poetry or children’s books.”