The paintings of award-winning artist Lizzie Wortham have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and cultural centers, including Woman Made Gallery in Chicago; the George C. Mosse Gallery, Gordon Commons Gallery, and Common Wealth Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin; the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery of St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, Minnesota; and the Duluth Art Institute in Minnesota. Public art commissions include the Ebenezer Tower Retirement Community and the Ramsey County Detox Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has received recognition through awards from national and regional organizations, including the Minnesota State Arts Board, White Bear Arts Council, and the North American Graduate Art Survey. She received a BA with a fine art major from Macalester College and an MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“ ‘Like a Girl’ is [Lizzie Wortham’s] second collection to focus on abstracted representations of girls and young women on the path to discovering their own identities. Painted in oil using a combination of washes, solid blocks of color, layered brushwork, and thick impasto applied with a palette knife, the images play with the rules of pictorial space while evoking nostalgia, dreams, and memories of childhood and adolescence. Wortham’s award-winning painting “Girl” was aptly described by Minneapolis Star-Tribune art critic Mary Abbe as capturing “the mingled hostility, curiosity, and vulnerability” of girlhood in its many stages.” Sandra Buxton, Life in Naples Magazine
It was small, they were small, and fragile. I wanted to protect them from time, age, the world outside of the garden, but they had already been taken out of the box. Still curious of how it all happened, that establishment of self, the declaration stating “I’m this! Not that” with fear and fierceness, I blurred the edges. Looking back, them at me, me at my own, sharing the pain and enthusiasm for a future we now know… forces me to scrape things away, lay on the floor and dilute with spirits, tilting the present in all the directions our lives could have gone. We hang in the balance, taking the photo, holding who we are, hanging it on the wall so that we can step back and see. But it’s still smeared, it won’t come clean, we are not clean and pure anymore, that’s not how it works.
Brushes remind me of long hair, how many times did Marsha say we needed to brush every night? I brushed (on) the girl’s hair, but used a knife for the doll’s. Why do I feel bad that I threw away that doll? It must be my Mom’s fault. I will put her back here, where she can live forever, my mom, the doll. I never wear yellow, but it is excellent for skin. The thin cowardly teen skin, yellowed from the pink infant, pages turned. In Minnesota lips are blue at times, our interiors as cold as our relationships requiring high doses of vitamin D.
I remember a dream of that red brick wall. Found a crack in it and I was still small enough to slide inside to a pink light garden with an electric organ.