Lisa Lichtenfels studied traditional oil painting at an early age, attended the Governor’s School while a teenager and continued her education at the Philadelphia College of Art. There she met Judy Jampell, who was becoming well known for her three dimensional soft-sculpted facades. Inspired, Lisa was going to be an illustrator until the prospect of independent animation and filmmaking fascinated her. Graduating with majors in Illustration and Film, she was immediately hired by the Disney Studios as an apprentice animator.
While working at Disney she developed three-dimensional figurines with posable skeletons for stop-motion animation. Like Judy Jampell’s constructions, they had nylon stocking skins. Lisa left Disney to explore the potential of these techniques, expecting to return to animation in a year or so; but it has now been over twenty-five years, and she is still working in nylon and feels she has only barely begun to realize what is possible in the medium.
Lisa works in her studio of her Victorian home in Springfield, Massachusetts. There she creates startlingly realistic sculptures with a wide variety of subject matter, including fantasy, myth, humor, and portraiture. The individual figures range from less than 5 inches to life-sized figures of over 5 feet tall. She also does large environmental installations with many characters. In this she is helped by her husband, the poet Jeremy Ward Wilson, who does her carpentry.
These sculptures and installations have been sold directly, or through agents and galleries, to collectors from all over the world.
IMAGE INFORMATION: Top Left: Masai Warrior in progress
Right: The Little Ballerina, a self portrait